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The Story of Niena Sevilla as an Overseas Filipino Worker


Niena Sevilla left the Philippines on May 2006 to work as an OFW in Saudi Arabia. Working abroad was a tough decision for Nina, because she had to leave her children, ages 9 and 5 to give them a bright future. As a single parent, it’s her responsibility to provide the important needs of her children, especially sending them to school and provide comfort in life. She had to be strong and brave for her family.

She was able to work as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia with the help of a relative by arranging the process for her. The first time she arrived at her employer’s house made her completely shocked because the house was huge and she can’t imagine cleaning it only by herself. It also made her shocked that she had to serve the entire family of her employer, when in the contract she needed to serve only the employer’s mother. She experienced verbal abuse after months of working there. Later on, another Filipina domestic helper also was being hired to work at her employer’s house.

Niena felt the fear of continuing to work because of the verbal abuse she received from her employer. She tried to understand her situation and had to sacrifice for her family. But the abuse got worse, she asked helped to her relative to get away from her employer and provide her for a new one, but her relative refused and demand that she needed to repay for the fees paid for her employer. Niena can’t wait anymore and needed to get away because she was afraid that the abusive words would turn out to actions. Her co-worker also planned to resign and she might be left alone continued to receive abuses from her employer, so she ran away when it was her day-off and she didn’t come back again. She hides for two weeks and put herself in a dangerous situation. With the help of some Filipino friends, she found a new employer and hired her as an office worker.

Niena was very happy and grateful that other OFWs helped and gave her another opportunity. She also reminded other OFWs that the best way to seek help is to ask assistance from the Philippine Embassy, the wrong moved she had done put herself to danger. The word “Oneness” was really observed during the time of her struggle as an OFW, she realized that there are still good people who are willing to give kindness and compassion even if you are not blood related.

Indeed, being an OFW really needs to have braveness, experience hardships, and sacrifice for yourself and for your family.
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