An unfortunate experience was shared by a Filipina domestic helper working in Brazil with BBC News. She complained of being overworked and was being starved by her employer. She then resorted to eating her employer’s dog food in order to survive.
Maria, not her real name, was working as a nanny in Sao Paulo neighbourhood in Brazil. Aside from taking care of three children, she was also doing all the household chores including cleaning of her employer’s big house with 4 bedrooms having bathrooms each, a big dining area and a living room. She also had to walk their dog each day.
According to Maria, at times when the employer seemed not to be pleased with her work, she was asked to do it repeatedly for numerous hours until the employer gets the result that she wanted. The employer had been vocal also in saying that she never liked Maria at all which explained the reason why she had been so harsh to her.
Aside from the numerous tasks, the 40-year-old helper complained that she was not given sufficient food to eat and even to the point of being starved to death. In fact, on the second day of being starved, she even thought of ending her own life.
Later on, left with no option, she found a way to fill her empty stomach when she found her employer’s dog food which she cooked and took half of it as her meal. Maria claimed it was the only way she thought of in order to survive
Maria shared that she was also being locked-up by her employers when they leave. Luckily, one day, she had successfully escaped and found freedom from being maltreated by abusive employers.
Maria had been working in Brazil to support her mother and her 3 daughters who 2 of them where under medication due to heart disease.
Meanwhile, authorities in Brazil are looking into Maria’s case and other similar cases by domestic helpers in the country which includes labor law violations.
Maria’s case is only one of the numerous cases of Filipino domestic helpers working abroad.