Filipina Au Pair in Distress – a repost

| 9 Comments

Cathy  a sweet Filipina Au pair

Cathy, The filipina au pair

This is Catherine when she was in Holland, her picture reflects sweetness and contentment of her experience with her host family in Holland. But she asked me not to published her present picture because she lost weight because she don’t want her family to worry when they see her now.

Catherine story is one of the many Filipina sad stories about the bad aupair situation in Denmark. I met her last Saturday sobbing while telling me her sad flight, her sad experiences with mind you 2 danish families.

The 1st danish host family

Catherine came to Denmark almost 5 months ago hoping to broaden her cultural horizons since she already worked as an aupair in Holland for 1 year she want to extent her stay in Europe. Nearing the end of her contract in Holland she tried to find possible au pair job in Denmark and she made contact to a family in Hellerup and they hired her as their au pair or offer (that’s danish for victim).

She received 2,500 dkk monthly in allowance thats the minimum allowance set up by the state but she worked more than the allowed maximum of 30 days per week. She was asked to baby sit for many hours sometimes 10 hours per week and she tried to talked to them and they said that they will see until she noticed she was already five months. It is not only long working hours but it’s more of how they treated her badly like she was not a part of the family but a house help. For along time she can not sleep and lost so much weight and she cannot take it anymore then one day while she was crying in the train station wondering what kind of hell she end up with. Another au pair approached her and gave her a telephone number of a family who is looking for an au pair. When she informed her host that she will transfer to a new family they immediately asked her to leave and sign a paper that she is transferring to this and that but it also written there without her knowledge (it was in danish) that her service as their au pair were paid but actually they owed her at least more than half a months salary but they told her that they will send it to her new address. They gå væk translated go out go out while laughing and shouted you will work your head and ass anywhere. Well maybe she’s witch because it became true. Just read on.

The 2nd danish host family

She then contacted that family in Holte where they promised her 3000 DKK allowance and a bus ticket to the city in her free time but it turned out that this 2nd family was worse than the first one. She starts to work 7.15 prepare breakfast and pack lunch, feed the kids, prepare the clothes and bathe and clothe them. She has to clean the house pick up the kids in Hellerup, do the laundry, help with the assignment, cook dinner, feed kids, prepare clothes for the next day etc. until around 8 pm. Wow that’s more than 10 hours everyday. For few days she don’t even have any break for meal just drank some tea that’s all. So when she received her schedule she reminded the lady of the house that she should only work max. 5 hours and also give her some breaks according to the contract they both signed but the dot the answer “You should see a doctor,I think you are depressed”, who will be depressed with that schedule just take a look below.

Cathy's Schedule

Cathy's Schedule

She managed to keep a copy of it. The worst part is they claim that they just copy their neighbours another Filipina au pair schedule which 5 or more pages thick and she also had a copy of that.
I gave her a contact number of a au pair counselor and she was really decided that she doesn’t want to stay with that family so now Cathy is trying to find a new family so she will have happy memories of Denmark before going back to the Philippines.
At the Foreign Service (Immigration Service)
  • When she went to the Foreign Service office to submit her new contract for the 2nd host she told them about her 1st host and showed the paper that she signed but they said that she can not used it for anything and ask them about her salary they said that they going to write them that they have to pay her.
  • Sunday she told the 2nd host that she don’t want to stay with them because of the long hours and it’s ok with them. Monday she went back again to the Foreign Service office with the lady (2nd host) to cancel the contract Cathy had submitted in the weekend but before that Cathy had to prepare breakfast and lunch of the children. I advised her that she make it sure that the conversation is in English but no they spoke in Danish and she tried to but the lady said that they will translate to her later. She asked the one worker or attendant from the foreign service if she can state the reason why she’s leaving the answer is”IT DOESN’T MATTER”. That I can not understand because according to their supervisors all au pairs that will change families should state why so if they are abused then they can reprimand the family or banning them to use the au pair system. If they heard her reasons they can tell that woman to do what is right and respect the right of the au pair. Now that lady is in the internet also looking for au pair but one Filipina she had interviewed said she wa offered only 2,500 DKK only and she thinks badly of Filipina then why she wants filipina? duh.
Cathy’s Life in Holland
She came to Holland thru a Au pair agency which she was very thankful because she did not pay exhorbitant fee like what some agency here in Denmark and in Holland takes. The owner was also an au pair so she understand what are the problems of au pair. Before she flew to Holland she underwent a training for au pairs free of charge where she learned how to use vacuum cleaners, proper cleaning of the house and what types of cleaning chemicals to use, a short introduction of Hollands people and culture, caring for children etc.
The family she stayed with were nice and treated her like a member of the family. They also invited her to come with them in their holiday but when she declined they give her extra allowance. It is also included in her contract and its normal in Holland that they give 30minutes to 1 hour call to au pairs family in the Philippines and also mobile phone. Although the maximum stay is only 1 year au pair experience gratitude for the work or service of their offer like making a special day where the children gives some presents to their au pair. I think I haven’t heard of that here no matter how good or hardworking their au pairs were.
The pictures above was Cathy’s host family in Holland where as a loving family where they shown how they appreciate Cathy by making some memorable artworks for Cathy to treasure the rest of her life. You can obviously see how the Holland host family treat their au pair in contrast to the danish families.
Right now Catherine is still in Copenhagen and some kind hearted people are giving her accommodation and she is still looking although she’d been interviewed a lot of times she’s too careful now. Although she don’t have money she can sleep at night and if she can not find a family who will respect her as a person she can always go back in the Philippines because she can always find work. Even she said low paying but her dignity still in tact and she is respected. She has a degree in elementary education and taught in private school and also worked in a government office in her Town where the famous Mayon volcano lies.
If any one is interested to hire her you can leave contact me and I will give her your message.
If you have the same story good or bad just write to me and I will also feature you in this blog to make an au pair awareness so that the danish people become aware that slavery is dead and the Filipino people will know that working abroad is not always a bed of roses and AU PAIR IS NOT A DOMESTIC HELPER.

Note: This was a repost from www.filipinamom.com which another site I maintain and she thanks Babaylan Denmark. who helped her during her transition period. She already found a nice a decent host family who treats her as they should. She is happy and enjoying the rest of her au pair stay.
Did you like this? Share it:

9 Comments

  1. please if som in danmark trade the au pair like that can we do something i want to help this girl its a shame for the danish

  2. Hi Peter,
    This is just one of thousand of aupairs here but fortunately she found a nice family but according to her it is still far form what her host family in Holland. But of not all the danish host are the same even other nationalities or I spoke with danish who worked as an aupair also experienced hardships with families here in Dk or outside.
    Thanks for the visit and offering of help.

  3. I feel sorry for her for such experience. I also had a friend who had the same story but it’s her first time experience here in Denmark. First family was fine, they were not treating her bad but she works more than 5 hours a day. And then suddenly, she was just informed that they no longer need her and no longer can afford having her. She was devastated but she looked for another host to gave it a try. Yes, she did find one, a filipino mother and a danish father. She was happy with them, she said, they do nothing but laugh and just having good time, then, two weeks or three weeks was it, she was informed that they are not used to having another person in their house. She was so sad and just wanted to go home. Her friends and I felt sorry for her, really, it was a very bad experience.

    But I beg to disagree with this “I think I haven’t heard of that here no matter how good or hardworking their au pairs were.” Yes indeed you haven’t heard any good experiences about filipino aupairs then. :)) It’s just unfair for those Danish family who are treating their aupairs right for this kind of statement. I’m just staying. My host are treating me very well. In fact VERY WELL that I no longer feel the aupair relationship with my family.

    Well of course, you have your own opinion and I respect it but for the game of fairness think about the comments/statement you are going to write here on your blog.

    Goodluck with your blog and it’s very helpful for Filipino aupairs. This is entertaining and helpful to us.

    :))

  4. @Churvaness, Cathy story ends up like a real fairy tale I met her last host who treated her like a family member and she did enjoyed her stay in DK.
    In our voluntary work we almost meet a lot of aupairs who were mistreated but we can’t generalized that all host families are mistreating their aupairs instead we must admit that there’s a problem. Sometimes it also lies on the hands of the aupairs themselves who don’t know their rights or if they know they can’t speak up and say NO.
    I also meet a lot who learned a lot and enjoyed their stay not only in DK but other countries as well.
    Thanks for your comment I appreciates it.

  5. hi,
    your site is really helpful. i admire your concern and dedication in imparting information and helping filipina au pairs.
    though i have not been an au pair, i am actually interested in becoming one. however, when i read Cathy’s story, i got a little bit concerned.
    im a professional who works for one of the multi-national corporation here in our country. for the interest of fulfilling one of my dreams to go to europe, i have decided to look for opportunities in becoming an au pair. im very happy and contented with my job here but is willing to leave it to fulfill my dream of going to europe. au pair is the only way i could fulfill that dream since i could not afford to go there for vacation.

    im just a little bit scared though upon reading this story. so i am now having second thoughts on fulfilling that dream as i am afraid that i would be in a family who treats au pairs like helpers and abuses them. it’s good to know that she’s already well now though. =)

    thanks for reading and may God bless you always. You’re a person with a kind heart.

  6. hi, I hope u cud help me, do I need to mail back to my sponsor my contract for the authentication after having my visa? Im applying po as an au pair in Denmark. Help lang po please. Thank u and God bless to everybody.

  7. @Naehs
    I hope its not yet late but you dont need to mail back the contract you need to show it to POEA when you are approved then you have to get Exit clearance don’t give the original to the Norwegian embassy.

  8. The story about a filipina who got killed last saturday by a motorcycle accident lead me to this site.
    Condolence.

    Anyways, this Cathy’s story was really bad.
    But no different from mine.
    I’d like to share my story to inspire aupairs.
    I also worked as an aupair for 2 yrs,. changed families twice.
    First was horrible I had to work from 7am-10pm some days. with 2-3 hrs break in the afternoon.
    Most everyday ironing until 12 am, plus 5 hr job during saturday. Made sense bcoz the house was enormous, 4 floored-house. with like 18 rooms! The Mom was a perfectionist witch,. everythin’ had to be polished, cleaned thoroughly and shine until u can mirror yourself thru it. Everythin, even the kid’s toothbrush and shoes they made me clean on some weekends. They paid me a thousand more but lookin’ back, I think a thousand more wasn’t fair if I worked my ass off from the morning until the next morning, I lost a lot of weight.
    The family was quite nice but the job wasn’t and bcoz I wasnt aware of my rights before,it took me 4 months b4 i decided to find a new host.
    Lucky me,i did. First couple of weeks, it was really going well. They werent the nicest people, or I wasn’t treated like a family, but I wasn’t working more than at least 7 hrs a day. So still better than the first. It just didnt turn out that good, coz even their friend who I had worked for too, said that the family was so special,, it takes a “special” person to live with them. And it just wasn’t me. So the Mom lost her job so they had to kick me away.
    I was really close to thinking that maybe, I was the one problem and not the families that i worked for.
    Until i accidentally met this family when i was working somewhere NEw yr’s eve.
    They were so sympathetic of my situation back then, they offered me to live work for them eventhough their house was too small and they’re never used to havin’ someone livin’ with ’em, nor needing an aupair.
    I took it.
    From the start till the very end of my contract with ’em, I was treated like a family.
    They’re wonderful. They’re Swedish livin in DK for 6 yrs now.
    I had such a good life you have no idea. They’d given me almost everythin’ i Hoped for, financially, mentally, and emotionally. My host Dad and Mom,I could talk to them just about anythin’ and everything, like friends. We even used to have this ‘wine’ night every friday when we were havin a special dinner, talk over “bottles” of wine, (since we all love wine) have fun afterwards, and get drunk sometimes.
    The kids and I are so loved by one another. They never missed to give me gifts during occasions and we’re talkin about “gifts”, from each of them, even from the kids. When I had a heartbreak during my stay there, the first person I shared it with, was my host Mom..And when
    Thats how close we were. When my contract was soon to end, they did everythin in their power to extend it bcoz they said, they didnt want me to leave or find a new aupair coz they’re not sure if they could find someone like me.. Said, if they could adopt me, they really would. I was given a month-extension then. They were the ones to convince me to go to school bcoz they always believed that I could be more than just an aupair and i have all the potential to be what i really want.. (They really thought I was a smart-ass:))
    When i left them, went back to the Philippines, I cant remember how much tears we all shed. The kids were cryin, the host mom( who’s always been the crier in the family) and even the Dad.
    Thats how much i was Loved.
    I managed to get into one of the Universities here and now studying. And i owe them a lot for that. They had another aupair after me and she was tellin me how wonderful the family is and how lucky she was to have found them since she also had some bad experiences from the first family she worked for. Months ago, she left and Im pretty sure it was hard for all of them too, as it was for us before. Now, they have a new one. And she’s just as happy,.
    Until now, I still have a deep connection with them and get to be with them once in awhile.

    Aupairing can suck sometimes. We wonder why we’re not treated the way we should be. I guess the secret to make experiences worth remembering for, is to be a good aupair, know ur rights and learn to spile them out, be true to the host family, share as much, and love them like ur own family. and I’m sure they’re gonna love u just as much.
    Or maybe, some really have no luck finding the best family, but u know? We cannot be unlucky all the time..

  9. @Jhaye Thank you for sharing your story I think I will repost it so it will serve as a lesson and at the same time inspiration to the other aupairs.
    The aupair who died will have memorial service tomorrow and we are collecting contributions for her family.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Close It