It may sound incredible, but a Filipino woman who was hired by a Saudi family in 1987 as a domestic helper is now stranded at the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah after working as a shepherdess for 18 years in Al-Baha and weathering unpaid salaries, ice storms and being arrested several times by the police. “I want to go home as I don’t want to die here,” said Leonora Somera, aged 65, in an interview with Arab News yesterday. “My employer still owes me SR63,000 in back wages, but since it seems he cannot afford to pay me that amount, I’m ready to just go home.” “I never dreamed that this would happen to me,” the Nueva Ecija native said. “In the Philippines I was working as a bus conductor when my husband died. With a six-year-old daughter to support alone, I had no choice but to seek my fortune abroad. It was a colleague who suggested I apply to work as a maid in Saudi Arabia.” “Please help me go home,” Somera told this reporter yesterday, “I want to see my daughter.”
Read full report here.
When I first heard about it, I really felt bad. C’mon, she’s already 65! How could they do this to her?
This is the reason why I never let two of my cousins worked here as domestic helpers. They’d asked me to help them out. As much as I wanted to help, I did not encourage them. And I don’t want to be blamed if something like this happens. Instead, I told them to be with their family. Life abroad is not like what they think.
It is so frustrating… *sigh*