WATCH: OFWs' baking class in Doha
DOHA, Qatar – Every morning, female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the Migrant Workers and Other Filipino Resource Center in Doha, Qatar start a ritual.
First come the snapping of blue gloves, then comes the assembly line of whisks, spatulas, and trays. What follows next is the scent of freshly baked goods, luring others from their desks into the kitchen for a bite or two.
This baking class is comprised of about 30 female OFWs called "ladies in waiting." They have run away from their employers and are waiting to go back home, or they have pending court or police cases, or are fighting to get unpaid wages.
Their circumstances and the kafala sponsorship system prevents them from working for another employer or seeking employment while their cases and travel documents are being processed. In the meantime, there is nothing much to do but wait – and bake.
The baking class is an opportunity to learn new skills so that they can have an alternative form of livelihood when they go back to the Philippines. For women who are in limbo and just trying to come home – it is also a source of hope. – Rappler.com
Reporting for this story was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.