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Do you need ‘Psychosocial preparation’?

09 February 2018

By Ellen Asis

Dealing with psychosocial issues is as important to a migrant worker as saving for the future.

This was the gist of the workshop on “psychosocial preparation” that Enrich Hong Kong held on Jan. 21 at no. 3 Lockhart Road, Wanchai with 67 migrant workers taking part.

According to speaker Christy Themar of Enrich, issues like their family’s overdependence on remittances, brain drain, feelings of failures and limited economic opportunities are psychosocial issues faced by every migrant domestic worker.

Christy Themar of Enrich stresses a point during the seminar.

Themar said she had to deal with these issues herself when she was a migrant worker in the Middle East. Learning how to cope with them, she said, is as important as financial planning.

To address these concerns, she said migrant workers need to plan ahead about what they want to do on their return home while they are still in Hong Kong. This means, taking control of one’s situation and doing things that will reward or make them happy in the future.

These include developing skills that they need to reintegrate back home, empowering themselves and building a network they could rely on when they need support.

Also part of the psychosocial preparation is to track one’s talents and abilities to grow, to open one’s mind to changes, and to the take courage to learn and try new things.

Themar also reminded the participants that things might change back home while they are away, so it is important that they are able to adapt to such changes.

Another way of preparing for the inevitable return home is to talk with family members so they can set goals and priorities together, and prevent those left behind from becoming over dependent on the worker’s income abroad.

The worker, on the other hand, should continue saving and stay within a set budget to attain her financial goal.

Apart from the money issue, overseas workers must maintain and build a strong family and community relationship while they are away. They should keep themselves updated on what is happening to their community while they are away, and learn to give space and time to family members to adjust when they return home.

Themar reminded the participants to be kind to themselves and to use every opportunity to grow in their journey to success.

The workshop is part of Enrich’s return and reintegration lecture series to help domestic workers manage and plan for their successful reintegration. To know more about their other programs, like their Facebook page, Enrich HK.

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