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Domestic workers trained on caring for PWDs – and themselves

20 November 2021

By The SUN

On first day of the training, participants were asked to share their experiences looking after PWDs

A training program on caring for persons with disabilities which started with only a group of Filipino domestic workers as participants, will be extended to helpers from other nationalities starting next year, the woman behind the project said.

Rodelia Pedro Villar, founder of Domestic Workers Corner and fellow of Resolve Foundation under whose guidance she has undertaken the project, said she wants all FDWs to train regardless of nationalities, as they all face the same challenges when caring for PWDs.

“The program came to mind because there have been many cases in DWC about foreign workers being lost as to what to do, how to care and where to ask for guidance in caring for a person with disability or special needs. This predicament usually ends up with the worker terminating her contract,” Villar said.


She said the training will educate FDHs on how to build rapport with PWDs and their employers, and develop the workers’ relationship with their employers and their families.

“I am confident that with this training, our participants will also gain wisdom and patience. Our FDWs are already in a stressful situation due to being away from home, and other personal stuff adding weight to the problem is the Covid pandemic,” she said.

Villar’s resolve to expand the training sessions was reinforced after seeing the enthusiasm of the participants in the first workshops she organized on Nov 7 and Nov 14 which were held at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office on 29/F, United Centre, Admiralty.


The training was conducted in cooperation with POLO Hong Kong which provided the venue, Resolve Foundation which provided funding, and Nesbitt Centre, which provided resource speaker, Nerissa Corsame Valido.

The trainees with Villar (in pink) and Labatt Dizon, ALA Sunga (in green)

“I was overwhelmed with awe when I heard the personal stories and experiences of migrant domestic workers who are tasked to care for someone with a disability. What they are doing are true acts of heroism,” Villar said.

She was referring to stories shared by the participants on the first day of the training that focused on how to care for PWDs and persons with special needs.


Villar said, “I can only express my utmost gratitude to Resolve Foundation for the opportunity fund and Nesbitt Centre for supporting the project and making it a reality.”

The first to undergo the four-month training comprising eight sessions were 20 Filipino domestic workers. In April next year, the program will have Indonesian FDHs.

Due to the number of participants in the initial class, Villar plans to extend the program to other FDHs as well.


“The thought of having different nationalities in the program excites me, but I have to overcome the language barrier between me and each participant,” Villar said.

She said she speaks just Tagalog and English, but will find ways to connect with Pakistanis, Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Cambodians, Indians, Nepalese, Sri Lankans, Thais and all her other fellow FDHs.

Villar said she has been working on this project for some time and, being a part of the Resolve Leadership Training has encouraged her to put ideas into action.

Pindutin para sa detalye

She believes she has a responsibility to provide her fellow workers with the knowledge and skills on how to care for PWDs and persons with special needs.

“They will be able to stay with their employers and the persons that they’re caring for will also feel respected and cherished,” she said.

The training provided by Valida included an introduction to disabilities, practical tips on how to communicate with PWDs, and how to handle tantrums.


Other topics included a discussion on self-care for those caring for disabled persons, a lecture on the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, use of sign language, providing first aid and CPR training, as well as rights of FDWs under the law.

Guest speaker, Labor Attaché Melchor Dizon, encouraged FDHs to join trainings such as this and to check the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s Facebook page for trainings to upgrade skills and knowledge so they won’t be domestic helpers forever.

Assistant Labor Attaché Angelica Sunga expressed her appreciation for the workers’ dedication to their jobs, knowing how hard it is to handle PWDs.

“May this training give you inspiration in future as you have a certificate that you can use even when you are in the Philippines. Just keep learning,” Sunga exhorted the trainees.

In part 2, the participants were taught yoga as a way of relaxation

Part 2 of the training on Nov 14 was titled “Self Care. It taught participants how to look after themselves, even as they are kept busy caring for their wards and their employers’ families.

During this session, participants were introduced to Yoga Nidra by Myriam Bartu, who told them that it is an excellent tool for beginners to calm their minds and ease tensions that they can do in their workplaces.

Bartu, a certified instructor and meditation teacher, was Villar’s mentor at Resolve.

The trainees were also introduced to outdoor exercises to help them discover their strengths and weaknesses, and to scribble games which allow them to freely express themselves through paper and pens. 

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