An NGO wants to help pregnant domestic workers when they return home. Photo: iStock

Migrant mothers who had overstayed in Hong Kong should be trained in livelihood skills when they return home with their babies to better reintegrate into the Philippines society, according to an NGO.

The initiative emerged when PathFinders, a non-government organization, visited the Philippines and met with government agencies and other NGOs which could assist the overstayers, reported.

PathFinders helps pregnant migrant women, including current or former domestic workers in distress, and their Hong Kong-born children. Carmen Lam, director of services, community education and outreach of PathFinders, said the group needed more assistance as they saw a rising trend in migrant mothers who overstayed in Hong Kong deciding to return home.

In 2018, there were 255 migrant mothers in Hong Kong. About 35 families, half of them Filipinos and half Indonesians, returned home. Lam said the women face different challenges, such as shelter for themselves and their children, how to rejoin their communities with their mixed-race children or children out of wedlock and their estranged husbands.

Lara Fabregas, board director of PathFinders, said after meeting with local NGOs and government agencies during the trip that they found livelihoods back home was the key challenge for returnees.

The group will further explore livelihood programs that would accommodate women with mixed-race children out of wedlock. They will also explore the possibilities of providing training for returning mothers on certain skills, such as beauty care, massage, manicure and pedicure, hoping these self-employment skills could generate income for her and her children.

The PathFinders officers said they would seek assistance from the consulate.

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