CANADA - After 20 years, the Vancouver Committee on Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights have started the ball rolling towards building a care center for caregivers with no permanent place to stay.
"To have a place that they can go to if they decide to leave an abusive employer, or just a place to call home on their days off because a lot of us have no families here. It's gonna be a home away from home," said Vancouver CDWCR co-leader, Lorina Serafico.
They kicked off their fund-raising with the screening of Filipino indie film "Transit" at the Vancouver Jewish Film festival.
Supporters say the film, which explores the issue of Israel's deportation of children of migrant workers, echoes some of the difficulties faced by migrant workers in Canada.
"It's not dissimilar to what's happening in Canada right now. It's not a uniquely Israeli situation, where the workers who are away from home and doing good where they are, are faced with a very difficult situation if their employment is terminated," said Robert Albanese, executive director of the Vancouver Jewish Film Center.
The film was the Philippines' entry to the 86th Academy Awards. It has been seen in various countries around the world.
Producer Paul Soriano said the film is a tribute to the sacrifices of the overseas Pinoy workers.
"It's also to show the people all over the world and our own Filipinos that the OFWs are really working hard to be away from their homes, to work for their families back home - it's a big sacrifice that they take, they're our modern-day heroes," Soriano said.
The city of Vancouver is helping CDWCR find sites for the care center project while ScotiaBank will match raised funds up to 15,000 Canadian dollars.
Serafico said the project will need about 300,000 Canadian dollars in funding and they are hopeful it will be ready by March next year.