January 11, 2023
The Damayan Migrant Workers Association Baklas project is an organized effort to rescue Filipina women from labor trafficking and involuntary servitude. The Damayan group consists of about 800 Filipina women. They experienced labor trafficking upon immigrating to the U.S. and they wanted to help themselves and other women like them. The organization was founded in 2002 and has grown since then. The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People awarded Damayan $85,000 for three years in 2002. In 2003, Damayan (a Filipino word that means “helping each other”) became a grassroots nonprofit organization.
This domestic worker-led organization partners with faith-based organizations, community groups and colleges to build a network of support through the community. They were also instrumental in working for the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2007. They have found that the strong community that they have built with the membership has been a support to newcomers who have fled the oppressive situations they find themselves in. Additionally, they host fund raising events where the members participate by preparing the food and providing the talent. The funding is to increase the numbers who are freed from trafficking.
The PC(USA) through the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People awarded the group an additional $20,000 grant for its Baklas project to support its efforts in rescuing other Filipina women from labor trafficking and involuntary servitude.
Matthew 25:31–46 reminds us “Just as you did it to one of the least of these … you did it to me.” The Bible is particularly concerned about “the least of these.” God walks alongside the poor and disenfranchised in their human struggles and invites you to do likewise.
Margaret Mwale; Associate for Community Development and Constituent Relations; Compassion, Peace & Justice
Today’s Focus: Human Trafficking Awareness
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Gracious God, we pray for communities where there is poverty and injustice, we pray for the oppressed and the disadvantaged that they may find help in their time of need. We ask that you help us in extending compassion and justice to those in need. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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