Want to Work Abroad? Think it Twice!

                        By Vic Odarve

All over the world, people want to work away from their homeland to find a better life but  a startling number have awful stories to tell … maltreatment and poor working conditions, homesickness, and untimely job services termination. Working hours and environment are too hot and cruel to endure with; security problems of work areas makes their world smaller and isolated. But the most stressful and hardest thing of all is the pain of leaving one’s homeland …where loved ones, precious family, and friends are left behind. In some cases, overseas workers are caught unaware that termination of their services could be done anytime as their employers wish to. Want to work abroad? Think it twice!

OFW Nigeria

          OFW Nigeria

Less fortunate overseas workers, particularly OFW, revealed that working hours and environment are too hot to endure with; security problems of the workplace dictates not to leave the area without a police escort. Extended working hours, vacation leave without pay, and absence of bonuses or incentives feature the working conditions. These conditions are common to those working abroad as household maids or domestic helpers.  These workers often tell their harrowing stories of extreme oppression from their employers; sometimes a darker side of the stories include fleeing from their bosses. But there are also beautiful pictures; some more successful expatriates hired on respected high management positions, are treated and cared like royalties in a strange land.

Dubai Airport

              Dubai Airport

Leaving one’s homeland is a litmus test…where loved ones, precious family, and friends are left behind. Missing many moments …sitting on the bench enjoying the moonlights, sharing the joys and laughter with your wife and kids, relatives, and many more. The comfort, joy, and the memories of a place where someone grew up always haunting and playing the minds of the workers. These are gentle reminders how homesickness affects their lives in a strange land. That is why one of the workers wants to go home after a few months working in Africa. He realized that money, material and other lures of any kind are not as important to his family at home. He said. “I want to return to my precious family, even if I die of hunger.”

 Picnics and celebrations at home


       Picnics and celebrations at home

There are stories on fake working contracts signed at the homeland with the company representatives only to be altered with another one upon arrival at the working station. Others, too have the working contracts duration but not followed persistently by the employers.  Employers can terminate your services anytime at their own will. Some are unexpectedly fired from their job with no explanation given other than telling that his services are no longer needed. Still others, due to worsening peace and order situation were sent home immediately for their safety. That is, whether contracts are expiring or not. Such was the case of OFW working in Libya, Iraq, or Syria and other African countries.

OFWs' claim baggage section

                OFWs’ claim baggage section

Lack of job opportunities, lures of a better life in the future, and meeting all the financial needs for the family drive these OFWs to work abroad. Sending money back home becomes a source of fulfillment and a sense of responsibility. And for those who retire and have savings are fortunate when an awful golden age comes. But for those who returned home due to untimely work termination, abusive employers, and homesickness, have to find alternatives at their homeland to make a living.

Life is a struggle. The option to work or not to work abroad is yours. It has a brighter and darker sides, too. So, think it twice before the sun sets in the western sky! God bless!

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