There has been a lot of news recently on the plight of helpers in Hong Kong. It is full of doom and gloom and highlights the truly gruesome side of life for some domestic helpers working here.
- Maid, 28, falls to her death from 27th floor flat while cleaning windows
- Helper in critical condition after being beaten by employers
I would like to show you another side to helpers in Hong Kong courtesy of my 6 year old son.
Here is a picture he drew as part of his homework depicting HIS family – the people he lives with.
The picture shows Bethany, mummy (me), Mitchell, daddy and … our helper, Cristina.
She has been a part of our household for almost 5 years. She has known and lived with us since Mitchell was two. While she is an employee we also consider her a friend and, given that she has our utmost trust with the most precious part of our lives (the sprogs), she is also family. She lives with us (as is required by Hong Kong law) which means she sees the children when they wake and is there to say good night when they go to bed. My helper loves our family and would do anything to protect our children. My children love our helper – they listen to her and respect her. Whilst she is a paid employee, having her as part of our lives is a privilege.
Is it wrong for our children to identify our helper as part of our family unit?
I ask this because when I posted this exact picture on Facebook I got a couple of remarks that were less than complimentary including one from a Hong Kong expat which genuinely shocked me.
Should family only be defined as those you are related to?
I do not believe so. Obviously, neither does my son. The innocence and love of a child is a genuine and precious thing.
I don’t see anything wrong with my son including our helper in our family unit. Do you?