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FIRST AU PAIR MEETING HELD IN OSLO

Babaylan-Denmark during the Filipino Au Pair Conference in Oslo. From left, Filomenita Høgsholm, Judy Jover, Phil. Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, Ana Lindenhann, Vergie Sørensen (Babaylan-Ålborg) Congen Evelyn-Austria-Garcia and Cecilie Øien of FAFO.
Babaylan-Denmark during the Filipino Au Pair Conference in Oslo. From left, Filomenita Høgsholm, Judy Jover, Phil. Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, Ana Lindenhann, Vergie Sørensen (Babaylan-Ålborg) Congen Evelyn-Austria-Garcia and Cecilie Øien of FAFO.

An unprecedented and overwhelming 180 people turned up at the Living World Baptist Church Hall (LWBC), in Geitmyrsveien 7D in Oslo on the 20th of November during the first ever Au Pair conference in Norway. Co-arranged by Babaylan, The Philippine Women’s Network in Denmark and the Norwegian Filipino Working Group under the leadership of Jean Langerud.

The evening offered  a wide variety of  messages from guests representing relevant organizations like Diana Cartier and Gosia Cz. Sørensen, from IOM, International Organisation for Migration, Marianne Berg Skang and Helena Resch-Bjurulf, the leaders of Au Pair Projects in Oslo, Cecilie Øien, PH.D.,Researcher from FAFO, Institute for Applied International Studies, who wrote the comprehensive report On Equal Term?, an evaluation of the Norwegian Au Pair scheme, Vegard Munthe, from RadiOracle in Oslo and two research students from Roskilde University in Denmark, Karen Hvid and Katrina Mørkeber. There were inspirational talks from three invited speakers: journalist-editor and Babaylan-Denmark Founder, Ms. Filomenita Mongaya Hoegsholm, talked about the whys of Filipina migration while the two male speakers, Mr. Cesar Buensuceso and Pastor John Angeles, gave inspirational talks about changing values when transplanted into foreign soil and how it is so important to foster self-respect and self-love to brave the new challenges in the life of Pinays far away from home.

Ambassador Elisabeth Buensuceso’s inspiring opening remarks concluded with the hopeful news that the Philippine government was finally about to lift its ban on au pair deployment to Norway after what seems to be a bilateral agreement between the two countries is about to be finalized. This means au pairs travelling to Norway will be seen as completely of legal status and may not be subjected to the soliciting and extortion by immigration functionaries at the Manila international airport.

During the Open Forum after the excellent buffet dinner, many technical questions about taxes and holiday money, etc, were fielded by the au pairs. Former au pairs like Myrna Libunao and Divina Vallo-allo, who are currently taking Bachelor and Master Degrees at the University of Oslo, had some useful and inspiring testimonials including how to successfully access the educational system in Norway so one could prolong one’s stay after the maximum stay of 24 months.

The evening concluded with presentations from some au pairs from LWBC and JIL (Jesus is Lord), who have formed a dance and singing groups.

ABS-CBN Europe News Correspondent in Oslo, Macel Ingles covered the whole conference and also interviewed Babaylan-Denmark. Please visit http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/pinoy-migration/11/23/09/rp-lift-ban-au-pair-deployment-norway

As usual, everybody went home with a bagful of goodies from the sponsoring organization, WESTERN UNION NORDIC.

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Posted in Activities, Au Pair, Au Pair News, Babaylan DK, Babaylan EU.

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