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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 01/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) For the 40 Indonesian domestic workers, life could have been upside down after they ran away from their employers for a dozen and one reasons of their own.

However, the Indonesian Embassy, in close coordination with women volunteers of different nationalities, has done what could possibly reshape their future for the better if they decide to work abroad again. They were given training in various skills so that they could find better jobs.

Indonesian Ambassador Salman Al Farisi says only one per cent of those who have gone home have come back to the UAE to work. "Based on the latest figure released to us by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our nationals in the UAE have reached the 79,000 mark. Yet, 60 to 65 per cent of them work as household service workers, and for them, we have wanted to improve their skills."

Skills training range from proficiency in English language, entrepreneurship, Indonesian dance, sewing, computer, manicure and pedicure (mani pedi) to Quran reading.

Coming up next by the second week of November is a cooking class to be conducted by Umi Al Farisi, wife of Ambassador Al Farisi, and five other ladies, who are wives of Indonesian diplomats at the embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Al Farisi says that teaching them to cook quality Indonesian food will enable them to acquire the expertise and create the opportunity to open small enterprising household food products in their own villages. "Those who acquire skills in computer and English language end up in semi-skilled jobs in the cities."

The programme at the embassy has attracted a multi-racial team of 20 foreign volunteers, majority of whom are British, American, Australian and other expatriate housewives, who while waiting for their kids to be picked up from their schools, drop by the Indonesian Embassy shelter to share their knowledge and skills with these runaway domestic helpers.

Instructors from Indonesia also come to Dubai to train them personally on entrepreneurship, mani pedi and Indonesian dance, First Secretary Lely Meiliani told Khaleej Times.

Started in 2010, the programme got a boost in 2011 when many volunteers came forward to train these less fortunate workers.


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