Many Filipinos apply for work in countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait. Most of the jobs offered in these countries pay better than work offered in the Philippines. And what makes countries like Kuwait more appealing for Filipinos, especially those who wish to work as a domestic helper, aside from the higher pay, is the low placement fee charged by agencies to applicants.
But we’ve also heard about frightening stories about OFWs being mistreated and abused in the Middle East. So the question is: is the salary of a domestic helper in Kuwait worth it? How much is the salary, anyway? We will find out more about it in this post so continue reading…
Disclaimer: The information published is based on the experience shared by the vlogger/YouTuber. The information provided may change without prior notice and may differ in actual scenarios. Let this article serve as a guide only.
Here is the video guide shared by a Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait, Judilyn, a.k.a. JudayBadiday on YouTube. If you find her tips helpful, you may check out her YouTube channel to catch more fun and interesting content about her work and life as an OFW in Kuwait.
Salary of a Domestic Helper and Tips for Working as an OFW in Kuwait
First off, stories of abuse and maltreatment are rare instances and isolated cases in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
If we will look at the numbers, we will realize that the cases we see on TV or read on the news do not represent the entire population of domestic helpers in countries like Kuwait.
Back in 2018, when there was a diplomatic crisis between the Philippines and Kuwait due to the gruesome death of a Filipina domestic helper, Joanna Demafelis, around 250,000 Filipinos were working in Kuwait. Sixty-five percent (162,500) of them are domestic helpers. The cases that surface on the news (without actual figures) come few and far between.
But there will always be stories of discrimination against workers in foreign countries but that is a societal issue that comes with working in a foreign country. And while we do not wish for this to happen, it’s a situation that has been there for a long time. Still, many Filipinos pack up their bags and head for countries like Kuwait to find better means and opportunities to provide for their families back home.
The Salary of Domestic Helpers in Kuwait
Domestic helpers earn salaries not lower than the minimum prescribed by the government of Kuwait. The minimum monthly salary of a domestic helper in Kuwait ranges between KD 110-120 (or roughly Php 17,000-20,000). This may not be as big as what you are expecting, but Filipinos prefer to apply for work because of lower placement fees, the easier application process, and no taxes imposed.
Tips to Do Well at Work as a Domestic Helper in Kuwait
A Filipino domestic worker’s contract in Kuwait typically lasts for 2 years. That’s still quite a long time, but this is the standard for most countries. So, how can you last that long as a domestic helper working in Kuwait?
Our resource OFW-vlogger, Judilyn, shares some of her tips below:
Tip #1: Remain focused on work.
Work is something that any person can understand regardless of race, gender, or social status. If you are given a task or instructions on how to do something, focus on those things and do your best to deliver.
Even though it may be something new or difficult for you to do, avoid complaining as much as you can, and just focus on how you can get the job done.
Tip #2: Develop a technique or strategy to do your work more efficiently.
When you focus on your work, you get to be familiar with the job. And once you develop a routine, eventually, you will come up with techniques or strategies on how you can better do your tasks. Keep your focus and explore ways on how you can do your job faster and more efficiently. Try this and see how your employer will respond.
Tip #3: Be physically and mentally prepared for work as a domestic helper even before you apply for the job.
Even before you apply for a job as a domestic helper in Kuwait, you need to be physically and mentally prepared for the tasks you need to accomplish. Feeling tired or getting homesick will be part of your new life, but a positive attitude and a strong will to succeed will get you through even during your lowest days.
Tip #4: Have a humble attitude.
This does not mean that you will let your employer boss you around unreasonably. Take a humble attitude towards learning new things and understanding life from the perspective of others. Do not focus too much on your needs because this will only lead to feelings of sadness and helplessness, which could affect your mental health and performance at work in the long run.
Tip #5: Practice honesty and effective communication.
Lying should never be a habit you bring to your work. As much as you can, try to be honest if you make a mistake or if you do not know something and ask for help so that you can improve yourself as well as the way you do your work. Going back to point #4, you need to be open to new learning opportunities and effectively communicate if you need help or assistance from your employer so they can also do their role in your work as a domestic helper.
Tip #6: Take the initiative at work.
Your purpose for working abroad will give you the drive to stay, earn, and learn as much as you can. Do not show your employers that you do not care about working for them. Instead, try to go above and beyond what they expect you to do, and do it with a smile. See if this does not give a positive impression on your employer.
Tip #7: Be grateful for your job.
Back home, people complain about not having a job, but when they do get a job abroad, they still complain. Does that still make sense? As we’ve mentioned, instead of focusing on your needs and how you feel, focus your energy on being grateful and how you can do your job better.
Tip #8: Prioritize your health and safety.
And finally, your health and safety are the most important assets that you have for your work. Remember to take care of your self. As we’ve pointed out earlier, be honest, and communicate with your employer if you are feeling unwell or need to get some rest, especially during your day-off. And when you experience struggles and unfair treatment at work, remember that you can always reach out to the Philippine Embassy and some local organizations and communities for domestic helpers. Use your resources to seek help and to ensure your wellbeing and safety.
Those are just some of the things that you need to know and do to thrive in your work as a domestic helper here in Kuwait. We hope that you find meaning in your work here and that you stay safe and healthy all the time.
Did we miss anything? If there are some more tips that you wish to share with other OFWs in Kuwait, you may leave your comments in the section below.