Rosita Madrid Sanchez, 34 and married with two kids, hails from the province of Guimba Nueva Ecija in the Philippines. She has been working in Singapore as a domestic worker for 7 years now. Rosita is a contributor to HOME MyVoice blog, and has taken cooking courses at HOME Academy. She joined Human Writes: a rights-based spoken word competition, March February edition with the theme ‘Labour Rights’ Rosita won the first prize, comprising of a cash prize of $250, and an entry to finals this coming June 2016 to be held at the Artistry in 17 Jalan Penang, Singapore. The competition was attended by journalists, writers and poets.
Congratulations to Rosita on this outstanding performance!
The winning poem can be seen below.
I am human.
I need rights.
We are all born free, equal in dignity, equal in rights.
Human rights are not only applied to the high society, to a prime minister, to a doctor, to a teacher. It is applied to all human beings, like you, like me. I am human and I need rights.
Human rights are not subjective, or have terms and conditions to apply. They all apply everywhere, without exceptions and conditions. But rights should always come along with responsibilities. People still have the right to follow or have the freedom to choose to do so.
As a foreign domestic worker, I have been away for 7 years, and within these years, I have been blindfolded myself. My rights were taken away by my employers and they took away the real me. I just let it go for the sake of earning dollars to send home for my kids.
I can’t be happy, I can’t be sad, I can’t feel the feeling of being a mother because I don’t have the rights to feel so. But you as an employer, do you feel the sadness when you are away from your kids, when you go overseas for work? Do you feel that from hearing the voice of your kids you will know if they are ok? How about me? I am a mother too, I am also human. I can feel these feelings, I can feel all that you can.
But starting this day, I am standing for myself. I am standing for my kids and I am standing for their future, for my future. Stop discrimination. Stop being blindfolded.
I will step out from the dark shadow I have, and I can tell to myself and I can shout to the world. I am human. I have the right to be happy. I have the right to express my feelings. I have the right to choose, the freedom to talk.
I am human with respect and dignity. I know I am. We all are.
I am human and I am a woman – a woman with all the rights.
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