… a society where everyone – regardless of gender, religion, race and sexual preference - enjoys the same fundamental rights and liberties, and opportunities for positive self-development and for becoming active participants in pursuing the ideals of an egalitarian and multicultural society.
… a society where all women have control over the direction of their lives, the capability to pursue and enjoy meaningful lives, and are duly recognized for their equally invaluable role in creating a more humane and just society.
Our mission as a self-help women’s organisation is to contribute to the empowerment and integration of Filipinas in the Netherlands and to their becoming active participants in the Dutch and European society.
We are a self-help women organization, established in 1991, providing various forms of assistance and support to all Filipinas in the Netherlands. We also reach out to the Filipino-Dutch community in general.
♀ To identify the root causes of the problems confronting the Filipinas and formulate appropriate alternatives and preventive measures;
♀ To support and assist Filipinas in the Netherlands who have psycho-social, emotional, cultural and/or legal problems;
♀ To stimulate and motivate Filipinas in developing various skills necessary for self-development and empowerment;
♀To promote the cultural identity of the Filipina and encourage her integration and active participation in an egalitarian and multi-cultural Dutch society.
♀ To inform and raise the awareness of the Dutch society and government and the Filipino community about social, economic and political issues that affect the Filipinas.
Some of our major achievements
♀ Bayanihan is the only professional service institution for Filipinas in the Netherlands. We have a formal organizational structure with a Board, three paid part-time staff (consisting of a Coordinator, a social worker with the appropriate degree and a cultural-social worker who is in the process of getting her degree), a network of volunteers and two physical centres (offices). As such, we consider this a major organizational accomplishment, especially in light of the fact that most of the Filipino organisations in the Netherlands are mixed-sex organisations and have no separate physical centres. Moreover, the fact that our present social worker has the appropriate social worker degree has helped tremendously in professionalizing our social services work.
♀ Bayanihan established a branch office in Rotterdam staffed by volunteers to reach out specifically to Filipinas in the Rijnmond-Rotterdam area,
♀ Bayanihan was instrumental in the formal establishment of Babaylan, Philippine Women’s Network in Europe. In 1992, Babaylan was set in Barcelona during a European conference attended by 150 Filipina migrants from 12 European countries. Afterwards, Bayanihan together with other Filipina women organisations in the Netherlands, put up its own Dutch network called Diwang Pilipina.
♀ In 1999 Bayanihan started with a special support and lobby work for Filipina au pairs in the Netherlands. Bayanihan worked together with the University of Tilburg on the research “The legal rights of au pairs from countries outside the European Union” in 2001. A specific part of the research was on Filipina au pairs. Bayanihan wanted – through this research - to expose the exploitation of Filipina au pairs in the Netherlands by their Dutch host families.
♀ As a result of the aforementioned research, together with Bayanihan’s lobby and advocacy work, the problems and issues concerning au pairs was raised at the political level. Some members of the Dutch parliament raised parliamentary questions that led to an independent research by the Ministry of Justice. Bayanihan’s recommendation that a “meldpunt” or contact point for information and assistance for au pairs be established was taken on by the Ministry conducted its own investigation as a result and, and the establishment of the au pair meldpunt/helpdesk through the Ministry of Justice.
♀ Through our 2002 project “The economic position of Philippine women in the Netherlands”, we were able to establish an initial picture of the socio-economic situation of the Filipinas, given their educational and professional background living in the Netherlands. A document of the same title was one of the final products of this project. This policy paper was presented to local politicians and members of the Dutch parliament at the end of the project.
♀ In 2001 and 2004, Bayanihan worked with VPRO (a major Dutch television network) in making two documentaries about Filipina migrant domestic workers in Europe. One was the “Care Chain” which was about the feminisation of migration and “Mama Please Call Me” which was about the commodification of care by women.
♀ In 2004, Bayanihan started with a Handbook for Filipina new and settled migrants. The Handbook serves as a practical guide for the integration and participation of Filipina migrants in the Dutch society.
♀ On the European level, Bayanihan participated in a research project “Networks, Migrants and Natives: Experience Networks, Welcoming Networks” of the University of Rome Tre. The results of the research are published in two books. The project was funded by the European Commission DG Employment and Social Affairs, Unit Social Exclusion Programme.
In 2005, Bayanihan attended the 10th international forum “How does Change Happen” of the Association for Women’s Rights and Development (AWID) in Bangkok. Together with Babaylan and Filipino Women’s Centre Italy, Bayanihan gave a workshop on “Me, Us and Them: Migrant workers organising for change”.