Linda Abad & Amanda Vender, Co-Founders
Damayan Migrant Workers Association (Damayan) promotes the rights and welfare of Filipino migrant workers, particularly domestic workers. ìDamayan envisions a society where families are not forced to separate in search of livelihood to meet their basic needsóa society where there is equal opportunity to live with dignity, justice and peace.î ìDamayanî is a Filipino word that means helping each other.
Damayan was launched in the summer of 2000. A year later, it became a major force in the campaign that won $31,000 in unpaid wages for six workers victimized by Phillippino Placement Agency. In 2003, it joined Domestic Workers United, which successfully campaigned for Intro 96-A, landmark legislation protecting domestic workers. Through Damayan’s help, a member won $30,000 in unpaid wages in March 2004.
Damayan continues to educate, organize and mobilize Filipino workers to uphold and advance their rights and welfare. It links with local, national and international organizations to help build an im/migrant workers movement for social justice. Damayan’s education program includes a study on why immigrants are systematically denied social benefits and the root causes of Filipino forced migration. It provides workers with free/low-cost legal and health services and has networking, internship, job training and referral programs.