June 17, 2009: Jennifer Pham, who’s generously volunteering her time with the Penang office of the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), continues to update us about conditions “on the ground” in Malaysia.
“I continued interviewing workers today, and I’ve realized that many of the laborers are from rural areas as farmers. I had read that, but just to see case after case of workers coming from rural areas makes me realize how prevalent it is. Most have to take out loans just to pay the broker to become a guest worker. After all, their financial condition has to be pretty bad in the first place to want to become a guest worker.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and all of them seem to be desperately trying to find a way out of poverty. By working abroad in a foreign country in which they don’t speak the language or know the people, they are hoping to make more money than they invested in for the loans and change the course of their future for them and their families.”
Checking back here soon will yield more updates from Pham as she explores CAMSA’s work in Malaysia.