Filipina Domestic Worker in Singapore Raises Employer’s Son With Cerebral Palsy As Her Own

A Filipina domestic worker was among the recipients of Foreign Domestic Worker of the Year awards at the Foreign Domestic Worker Day in Singapore on Sunday, after earning praises and gratitude from her employers whose son suffering from cerebral palsy has been under her care for 16 years.

Marilou Tavas Lagleva, 49, wakes up early morning to help Anubhav, now 17, wash up and get dressed. She then prepares his breakfast and accompanies him on the bus to a special school, a report from Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) said.

Wheelchair-bound Anubhav was diagnosed as a child with intellectual disability and cerebral palsy. At the end of the day, Lagleva carries him to bed.

The Filipina recalls that at first, the task of looking after her ward was really tough and very demanding and requires good health and strong will.

Her employer Ashish and his wife gave birth to another child two years after Anubhav’s birth. Another foreign domestic worker was hired to help with household chores so that Lagleva could fully focus on taking care of Anubhav, who has difficulty expressing himself. Lagleva said this required great amount of patience.

Lagleva’s employer Ashish and his wife have said they are very grateful for having Lagleva as their domestic worker, as she genuinely loves their son as if he were her own child.

The employer said that when he learned of the Foreign Domestic Worker of the Year award, he nominated her right away, as she was more than qualified in his opinion.

The hope is that everyone understands that foreign domestic helpers are not just people who cook meals and clean their employers’ homes. Their contribution is no less than that of anyone in the family, Ashish said.

The Foreign Domestic Worker of the Year award, which comes with a cash prize of $2,000, went to Jayawardena Mudiyanselage Sittamma Jayawardena, who had been working for the same employer for 20 years.

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