The OFWs amid COVID-19 Project

Migrant workers from the Global South confront extraordinary occupational hazards in their ordinary working hours, which are intensified during the pandemic caused by COVID-19. Testimonies of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are spread in literally all countries and territories globally give critical insights into the ways that the labors of people from the Global South are deployed, or precaritized, during uncertain times, including the pandemic. 

OFWs amid COVID-19,led by Filipino anthropologist and OFW, Dr. Dada Docot, is a multimodal research project that investigates the effects of the pandemic on Filipino migrants. The project includes two components:

First, a series of art workshops for OFWs is offered as a means of opening spaces for migrants to share their experiences with each other creatively.

Second, 50 OFWs affected by COVID-19 are invited to participate in a survey with follow-up in-depth interviews

It is important to assess the human cost of the global pandemic. The results of this research will deliver data that will be relevant to social justice conversations about supporting migrants during life-altering pandemics and global disasters. The pandemic has also shown how countries have responded with restrictions about border-crossing which stirred labor displacement; therefore, it is critical to examine how global emergencies heighten occupational hazards that press upon the lives of migrants from the long-suffering Global South. 

If you are an OFW interesting in contributing to this project, a researcher or media interested in collaboration, please contact Dada Docot.

Are you an OFW interested in learning more
about the project?

Four art workshops (Painting, Storytelling, Poetry, and Photography) are offered to OFWs between November 2020-January 2020 that will hopefully encourage you to explore creative forms of expression, practice of learn new tools and skills, and meet fellow migrants online. The mentors in the workshops are renowned Filipino artists in their respective fields. We hope that these workshops will take OFWs away from their worries momentarily and inspire them to reflect on their experience creatively. 

 

We have prepared a survey for OFWs that documents the experiences of migrants during the pandemic caused by COVID-19. The survey can be filled out in ten minutes or less. The survey will record basic information about your background, work history, and experience the pandemic. One of the members of the research team will then reach out to you to request a 1-hour follow-up interview during which you will be asked questions related to your answers to the survey. For your time, we would like offer an amount of $30. 

Research team

We are a research team of migrants hoping to learn about our fellow migrants during COVID-19.

Dada Docot

Principal Investigator

Dr. Dada Docot is a Filipino visual and cultural anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University. Her research focuses on the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora. Her current book project presents an ethnographic account of everyday life in the so-called “Town of Dollars,” her hometown located in the Southeast part of Luzon Island, Philippines, that has been radically changed by overseas mobilities. She is committed to expanding conversations on the postcolonial condition that is fatigued by multiple histories of colonization, enduring precarity, and growing global inequality. 

Ma. Aleli Sharon D. Fajardo

Researcher

Ma. Aleli Sharon D. Fajardo has a wide-ranging experience in research, education, and extension. She worked for a number of Philippine-based NGOs in varying capacity with main focus on field research, relief, and rehabilitation. While working for these NGOs, she gained a lot of knowledge and skills that generated a great deal of interest in furthering what she had learned in the field by coupling it with Science-based knowledge. After her NGO stint, she worked for the Institute of Biological Sciences, UP at Los Baños, the Philippines. She did preliminary research on the identification of microorganisms and determination of its effects on the growth of vegetable seeds under greenhouse conditions. She also worked and co-trained collaborators on the use of Trichoderma harzianum as compost activator under the tutelage of Dr. Virginia C. Cuevas. She also spent a number of years as a science researcher studying the interactions of different biotic and abiotic factors in rice-based farming systems. She learned how to integrate the use of various research tools such as Geographic Information System/Image Processing and subsequent data processing and analysis tools. She also integrated the use of different social science research methodologies and garnered a better grasp of how natural science and social science worked in the field level. Presently, she is working as the senior science laboratory person in an international school in Beijing, China.

She has an undergraduate degree in Agriculture major in Plant Pathologyand specialization in post-harvest pathology and plant disease epidemiology from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. She graduated from the Wageningen University, The Netherlands under full scholarship awarded by the NUFFIC Royal Dutch Fellowship Program with a MSc degree in Ecological Agriculture with a specialization in Gender/Women Studies in Agriculture and Farming Systems. She also studied and took up the professional teaching certification program from the UP Open University, The Philippines. Aside from these formal degree courses, she believes in the idea of life-long learning and thus, she took and is taking various online courses.

She has a long-standing interest in trying to assimilate and integrate all these different knowledge and skills and be able to come up with something tangible that can be useful at the field level. With the current pandemic the world is experiencing now, her understanding of epidemiology and how it is affecting people and how they are coping with the so-called new normal, her participation as a researcher/consultant in the study on OFWs and CoVid19 is but apt and timely.

She is married to Ferdinand who has a PhD in Agriculture Science (Environmental Biochemistry), with three adult children and three grandchildren. She is fond of exploring and enhancing her skills in DIY crafts and in generally whatever caught her fancy. She is dabbling with sketching and journaling as a means of keeping herself busy and sane in this ever-changing scenario.

Marian C. Brina

Researcher

Marian Cortes Brina is a freelance Montessori Trainer and educator. She has a 20-year work experience in the education sector in the Philippines, Indonesia and China. She co-created a group called Montetunities, a professional resource focused on supporting the needs of educators in Montessori and Early Childhood pedagogies. She founded many communities, including The Filipino Teachers (TFT), a community of Filipino educators in China and the Philippines; Musika, a group of parents and educators who are music aficionados; Early Childhood Parent Conversations (ECPC & Beyond), a platform for Filipino parents to share and build a positive community for children. Her most recent initiative is Cornelia Montessori Philippines, a online and mobile school for sharing and learning educational resources inspired by Montessori teaching methods.

Jehu Emmanuel C. Laniog

Graduate Researcher

Jehu Emmmanuel Laniog is a graduate student of Anthropology at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He graduated Cum Laude in Philippine Studies majoring in Malikhaing Pagsulat (Creative Writing) and Sociology. He completed a Sertipiko ng Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Filipino in 2016, a two-year creative writing certificate offered by the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature in the same university.

He immersed himself in Bicol culture and finished his undergraduate thesis entitled “Ipinasabong:Debosyong Rituwal sa Nabua, Camarines Sur.”

During his undergraduate stay at UP, he was involved in research projects by Dr. Rommel Rodriguez on political prisoners and writers in prison. He was a facilitator for the 1st Bangsamoro Young Writers Workshop spearheaded by the Office of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs in 2017. He is also part of Balangiga Press, an independent publishing house in the Philippines.

He is a member of Naratibo, a group of storytellers and novelists. He was also a member of UP Sandigan para sa Ika-uunlad sa Kamalayang maka-Araling Pilipino, an academic student organization that promotes Philippine Studies.

Currently, he works as a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning Officer for the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc., a non-profit and non-government organization in the Philippines.