Maria worked in Hong Kong for seven years to support her widowed mother and younger sisters back in the Philippines. Having given up so much for her family, when she became pregnant she was elated that her dream of being a mother was about to come true. Her excitement is short-lived once her partner abandoned her and reality set in: her pregnancy may jeopardize her employment and means of supporting her family. Having heard about PathFinders from a friend Maria picks up the phone…A PathFinders caseworker meets with Maria soon after her call, providing emotional support and working through Mariaâ€™s options with her. PathFinders educates Maria about her maternity rights and discusses childcare plans for her unborn child. With PathFindersâ€™ support and assistance, Maria gained the confidence to reach out to her employer to discuss her pregnancy. Mariaâ€™s employer granted her the maternity leave she was entitled and to Mariaâ€™s surprise, was willing to keep Maria as a domestic helper, even after her baby is born.With no family or support network here in Hong Kong, PathFinders helped Maria to arrange for her mother to come to Hong Kong during the final stages of her pregnancy. During the last weeks of her pregnancy and the first weeks after giving birth, Maria, emotionally and physically exhausted from being a new mother is grateful to have a loved one by her side. Maria and her mother stay at the PathFinders shelter and remain there after the baby is born through to the end of her maternity leave.With PathFinders helping with necessary documents and travel arrangements, Maria and her mother were able to return to the Philippines with the baby. Maria then returned to work for her employer.
Mariaâ€™s son remains in the Philippines, in the care of his loving grandmother and aunts.