Marites Palma (tekla)
Single mom Marites Palma, aka Tekla, has lived in Hong Kong for the past decade as a domestic worker. She is a writer and advocate who wants to call people to have courage to fight the good fight.
Tekla enjoys writing because she wants to stand up for the truth and help people share their stories. After undergoing a journalism training, Tekla became a regular contributor to The Sun, a HK-based bi-monthly Filipino newspaper, and is a member of The Sun Writers’ Club. She often writes about migrant domestic workers who are suffering injustices, both seeking out potential interviewees and also having workers reach out to her to publicize their stories.
Tekla is particularly passionate about reporting on gender-based violence because many fellow migrant domestic workers face this issue and have normalized it. Tekla believes it is crucial to raise awareness in the migrant domestic workers (MDW) community that sexual harassment is unacceptable, especially amongst newcomers who endure harassment because they are scared about losing their jobs.
Tekla is also Vice President of Lakbay Dangal, a group of Filipino MDWs who are dedicated to promoting Filipino heritage and history in Hong Kong. The group leads the monthly heritage trail “Walk For Dignity” through Central, which showcases significant Filipino culture and historical figures like Jose Rizal. .
Philippine Consulate Hong Kong -Philippine Overseas Labor Office has awarded Tekla for her positive impact on Hong Kong’s migrant domestic worker community. In the future, Tekla wants to continue to empower and educate her fellow MDWs about their rights, so that they can recognize violations and stand up for themselves.
In her spare time, Tekla enjoys baking and cooking.
Devi Novianti, Mentor of Tekla
Equal Opportunities Officer at the Equal Opportunities Commission Hong Kong