She was just three days old when the Embassy took her into its custody. She was separated from her mother shortly after birth and there was no one here to look after her. That is how she became the youngest distressed Filipino we have ever assisted.
Her mother was several months pregnant when she decided to take on a job as a domestic helper abroad late last year. The mother had no choice but to go abroad as she had to pay the hospital expenses of her ailing husband and support their three other children. Unfortunately, the husband passed away a few weeks after she left the Philippines for Dubai and then Tripoli.
On 19 February, the mother gave birth to her at the house of her lady employer in Tripoli. Mother and baby were taken to the hospital but only got to spend a few minutes together. The next day, they were separated after the employer took the mother home but not the baby. We were told the wife of her employer did not want the baby in her household. All she wants was her Filipina maid.
The poor baby was then passed on from one person to another until a kababayan reached out and told us about her. We made arrangements to have the baby turned over to us. She was brought to us and we immediately took her under our protective custody. Administrative Officer Liza Dean volunteered to take care of the baby.
We knew mother and child have to be together so we wasted no time looking for her mom. We found her soon after and got to reunite the two but only after negotiating her release from her employer who did not want to let her go. Mother and daughter have since been under our care.
Today, Sarah Gabrielle Felisa was baptized by Father Magdy of Saint Francis Parish who gladly came over to the Embassy to welcome the newest member of his Catholic flock. All the men and women of Tripoli PE stood there as her ninongs and ninangs.
When travel restrictions resulting from the outbreak of the coronavirus disease are finally eased, we will bring mother and daughter home.
Tripoli, 15 May 2020