Thursday, 23 February 2012
CFO to conduct Country Familiarization Seminar for Europe-bound Au Pairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in its letter dated 20 February 2012 announced the lifting of the ban on au pairs bound for Europe. Following the lifting of the ban, the new guidelines on the departure of au pairs for Europe agreed upon by the ad hoc Technical Working Group (TWG) will be implemented. The TWG also agreed that au pairs need not go to the POEA procedure since they are not considered overseas Filipino workers (OFW) but participants in a cultural and educational exchange program with the country they are bound to.
Instead, Au Pairs shall be required to register at and undergo the pre-departure program of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), which will essentially be a Country Familiarization Seminar (CFS). The CFS is intended to prepare the au pairs for their participation in the program overseas. Effective March 1, 2012, the CFS will be conducted every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the main office of the CFO in Manila.
The CFS would be vital for the au pair participants to equip them with adequate information on topics such as settlement concerns, values, cultural and social realities in the host countries, health and safety issues, airport and travel procedures and support networks. The program will also serve as monitoring scheme for au pairs leaving the country.
"On a par" or "equal to" in French, Au Pair scheme denotes living on an equal basis in a mutual, caring relationship with the host family and the children. Au Pair is "intended to become a member of the family in the host country for cultural exchange to improve their linguistic and cultural knowledge which they can obtain better in the country where they are received." Thus, an Au Pair will learn a new language and culture by living with a family in exchange for light household chores.
(For more information, please click here or contact Ivy Miravalles, OIC of the Migrant Integration and Education Division (MIED), Lucille Ronda and Manolo Tibe of CFO, (632)552-4700, Extension 712 to 713)