Formation and Operation of Housekeepers

In 2005, 30 years after the reunification, the need for employment in Vietnam was very much felt since people were struggling to become economically self-sufficient.  Responding to such laudable aspiration, the Daughters of Charity (DC) accepted the invitation of the Don Bosco Priests to join them in managing the Women Skill Training Department of the Phuoc Loc Technical College for adults.  Following the example of Blessed Rendu, the DCs then catered to train the young women who dropped out of their high schools due to poverty.

The formation program was initiated by the DCs of the Provincial Social Service Center. After a short period of survey and study, the Provincial Council approved the opening of the Formation Program for Housekeepers / Governess at Phuoc Loc (PL) Technical College.

This training program was specifically designed for highland and rural women for a one-year period.  The students are required to reside in the place of formation, with proper accompaniment, to ensure a Christian education with its appreciation of human rights and other values: justice, solidarity, and respect for life and the environment. The training includes a practicum for food and home living service in an established canteen catering for 200-300 students on a regular 3 meals per day service.

The graduates receive from the Government an official certificate for professional employment, suitable salaries, and legal protection through an employment contract that prevents abuses.

The graduates organize themselves into a Club where the ongoing formation is given to its members through a regular monthly meeting, set on a Sunday. (A Club comprises around 40-60 members.) They start their monthly gathering at the compound of the DC Provincial House with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, preceded by the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and followed by catechism. The Club is self-financed.

Most Housekeepers commit to spending around 3-5 years working in this Work Club before returning to their hometown.  In addition to earning a good salary, they also focus on:

  • spiritual and socio-intellectual maturity;
  • achieving their high school education or higher learning degrees;
  • savings, life skills, and greater home economics performance.

This is to ensure success in the eventual management of their future families.

The Housekeepers are conscious of their duty as Catholics to live and spread the Gospel to their employers and others who are mostly non-Christians.  They are also aware of their responsibility to live in solidarity with those who are poor. Hence, they regularly participate in humanitarian missions with the Daughters of Charity.

Sister Pascale Lê Thi Triu, DC

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