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Care Work Stories

A panel discussion with Filipino Care Workers and allies to explore their long history fighting for (and winning) human rights in Canada.

Migrant Care Workers are more than the “care” they provide to children, the elderly and our most vulnerable family members. Their stories are complex and as varied as the people who live them – past and present.

Kwentong Bayan Collective hosts a discussion with Filipino Care Workers and allies to explore their long history fighting for (and winning) human rights in Canada. We will learn about the recent movement that boldly calls for “Full Immigration Status for All”.

We will meet artists who support migrant communities to tell their stories. And listen to the personal stories of Migrant Care Workers whose labour is currently keeping communities safe during COVID-19.


Caregiver Connections, Education and Support Organization (CCESO) is a volunteer run organization that has supported care workers / caregivers, newcomers, and migrant workers in Toronto since 2007. CCESO provides free programs and services including a Human Rights and Leadership Training Program for Migrant Care Workers in partnership with George Brown College. CCESO is an active member of the Migrant Rights Network.

Karen Ancheta has been a professional actor for over 25 years. She is an original member of the Hamilton 7 Storytelling Collective and facilitates storytelling workshops with migrant care workers and other community groups in Toronto and Hamilton.

Martha Ocampo (CCESO, Migrant Rights Network) is a long-time community leader and advocate for migrant Caregivers/Care Workers. She is currently a Race, Culture and Mental Health consultant with Martha Ocampo and Associates, providing educational and training workshops at mental health and addiction agencies, colleges, universities and the public. Martha is a founding member of Across Boundaries (AB): An Ethnoracial Mental Health Centre in Toronto. She played a key role in developing the Centre’s Holistic Model of Care within an Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression Framework. She developed a Leadership and Advocacy Training specifically for caregivers and domestic workers and, she co-authored “Let’s Talk” a guidebook on education about Violence Against Women in the Filipino community. She is a founding member of both the Kapisanan for Arts and Culture and the Carlos Bulosan Theatre CBT) in Toronto and a member of the Caregiver Connections Education Support Organization (CCESO).

Genie Policarpio (CCESO, Across Boundaries) arrived in Canada as a Caregiver under the Live-in-Caregiver Program on February 25,1998 from the Philippines. She worked with a very understanding and supportive employer with a family of four (4+ dog). Late 1999, she joined INTERCEDE that Fights for the Rights of Domestic Workers, Caregivers and Newcomers as a general member and took training provided by the organization. In 2000 she became a Board Member and participated in the Human Rights (Advocacy) and Leadership Training hosted by Martha Ocampo, and has continued to participate in the program which she now co-facilitates. In March 2001, she received her Permanent Residency and got a job at INTERCEDE from October 2001 to October 2007 as an Admin Assistant. She was a co-founding member at Caregiver Connections, Education and Support Organization (CCESO), and continues supporting the community as a member of the Advisory Committee. In November 2007, she started working at Across Boundaries: An Ethnoracial Mental Health Centre from an Admin Support position to Senior Admin Coordinator and in 2012 she moved up to Office Manager position to this day.

Migrant Rights Network is a cross-Canada alliance of 40 migrant-led and allied organizations working together to combat racism and fight for migrant justice. They are building a people’s movement for full immigration status for all.


Mahlikah Awe:ri, Enml’ga’t Saqama’sgw (The Woman Who Stands and Walks In The Light) is an award winning, internationally recognized Haudenosaunee Kanien’kéhà:ka & Mi’kmaw L’sitkuk; Spoken Word Artist, Arts Educator, Speaker, Performance Artist, Curator and Eco-Influencer with Black & Irish Ancestry. Shifting paradigms through Indigenized ways of knowing and being; reimagining what it means to be “In-Relation”, to the Land and to each other.
Mahlikah’s poetry and Afro-Indigenous futuristic writings have been published in 11 literary publications over the past Decade and Awe:ri was awarded the 2019-2020 Paula Fund for the development of new works for younger audiences for her acclaimed solo work Tionnhéhkwen Tionnká:non (Our sustenance Our medicines).
Awe:ri is currently the Deputy Director of Programming for Neighbourhood Impact at the Centre of Learning & Development in Regent Park, Founding member of Red Slam an Indigenous Art 4 Social Change Movement, Prologue To The Performing Arts Provincial School Touring Artist, Indigenous Arts Education Officer for the The Art Gallery Of Ontario, and an Urban Indigenous Education Centre Partner with the TDSB.


Cecil, Pacita, and Edwin are migrant care workers who support the community to stay safe and during this global pandemic. They will share stories about how the pandemic is affecting them and their families.


Kwenton Bayan portrait

Kwentong Bayan Collective is a collective of two Toronto-based artists, Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo. Their artistic mandate is to explore a critical and intersectional approach to community-based art, labour, and education. In the Filipino language, “kwentong bayan” is the literal translation of “community stories”.
Kwentong Bayan Collective is the Artist Collective in Residence at Myseum of Toronto for 2020/2021.

In partnership with:

Kwentong Bayan Collective

Care Work Stories

21 Jun 2020


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