Print Version    Email to Friend
Indonesia warns couples on family separation for work

LAHURUS (UCAN) : While female migrant workers in Hong Kong may worry about what their husbands are up to during their absence, Father Leonardus Edel Asuk, from the Commission for the Family, said that in the diocese of Atambua in Indonesia, the boot is often on the other foot.

“Migration sees many husbands leave their wives and children in a precarious economic state,” Father Asuk said at a seminar warning couples in East Nusa Tenggara province on December 19 of the dangers posed to family life when one parent goes overseas to work.

“Catholic families are now facing critical and distressing situations because of migration,” said Father Asuk, continued.

Speaking to around 100 couples at a seminar held at St. Peter’s church in Lahurus, he said that at a meeting of the Indonesian Commission for Family revealed that many marriages are falling apart, because couples are living separate lives when migration takes husbands to other islands in Indonesia or to neighbouring Malaysia.

He added that the local
parish is offering counselling programmes. “However, we are still collecting data to ascertain the various impacts migration has (on couples),” he continued.

Father Christoforus Ukat added, “Migrants might think that working far away is better than working locally.  But the values of faith can inspire them to build a work ethos centred near the home.”