Through a united community effort, Nanay Fedelina — the 87-year-old woman who survived 65 years of abuse and confinement while serving four generations of a Filipino family in two countries — is finally reunited with her own loved-ones, who came all the way from the Philippines.
Finally, she got to introduce her sister, niece, and grandniece to those who’ve helped her regain freedom.
For Nanay’s family, who was cut off from her as she endured decades of abuse in America, they never thought this day would come.
“Maraming marking salamat sa inyong layât sa mga na tulong… eto pa akita na namin, naraming years na hindi na expect namin na wala na po sya, at yan po ang isip natin that she’s gone. Wala naman talaga communication. Wala pong alam ano ng yari sa kanya.”
“Thank you very much for all your help. Here we are after so many years apart. We thought she was gone. There was no communication. We didn’t know what happened to her.”
A couple of days after Nanay Fedelina and her family were reunited, the Pilipino Workers Center, the Philippine Consulate In Los Angeles, as well as trafficking survivors and advocates, gave them a warm welcome.
“Hindi Natin I babalik yang 40 years or 60 years, na wala, perf we will spend everything fr 3 weeks to bond with Lola, just to make her happy.”
“We cannot bring back the last 40-60 years but we will try to spend the next 3 weeks with grandma just to make her happy.”
While this reunion served as a happy ending for those that have followed Nanay Fedelina’s story, it also served as a talking point for advocates combating human trafficking.
The community welcome was followed by a panel discussion on human trafficking featuring experts, lawyers, advocates, and survivors, encouraging the community to keep an eye out for victims, and to help them speak out.
“We are building a program and community of really amazing survivors, who are transforming their own lives coming together supporting other survivors and talking about this issue and advocating for stronger protection for their own rights,” said Aqui Soriano Versoza, Pilipino Workers Center.
While Nanay Fedelina’s horrific story of abuse has served as a wakeup call for many, this family reunion has also inspired the community to do more for victims and survivors — knowing that with teamwork, happy endings are truly possible.