Dubai: Well-mannered domestic helpers will be honoured and rewarded by Dubai Police in order to encourage them to build good relations with the families they are working for, a senior police official said.

The Criminal and Investigation Department at Dubai police is taking the initiative of honouring domestic helpers as part of the police campaign ‘Domestic Helpers, Care and Accusations’ to reduce the crimes committed by domestic workers in Dubai.

Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Humaid Al Merri, Director of Training and Development Department at the CID told Gulf News that families may recommend their housemaids if they display exemplary behaviour by sending their nomination to the police.

“We will start receiving the applications via email on Tuesday   or fax number 04 2171466 or telephone on the toll free number 800 243,” said Al Merri.

Families who want to nominate their domestic helper have to send a description of his/her helper and why they want the person to be honoured.

The housemaids will then be rewarded with gifts from the police.

Al Merri said during Ramadan, housemaids exert great efforts in preparing food and caring for children. He stressed that the initiative aims to strengthen the relationship between the maid and the family.

“There are housemaids who serve the same family for more than 15 years,” he said.

“There is an increasing demand for housemaids among Emirati and expatriate families in the country. This is because in most cases mothers are working and larger families also need maids.”

In regards to the crimes which are committed by domestic helpers, Al Merri said housemaids are mainly driven to do such actions due to mistreatment, adding that some sponsors employ domestic workers illegally, which aggravates the situation.

Gulf News paid a visit to Al Merri’s house in Dubai and met Al Merri’s domestic helper who has been working for the family for more than 15 years.

Lurna Marcali from the Philippines said she came to work in the UAE for the first time in 1987. She first worked for a family in Al Ain and then went to Qatar for a few years.

“I came to work with the Al Merri family in 1999. When I came here, their younger son was one-year-old,” she said.

“I learned how to cook and clean the house. I feel that I’m a member of this family,” she said.

Marcali said the family treats her as one of them and they respect her and her beliefs.

“The driver takes me to church every Sunday. The family greets me on every religious occasion and that makes me happy and comfortable. “I love this family to the point that I cannot imagine that I will not be with them one day,” she said.

Marcali added that she has built a strong bond with the family and has not thought of leaving them for retirement.

source:  gulfnews