Kanlungan Filipino Consortium

Brief overview of Filipino community in the UK and London

The 2011 UK Census recorded 117,000 people born in the Philippines, a steep increase from a meager 40,000 in the last 2001 census. With families settling, second and third generation Filipino British growing and the continued influx of Filipino nurses to the UK, the Filipino community is estimated to be more than 350,000 strong and growing. The majority live in London and are scattered across boroughs including Hackney and surrounding boroughs where they work predominantly in the health and service sector, especially in hospitals and care homes.

Our story

Kanlungan Filipino Consortium was set up in 1996 to specifically address the growing needs of the Filipino migrant workers. We are a registered charity consisting of primarily six (and growing) Filipino community organisations working closely together for the welfare and interests of the Filipino community in Britain.

We aim to provide a culturally sensitive space for the community and opportunities for social gatherings as well as learning new skills.

We aim to relieve poverty by the provision of education and training programmes that provide the necessary skills to obtain employment or to become self-employed.

We give information and referrals in matters concerning housing, benefit and immigration for Filipinos throughout the UK.

Starting with six, Kanlungan currently have 8 member organisations providing varied services to the community, including our founding member organisation, Kadamay, who were based in Hackney Stoke Newington at the International Migrants Solidarity Centre for a number of years.

1. Bahay Kubo Housing Association – manages and provide affordable accommodation and housing advocacy
2. The Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines, a group that raises awareness in the UK about the increasingly critical human rights situation in the Philippines
3. Kadamay UK – for mutual support, capacity building and networking
4. Lingap Filipino Association – for women and youth
5. Philippine Theatre UK – community theatre work
6. Filipino Domestic Workers Association – campaigning and advocacy on human and welfare rights of migrant domestic workers and the two newest additions
7. Tanglaw – an active group of Filipina senior citizens and
8. Bayanihan – Leicester – a group of Filipino families in Leicestershire fundraising for worthwhile projects and humanitarian relief in the Philippines

Previous and Current projects

We get support from Barrow Cadbury Trust, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Trust for London and donations from the community.

Our most recent successfully concluded Migrant Empowerment project included Leadership Training, Acting Workshop, Digital Storytelling, etc. We also supported the campaign for justice and the right to stay for migrant senior care workers through mounting a judicial review.

The mini-exhibition you now see in the hall was part of a month-long project and exhibit last January at Goldsmiths University, in co-operation with academics and other partners in Hong Kong and Philippines. The project is aptly named ‘Curating Development’ giving platform and voice through art and photos of how migrant workers themselves perceive development and progress in both sending and receiving countries.

Our solidarity and commitment

We truly welcome and wholeheartedly support this promising collaboration with the Chinese and Vietnamese Community with the vision of opening a vibrant Far East or Pan-Asian Community Centre here in Hackney. And what best way to launch this co-operation than to celebrate Lunar Year drawing inspiration from our legacies and achievements together with all Hackney residents and neighbours near and far.

Mabuhay tayong lahat! Kung Hei Fat Choi! Long live international solidarity!

Maraming salamat po! Thank you very much!

Emma Bibal de Castro, Kanlungan Vice-chair, delivered on 24.02.2018 at the An Viet Foundation, Hackney, London