This volume is a collection of stories about the lives of Vietnamese women while working abroad, told by members of the network of women who migrated for work overseas in Ha Tinh. With their permission, we edited and rearranged the most quintessential stories from hundreds of stories shared by the migrant women. The stories are arranged according to each group of prominent topics such as journey abroad, language differences while, working conditions, gender-based violence, pregnancy and healthcare in abroad, encounters with the police and days in prison, or difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and return day, rebuilding life at home. This division of themes helps us bridge together many stories and experiences of migrant women into a journey from the time they leave until they return – each stage is a colorful picture assembled from many pieces of life that are very common and at the same time very unique.
Each topic in this volume only consists of short excerpts from the original stories shared by the migrant women. If presented in full, the stories would make an extensive book. The stories present a memory of the days when they lived in the sadness of separation, the feeling of loneliness, being lost on a foreign land, the constant insecurity caused by the piling up difficulties and the longing for the family. But shining through it all is also the strong will to rise, the courage to overcome obstacles for the sake of their families and children. This book is only a small part of a large, multi-colored picture of the lives of women migrant workers abroad. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to collect, edit and share these special stories because they are invaluable experiences, not only for the authors of the stories but for the family and community and especially for those who are planning to undertake such journey.