Today meet Siti, one of our students and team leaders. She is a 33 year old Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore and proud single mom of two teenagers.
(N.B. All our Uplifters Team Leaders are alumni students supporting new ones in their studies and we’re so grateful for their help!)
“I have a message for my fellow Indonesian domestic workers. Dare more! Dare to join Uplifters and to try online courses.
I was a very shy person: really not confident because I did not have a high education level. My English was so bad and I thought I was not capable of much as I was “just” working as a domestic worker. So at first, I thought online courses were not for me but I am so happy I finally changed my mind because I was so wrong about it!
I came to Singapore in 2012 when the factory where I used to work in my hometown closed down. It was really hard at first as I had an 8.5 months salary deduction to cover my hiring costs. I missed my two daughters a lot especially as I could only call them once a month. As a single mom, it was really difficult to leave them. My employers were fair but never cared so much about my feelings.
I heard about Uplifters thanks to my Facebook friends. I was excited to see it’s about empowerment as I had a big lack of confidence before. Now I feel much stronger and the confidence I gained at Uplifters I know want to share it with my fellow domestic workers as a way to give back. I am proud that recently I helped a friend find a new employer by herself (direct hire). I helped her post an ad, prepare for the interviews and supported her throughout the entire process. I am also volunteering my time at CDE (Center for Domestic Employees).
Thanks to Uplifters, I am able to communicate better and of course having more savings makes me feel better and happier. I have a real passion for learning and I believe that even if you are not born with many talents, nothing stops you from developing them.
In addition to Uplifters, I’m also a student and volunteer at Aidha (non-profit organisation helping domestic workers and low income women in Singapore to achieve financial independence through financial education) and I believe they are very complementary. Online courses make education available to those who cannot attend face-to-face classes.
In the next 2 years, I want to have my own land for my future dream: build a hydroponics farm. I want this farm not only to produce veggies but to also include an education center and a garden cafe for my community back home.
I am really happy that finally my hands are good at something and that I can have a positive impact on the people around me.”