Today meet Siti, one of our students and team leaders. She is a 33-year-old Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore and a 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 (a 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 centre 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.”