We are proud to feature one of Uplifters’ amazing Diamond Team Leaders, Attala Zakia.
She is from Central Java, Indonesia. She is 28 years old and has been working in Singapore for five years.
Our Diamond Team Leaders have facilitated 10 sessions of our 3-week online course Dare to Dream on money management and personal growth.
Read more about her in this excerpt from our interview:
“My name is Nur Bayti. I am a single mother of a lovely 7-year-old daughter. I have decided to work abroad because I wanted to give a better future for my daughter. I am the 3rd child and the only girl among four siblings. My father passed away one year ago. I was very sad because I did not see him during the last days of his life but I have to be strong for my daughter and my mother. I need to keep going for them. I’m the only one they depend on right now. That’s why I have to keep myself healthy so I can always support them.
My first employer treated me badly. They punished me for the smallest things. If they were angry at me, they would ask me to stand for two hours and face the wall, even if it was already very late. I went to bed late and woke up very early. I was not allowed to have a phone or take a day off. They did not allow me to talk to other people, especially other domestic workers. Because I did not know how to speak English properly, I was not able to speak up and communicate with them. I asked them to send me back to the agency after a year of working for them because I couldn’t take it anymore. They sent me back home instead.
My situation changed when I worked for my second employer in Singapore. They were very nice to me and they treated me like I was part of their family. They allowed me to take courses to improve myself. I stayed with them for three years and left when their kids went to university.
Then, I went to another employer who is also very nice. They allow me to have the freedom to do as I please, especially baking and cooking because they know that it is my passion. They encourage me to do the things I love. I feel so blessed to have them.
On my day off, I explore Singapore with my best friend, call my daughter and mother, and am involved in a dragon boat team. I also take the time to learn new things. I joined Aidha to improve my English and learn about money management. I joined the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) to learn about baking and cooking. I also joined Uplifters. Uplifters changed my life in so many positive ways. I invited my close friend to join Uplifters and they were very happy and excited about it. We have encouraged and motivated each other. After we finished Dare to Dream and received our certificates we decided to meet. I was so happy to meet them in person rather than just chat with them online. They are my family here and we are very close to each other. We all decided to become team leaders so that we can share the knowledge that we learned with other women. Being a team leader helped me to grow. I learned about teamwork and how to practice selflessness. We must show up for others to support and guide them. You have to be a role model for your team. There is no boss and subordinate. Everyone works together. I am proud to be part of this community because I grow and learn so much. My English has improved a lot too. I am grateful for Marie [Uplifters Founder and CEO] because she never sees us as someone different. She treats everyone the same way. I am glad that Uplifters is growing and I will always support Uplifters because I love this community.
My biggest dream is to have my own restaurant as I love cooking and baking. I know it is not easy but I believe that I will make it happen one day. I would also like to renovate my house back home. I keep track of my expenses to increase my savings. If I have my own business I don’t have to worry about my daughter’s future. I want to be an independent woman for her. For all my fellow migrant domestic workers, never look down on yourself. We are all human beings. Keep going until you reach your goals. I would like to share my motto in life. Keep going to reach your dreams, if you stop now you are nothing. If you keep going until the end you are something. Be strong for your loved ones and always remember your reason for working abroad.”