Take a time out with Charo Sidon, one of our Diamond Team Leaders. Our Diamond Team Leaders have facilitated 10 sessions of our signature ‘Dare to Dream’ course on money management and personal growth. Below she shares her empowerment journey as a migrant domestic worker.

Born and raised in Pangasinan, Philippines, Charo faced many challenges after moving to Singapore in 2011.

“I had a lot of dreams for myself, especially for my parents. They are the reason why I came to Singapore in 2011. I knew if I did my best, I could make it. I planned to continue building our house, save money and help them pay our debts.

I struggled with homesickness during my first year in Singapore. I found myself crying whenever I talked to my family. I would write poems and listen to uplifting songs to ease my feelings. I told myself I needed to be brave and remember my reasons for moving abroad. I am lucky because I worked with good employers. I have been working for my current employer for 9 years and they treat me as part of their family. “

After learning about Uplifters from Facebook in May 2021 she decided to take the plunge and sign up for Dare to Dream to better manage her personal finances.

“I already had some savings but did not have an emergency fund. I learned its importance from Dare to Dream. It was a big help when we went through difficult times. I used this fund and did not need to borrow from other people. Thanks to the course, my savings grew and I paid off my debts.

“I met students and Team Leaders who support me and help bring out the best in me. I became more confident in myself. I had a difficult time when my father passed away in 2021. Dare to Dream helped me manage my emotions and care for my mental well-being whenever I felt empty. I know I made him happy and proud of me before he left us.

After the support she received from her peers and Team Leader at Uplifters she decided to give back to the community and start her journey to becoming a Team Leader.

I wanted to help my fellow migrant domestic workers by sharing the knowledge I learned from Dare to Dream. I wanted them to feel that they were not alone in their battles. What I enjoy most about being a Team Leader is when I help students throughout the course, gaining their trust and seeing them reach their goals too. I become more motivated when I see them actively participating in their class chats.”

Stepping into a Team Leader role at Uplifters empowered Charo to get more involved in her community in Singapore by engaging in other volunteer opportunities and activities.

“I am now a certified volunteer blood donor here in Singapore and an active volunteer in the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE). Thank you, Uplifters! I learned how important it is to have a supportive community that will help bring out the best in you. It is my home away from home! My life has more meaning. I found my purpose and what I love to do most. I am happier when I am growing as a person and helping people at the same time.

To my fellow MDW, I admire your courage to come overseas, especially those with small children. Your sacrifices will pay off someday! Don’t give up! We all want our families to have a better future. Try to enjoy your life even when you are away from your loved ones. Find something new to do and learn. Focus on the positive and remember to be more flexible. I know you can do that! Believe in yourself you can do it!”