“Always look on the positive side of life. Sometimes you’ll bump into a brick wall and it can get upsetting but you’ll eventually gather yourself and overcome it by going around it or over it. The choice is yours! You are in control of your life.” These are the lessons that Ailenemae Ramos learned throughout her journey as a migrant domestic worker. She is one of our Diamond Team Leaders who have supported more than ten sessions of our ‘Dare to Dream’, our free online course on money management, personal growth and mental well-being.
She had experienced many challenges, but it did not stop her from making her dreams come true. She co-founded the group Migrant Writers of Hong Kong to help migrant workers express their emotions, come out of their comfort zones and make their time productive. She counts being a certified poetry book author and holding her book launch at The University of Hong Kong as a huge achievement. “We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for us and we feel we can’t cope, we get our pens and papers, write something and put our feelings into words. Eventually, we feel much better and we will be better.”
“I came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic worker in 2010, leaving my five and six-year-old children behind. If you have a family and you don’t know what to do to sustain your kid’s everyday needs, you will surely make the impossible possible. Growing up without a mother who passed away when I was just two years old, I never imagined myself working abroad as I grew up with my grandparents and was not trained to do household chores. Taking good care of someone else’s kids is very hard as I always thought about my children’s welfare while I am miles apart from them. There were nights I couldn’t sleep. I had mixed emotions, felt tired and sick. My pillows were always wet from tears every time I woke up in the morning. Yet I need to be strong and always think of the positive side and why I left home and sacrificed to be in a foreign land.
Days, weeks, months, years pass by, and sometimes I forget when I arrived here to work as a domestic worker. I have experienced different treatments from my four previous employers. I worked so hard to gain their trust. It was hard to do, but I learned that open communication, honesty and mutual respect help. I am happy to have supportive employers who help me make my dreams into reality.
Uplifters’ community changed everything in me. I won’t be who I am today if it is not because of Uplifters. I couldn’t imagine where I would be at this moment in my life if I didn’t know this wonderful community which is a great instrument to help me save my family from tearing apart. I built a stronger relationship with my children and realized how their future is very important.
I started to dream bigger for my family as I want to provide them with a better future that I never had growing up. I began to invest in a house already for my eldest child and built my emergency fund. It’s hard to budget, but Uplifters teaches me and enlightens me on how to set my goals and plan for the future. I want to get ready for my children’s future before I retire a few years from now.
I enjoy being a Team Leader, especially when my team reaches out to me and expresses their gratitude. I am always grateful whenever they trust me with their personal experiences. I love to read every sharing they had and listen to their stories whenever we had a chance to call or meet up in person. I am also happy to meet those who have the same writing passion as I do and I am so proud to be with them. We have an extraordinary bond. I got a chance to meet leaders from different charities as well. It’s an opportunity to share and use every learning from Uplifters.
“Work hard in silence, let your success be the noise,” by Frank Ocean, is my favorite quote, followed by the story ‘The Elephant’s Rope‘ that I have learned during my Dare to Dream class. A dream is just a wish without hard work. Let’s all learn together and make our goals achievable. Our family needs us. Let’s make a big change for our mindset to be with our family for good with a stable source of income. We can do it! We are Superwomen!”