“Poverty is always the number one reason many of us choose to work abroad, and I’m not exempt from that. But this did not stop me from dreaming. I also have dreams that I want to achieve and that is to become a successful entrepreneur and not worry about financial stability anymore.” These dreams are what inspire Uplifters’ alumni, Julie Ann Tabigne, to work hard. She moved to Singapore to work as a domestic worker for her nine-year-old son. It was not an easy journey for her. Now she is one of our Diamond Team Leaders supporting more than ten sessions of Dare to Dream, our free online course in money management, personal growth and mental well-being.
Read more about her story here:
“Working abroad is not as easy it seems. I had experienced silently crying when my employers raised their voices when I made mistakes, yet I accepted them all without arguing, so it wouldn’t worsen the situation. I tried my best to adjust and learn from these situations. I admitted that I was on the verge of giving up a few times, yet I held on to my purpose of why I am making all these sacrifices. I realized I needed to accept this reality and learn to love my job. Whenever I face difficulties, this mindset helps me bounce back and persevere. There is no such thing as an easy job, and I’m aware of that. My priority is my family and my son. They are the reason why I’m doing my best to do my job well. And of course, I do not forget to pamper myself, so I feed my soul with beautiful sceneries during my off-days. I volunteer and catch up with friends to fight feelings of loneliness and homesickness. It helps me to relax and, at the same time, energizes me.
I was curious about Uplifters, but I did not dare to ask about it because I have experienced scams before until one day, a friend of mine shared her incredible journey in Dare to dream. That’s when I got interested in joining. I enjoyed the 3-week session and every week is new learning and discovery for me that I am capable of doing more in the future if I take it seriously. Before taking the course, I did not care where my salary went as long as I fulfilled my responsibility to my family and saved a little bit, and the rest I don’t remember anymore. I don’t have a concrete plan for my future though I keep saving little by little, yet I don’t know when or where to invest it. Now I am equipped with the proper knowledge. Thanks to my dream board which became my guide and motivation to make my dreams a reality. I was able to buy my first property, a 400 sqm land, which I plan to develop one day. My life has changed a lot since February 2020 because I allowed changes in myself and happily embraced this learning opportunity.
I enrolled in Become a Leader to give back to the community. My heart goes to all the domestic workers I get to know, especially when they open up about their difficulties. I try my best to become a good leader so that they will trust me with whatever they want to tell me. It’s empowering. I might get tired one day, but this will not be my reason to give up. Hearing their sincere gratitude is enough reason to continue supporting them. Aside from Uplifters, I am a volunteer member of Migrant Writers of Singapore, a community that encourages everyone to write down their emotions. We need to find ways to express ourselves and our feelings, especially during this pandemic. We conduct workshops too, to enhance our ability in writing. The most exciting part is when we perform our own written piece in person or video recording.
To all my fellow domestic workers, hang in there. This is a very challenging period, but you can divert your attention to other important things to lessen your worries. You will not go wrong in every decision you will make in the future if you trust yourself. Be patient. Work hard and be compassionate to others. You are a strong woman who is more than capable of reaching your dreams. Give thanks for every blessing and guidance you have received and lastly, be kind to yourself. Do not worry too much. That is unnecessary. Dream, believe and make it happen.”