Meet Julie Ann Tabigne, Uplifters’ alumni from the Philippines. She has been working in Singapore as a domestic worker for the past seven years.
“I decided to move to Singapore because I knew it would be easier for me to achieve my dreams. I am a single mother and it was hard for me to leave my only son but I endured the longing and homesickness to give him and my family a better future. I want them to have a better life, and working abroad was the only way to make it happen.
My family is simple, they live in a coastal area and my father is a fisherman. My mother is a housewife and I have four siblings. Two of them have their own families and two are still going to school.
I saw Uplifters on my Facebook feed and it kept reappearing. I hesitated signing up because I did not know anything about it. When my close friend enrolled, she told me that it was a very good platform that helps fellow domestic workers learn more about personal growth and financial management. I became eager to try it so I clicked the send message button on their Facebook page to sign up.
I enrolled in Dare to Dream in February, and it helped me get through this time of uncertainties. It lit the fire of eagerness to study again. It was a great way to improve myself. I learned a lot of things, especially about handling finances and dealing with the people around me. It helped me to believe in myself again. I also finished the Become a Leader course in July and facilitated my third batch of students.
Before, I never knew how to handle my money properly. I did not know where my money went. It seemed to have gone with the wind in an instant, and then I did not know what to do. I kept giving money to people and granting all their requests, then at the end of the day, I was broke. I was so kind and generous that people were taking advantage of me. I did not want that to happen again, so now I think of my own future first because nobody will do it for me. I am slowly building my savings and trying to invest in a small business that will help me once I decide to go home for good.
My motto that I would like to share with my fellow women is “Dream, believe and make it happen.” When we dream something for ourselves we need to believe it with all our heart and work hard to make them all come true. I share my poems on the Facebook groups Migrant Writers of Singapore and Horizons: home for talented migrant workers. Through writing, I can express my emotions and let it be heard. Sometimes we do not know who will we inspire.
My advice to my fellow domestic workers is to click the send message button in the Uplifters’ page. There is no harm in trying. See for yourself how Uplifters can help you to build and guide your goals. Maybe this is the answer to all your questions about why you still have not started building your savings and eventually you will realize you need to gain more confidence in yourself. I was so timid before. I was afraid of people but now I am rocking the virtual world to tell you the importance of believing in yourself because nobody will do it for you, it’s just you.”