Today meet Helen Mae, Uplifters’ alumni from Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. She came to Hong Kong eight years ago so she could provide a better future for her daughter.

“I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook when I saw a post from a good friend of mine about the free online course at Uplifters. I was curious about it, so I asked my friend to send the link to me. As a keen learner, I always find ways to explore and learn new things, especially during this pandemic. Online courses are a great way to make our time productive, even if we are stuck at home.

In 2015, I attended a financial literacy seminar here in Hong Kong, and that is where my financial education started. Though I have built a house for my daughter and started her educational fund, I realised that these are not enough. I started to save money for my emergency fund and my retirement, so I would not be a burden to my family. I also continued to look for courses to continue my education on financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Uplifters’ Dare to Dream course helped me become more focused and clear on my goals. One of the challenges in the course is to make your own Dream Board. It helped me to have a concrete vision of what I want to achieve. Uplifters has had a huge impact on me. I feel so excited every day whenever I see my dream board. Some of the people around me saw the changes in me since I started to focus on my goals. I did not buy unnecessary things, and I now choose simplicity over luxury. I value my hard-earned money because I am not getting any younger. I’m so thankful to my family for all their support and understanding.

In my free time, I volunteer as one of the coordinators of Jalastig Photography, an organisation that teaches photography to Overseas Filipino Workers in Hong Kong. I can say that I am helping my fellow domestic workers to find their passion and improve their skills. This is a simple way for me to help them when they go home to the Philippines if they decide to be a freelance photographer or start their own business.

To my fellow domestic workers, never stop learning. I would like to share my favourite quote, “When we stop learning, we stop growing.” Be an influence of creating a great life, be a role model, give others the desire to succeed and be a motivator for lifting others.

Thanks a million to Uplifters for helping and empowering domestic workers around the world, especially in financial management.”