Aljen dela Cruz is one of Uplifters’ Diamond Team Leaders. She is 31 years old, from Pangasinan, Philippines, and has been working as a migrant domestic worker in Hong Kong for seven years. Below, she shares her empowerment journey and her advice to fellow domestic workers. 

“I am the eldest daughter among five siblings. I moved abroad because of my past bad circumstances; all my setbacks and failures gave me the courage to pursue my dreams. This decision gave me hope that I can change my life.” 

Working abroad was not easy for her. It came with many challenges, but her goals and what she needed to do to achieve them became clear to her through our online courses. 

“Every time I feel homesick, I just use my imagination, visualising myself together with my family and grandma and having a wonderful time together. Talking to them through video calls or phone calls helps me feel connected. However, I felt lost and did not know the real reason why I was here. I know that I am looking forward to a better future, but when I started to work, I had many apprehensions holding me back from working on my goals. I worked aimlessly. I misspent my money.”

Aljen enrolled in our’ Dare to Dream’ online course in October 2020. She wanted to work on herself and change her perspectives about life so she grabbed the opportunity to study.

“Before, I always procrastinated all of my plans. I felt scared to decide and always relied on other people’s opinions. After taking the course, I have learned to make my own decisions and be specific about what I want and not to be afraid of taking risks. I learned to manage my finances and have become more consistent in following my yearly savings plan and working hard towards my goals.

I am so happy and grateful now that my savings are increasing gradually. When I realised the value of every centavo I spend, I started planning for my dream of having my own house. I finally have my own home and moving on to my next goal of furnishing it. I also support my family and my younger brother with his tuition fees.  I am very strict about remitting my money because I am also saving for myself. Being single is not easy but I know I should be responsible for my  future.

‘Dare to Dream’ taught me to believe in my capabilities. I became motivated in everyday life. Moreover, it boosts my self-confidence to grow and become a better version of myself. I learned to change my paradigm to be able to change my life. “

I feel grateful that even though I have a lot of work, I never take it as a hindrance to growing myself. I learned to value my time and kept learning. Keeping my mind busy helps me control my emotions and have a better attitude throughout the day. After work, I will read books and search the Internet for self-improvement articles. I study free online courses or webinars about personal development from Bob Proctor Teaching and Brian Tracy. During my day off, I love doing things that make me feel relaxed, like going on walks or staying on the beach and listening to the sounds of the waves. I also love reading books and writing poems. 

I also love cooking and baking, especially decorating cakes and cupcakes. I used to organise parties during the birthday celebration of my ward. My employer appreciates my ideas and decorations. ” 

As a Team Leader, she feels grateful to be part of a community that helped her  find her purpose in life; to inspire and share her own experiences. Believing that if she can change herself, others can do it too. She has many dreams that she is working towards in the future. 

“I am looking forward to a better future now that I have learned to become more specific about what I want. I dream of having a happy and wonderful family, living in my dream house and having my own coffee shop or restaurant business that utilises my talents and abilities in organising events and food catering. 

One of my favourite quotes from Abraham Lincoln is “The best way to predict your future is to create it,” because I know that we are all capable of changing our lives. Our future is always in our hands. If you think of success, prosperity, and wealth,  keep them always in your mind and never let anything distract you from whatever you desire. Whatever your thoughts are will become your reality. Your future is already in your mind, take the right action and see better results.”