Nelly’s story: a lesson in achieving your dreams

Today meet Nelly, one of our fantastic Diamond Team leaders. Nelly is from the Philippines. Her father is a farmer and mother a social worker. They grow their own fruit and vegetables such as bananas, sweet potatoes and casava. Her father also has a coconut farm with his siblings and they sell the produce on the market. 


“I joined Uplifters’ course in January 2019. I had been working in Singapore for 6 years and I had nothing to show for it. I felt I really needed to learn how to save money. I used to send all my money back to my parents and siblings whenever they needed it.

When I started Uplifters’ course I felt very shy, I almost thought of quitting because I wasn’t very comfortable at first. My shyness was holding me back. But I chose to stay and keep on learning and it’s changed my life. 

My sister with my motorbike

When doing Uplifters’ course I started applying the lessons to my own life. I’ve since been able to start building a family house which will have 4 rooms when finished. I’m building it slowly as I also still have to pay for my son’s school. I’ve also bought a motorcycle that my sister is currently using. It was my dream to have one and it’s changed our lives as we live in a remote place. It takes an hour to walk to the nearest town. The motorbike costs Php.75,000 and I’m paying it in instalments over 12 months. It’s a nice feeling to see the results of my hard work, it seems like I’ve finally won!

Reading one of her poems in front of an audience

What I love about Uplifters’ education is that it’s not only about budgeting and money management but also about personal growth. This is so important as it teaches you how to adapt to people around you and inspire others on the way. It also helped me improve my communications skills and taught me how to speak to others confidently. I learnt much more than I expected.

Becoming a Team Leader has also enabled me to share my experience with other domestic workers. It’s not always easy to manage our students, especially those who feel shy or not comfortable with it. I try to deal with those situations by sharing my experience and also saying that I’m just one of them, we are here as one TEAM. My happiest moments as a Team Leader have been watching them get motivated and grow in confidence. 

My goal now is to stay focused and pursue my dreams. I am very thankful; I don’t have a weekly day off and Uplifters was my only chance to study. It really changed my life.” 

Thank you so much Nelly! 

Nelly is one of our Diamond team leaders who’s facilitated 10 sessions of “Dare to Dream”, Uplifters 3-week signature online course on money management and personal growth.

To sign up to Uplifters’ Dare to Dream course, like our Facebook page and click ‘Send Message’. 

The most efficient way to support our work is to become a monthly donor, with only USD 10 (HKD 80) a month, you sponsor 1 hour of online money management and personal development course for a woman like Nelly: donate.

Jhoan’s story: from a caterpillar to a butterfly

Today meet Jhoan, one of our fantastic Diamond Team leaders. You might have spotted some of her great artwork exhibited at the latest Guhit Kulay last December 2019. Jhoan is from the Philippines and moved to Hong Kong 4 years ago. She has two siblings back home. 

“I moved to Hong Kong to escape a bad relationship. I first had to live in my cousin’s house whilst preparing for this new start. Moving here was a way out and a new opportunity. 

I work here as a domestic helper for a local family of 4, with 2 adults and 2 kids. They’re nice and very supportive of what I do, in terms of my spare time activities and hobbies. The one thing that was hard to adjust to was the workload. During my days off I like doing photography and I also do sketches and drawing, it’s my way of relaxing.

I found out about Uplifters whilst browsing the internet. I joined the course because it’s not just a free money management course but it’s also a personal growth course. That really appealed to me. Uplifters gave me the confidence to do things I was too shy to do before, it dared me to dream bigger. If I had to pick an image to illustrate my life before Uplifters It would be a caterpillar. After Uplifters, I became a butterfly. A butterfly because it represents change, hope and new life. 

Being a team leader has given me the opportunity to develop friendships online. I’ve also become more understanding of other people’s lives and their struggles. I enjoy watching the students complete the challenges and getting their certificate. It feels particularly great hearing them say afterwards that the course helped them and changed their way of handling their hard-earned money.  

This picture illustrates my journey

My dream is to work as a full-time photographer, travel the world and get paid for what I do! I really look up to friends who’ve given up their job and are working full time as a photographer, doing what they love. 

When I feel low, I take a break and pause for a couple of minutes and ask myself why I feel this way, and sometimes I remove myself from the situation and go out by myself for a little while. The motto that keeps me going is “Nothing is permanent. Don’t stress yourself out too much because no matter how bad the situation is, it will change. Your struggle is just a preparation for a better you.”

Thank you Jhoan! 

Jhoan is one of our Diamond team leaders who’s facilitated 10 sessions of “Dare to Dream”, Uplifters 3-week signature online course on money management and personal growth.

To sign up to Uplifters’ Dare to Dream course, like our Facebook page and click ‘Send Message’. 

The most efficient way to support our work is to become a monthly donor, with only USD 10 (HKD 80) a month, you sponsor 1 hour of online money management and personal development course for a woman like Jhoan: donate.