The power of education

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HOME could not do the work it does without a large number of volunteers, many of whom are migrant workers in Singapore themselves. Volunteer Cute, who was a teacher in the Philippines before starting work as a domestic worker in Singapore, spends much of her Sunday off helping and training migrant workers less fortunate than herself. We asked Cute to share her inspiring story.

Migration is not as easy as some people think. Being away from your home and your loved ones is hard, and not even money can cure the loneliness many migrants endure. Every migrant worker has a special story. This is mine.

In the Philippines my teacher salary was not enough for my family of eight siblings to survive, and life got even worse after my father got sick. Most of my siblings were still studying, so I decided to find work in Singapore.

Being a domestic worker is a really tough job, and during my first few years I had no day off. I had to pay eight months of salary to my recruitment agency, work 18 to 20 hours a day, and did not have adequate food. My faith in God as well as my determination to let my siblings finish their degrees made me strong, sacrificing even my own love life. My father always told us that the only wealth that he could give us was our education, and that no one could ever take that away from us. I took that lesson to heart.

It’s been 21 years since I left my beloved country, the Philippines, and the house I call home, where my siblings live and my father passed away. I miss him dearly. I did not get to see his face one final time, because my employer told me it would not give him his life back if I went home.

Having a day off is important for migrant workers. We can rest, unwind with friends, or learn new skills that help us prepare for our reintegration in our home countries. I believe my own involvement in HOME was the will of God. My feet brought me to the 6th floor of Lucky Plaza, where I met Sister Bridget, the founder of HOME. She welcomed me heartily, and told me about the mission of HOME. HOME gave me the opportunity to attend trainings, and teach seminars myself where I can share what I have learned. I had some great experiences though HOME. I even escorted Sister Bridget to Geneva, Switzerland, to witness the adoption of the International Labor Organisation’s Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers, an achievement that I’m very proud of.

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My contribution to HOME has the full support of my American employers. I have led the HOME ROSES group for 6 years. The HOME ROSES team is a group of domestic workers that assists HOME with migrant health issues, and gives training and workshops on HIV/ AIDS. I have also contributed to HOME’s newsletter ‘My voice’.

When Sister Bridget opened the HOME Academy, a Sunday school for migrant workers, I was keen to get involved. This year, I attended a special training given by the Philippine organization ATIKA, where I was trained to teach other migrants about financial planning. Attending this class will prepare them for a successful reintegration in their home country, so that they will live happily ever after.

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HOME gives a shelter, a hope and a home to unfortunate migrants, whether it is a woman or a man, regardless of their job, religion and nationality. I pray that HOME will exist forever, and can continue to help us.

GOD BLESS HOME and all the volunteers who devote their precious time, their talents & kindness.

WE LOVE YOU ALL

Sincerely

S.S. Rotelo (better know as Cute)

16 thoughts on “The power of education”

    1. oh my three prince, I miss you all. Philip for sure you are a full growm prince now. you are all dear to me your mom, dad and the 3 of you are all been a part of my journey in life especially Singapore. I miss Switzerland. Hope to see all again someday. I love you all. Thank you for everything.

    1. ha ha ha…It makes me shy, I just do what I like and I’m happy for that. Thank you Piccaso for reading my story, I don’t know where are you from.I hope my story will inspire Migrants.

  1. miss cute i love to know you better someday that you will share more of your story to me and you make an good example to me because i alway fell that i only one who have rough in my life
    i love you……….

  2. Ate cute thanks for sharing your amazing stories with us . Some time I really think that I was the only one have tuff live that why I dislike all my family member hopefully I will recover soon that I can make up with them
    Big hug and kiss from me

    1. Hi Peggy thank you for reading my story. We have to remember that life have always ups and down, we have to look back where we come from, just do what is best for you, people around you and your family. no matter what your family is always there for you.

  3. Awesome!
    This is such an inspiring stories of urs ate Cute, Hopefully that you will continue inspiring our fellows OFW’s and thanks for the HOME for giving us a hope as an OFW’s hope it will continue to help us!

    God Bless to all!

    1. Thank you too Miss Ellaine each one of us has a story to tell and I believed God have given us the mission to do the best we can. HOME is our second home.

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