Category Archives: HOME Academy

Salmon & Pesto

HOME Academy cooking student Jean Paller shares with us her recipe for salmon. So if you want to impress your employer or family, do check it out.




600 g new potatoes

200 g fine green beans

200 g tender stem broccoli

4 x 120 g salmon fillets, scaled and pin-boned, from sustainable sources

Olive oil

1 lemon


25 g pine nuts

½ a small clove of garlic

50 g fresh basil

Extra virgin olive oil

15 g Parmesan cheese



  1. To make the pesto, place a small frying pan over a medium heat, tip in the pine nuts and toast until very lightly golden – keep them moving so they don’t burn, then place in a small bowl and put to one side.
  2. Peel the garlic, and then place in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
  3. Pick and tear in the basil leaves.
  4. Bash the mixture to a paste, then add the pine nuts and pound again, leaving a little bit of texture. Scrape the mixture into the small bowl.
  5. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil – you need just enough to bind the pesto and give it an oozy consistency – then finely grate and stir through the Parmesan.
  6. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Have a taste and season with a pinch of black pepper and a squeeze more lemon juice, if you think it needs it.
  7. Scrub the potatoes well, then trim the beans and broccoli.
Fill a large pan three quarters of the way up with boiling water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
  8. Once boiling, carefully add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, adding the beans and the broccoli for the final 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.
Rub the salmon fillets all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Place in the hot pan, skin-side down, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 4 minutes, or until golden underneath.
Use a fish slice to turn them over, then cook the fillets for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat, rest for 30 seconds, then add a good squeeze of lemon juice and give the pan a good shake.
  12. Drain the vegetables well, then tip into to a large bowl. Add the pesto, then use tongs to coat everything nicely.
  13. Divide the fish fillets and vegetables between your plates, drizzle over the juices from the pan, then serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.


By: Saturnina De Los Santos Rotelo ( Cute )

Cute teaching a financial literacy class

It is very important to save, every migrant should do it, be it a professional or a domestic worker. Most of us have dreams for ourselves or our family but most of us migrants return to our country with so little money, as we don’t have savings or even enough money to get us trough.

Migrants from different parts of the world like domestic workers, skilled workers or professionals, leave their countries to look for greener pasture. The International Labor Organization ( ILO ) surveys and studies migrant workers, and has used the results to develop modules for the education of migrant workers.

Saving is an easy word to say. Everyone knows that. But to save for a rainy day is hard to do. By saving alone, without proper knowledge on how to use those savings, you are at risk to end up with nothing left in your bank account to secure your successful re-integration. Buying things, or going shopping, is not a bad thing to do, but we must understand how to spend our money wisely

Spending your money on “needs” like food that are necessary for your everyday life needs to be done. But by going to restaurants or fast food places too often, you will spend more than at the market, and this will not make your saving successful.

Spending on fun or ‘nice to have’ items, in places like “hukay hukay”, flea market every Sunday or buying items on sale in malls is not a need but it is a “want” to satisfy your greediness, or being boastful to show your friends that you belong in that kind of society.

Financial literacy class students

The migrants themselves play an important role in saving their own money. They must understand the concept of real savings, and the family has to be involved in doing this as well. Migrants need to educate themselves, for example through a Financial Education Course in HOME. The course will help them understand how to manage their finances, and to apply what they have learned. Then, they can also educate their families back home. By letting migrants understand how to manage their expenses, it will be easier for them to save, and going back for good is not a bad idea when you have some money to take with you. Setting yourself as an example to your family and friends by not spoiling yourself with material things is a good thing too.

If you wish to be with your loved ones, your children and have a stress free life then you have to think a million times before spending your hard earned money in “WANTS”. Take it from the ants that work very hard every day because they wanted to save for rainy days.

Saving your money is easy to say, but hard to do. Change of habits, persistence and determination will surpass, and success will prevail.

Start with yourself – now. Once you do it then you will say I DID IT. Do it with love.

Happy savings!



Christmas Carrot Cake

Christmas is the time for eating great food together with family and friend. Janeth, HOME Academy’s baking teachers, shares with us a recipe for a festive carrot cake that will impress all your loved ones.


Equipment-2 8’’ round or square aluminum cake tins

Baking time-30-35 minutes

Baking temp. -175-180 °

Makes about 2kg round or square cake

christmas cake


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 ½ cups caster sugar
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs-lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins-presoaked, about 5 minutes
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • ¾ cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 ½ cups grated or pureed carrots

For the frosting

  • 200 grams cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted, softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (preferably clear extract)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice –optional
  • 200-300 grams icing sugar, sift

 Note; double frosting recipe for extra decorating if like


  1. Preheat oven, grease the baking tins and line them with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon powder, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the walnuts, raisins, coconut, crushed pineapple and pureed or grated carrots.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, combine well after each addition, using wooden spoon.
  6. Divide equally into the prepared tins.
  7. Bake in the preheated ovens for about 30-35 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Leave in the tins for about 10 minutes before turning them into a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.
  9. Place 1 cake on a board, flat side up, spread some of the frosting then top with the other cake. Spread the rest of the frosting. Decorate


Direction for the frosting;

  1. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth and no lumps, add vanilla and lemon juice and beat at medium speed.
  2. Lower speed and add in icing sugar a little at a time.
  3. Beat until smooth and just combined. (May use wooden spoon to mix at this point)
  4. Over beating will cause the frosting to be runny.

During the rest of the year this cake is great too, some ideas for decoration are below:


Dream Big Dreams

Financial Education helps Overseas Foreign Workers dream Big Dreams

lou testimony pic 2
Lou (right) with her financial literacy teacher Cute Rotelo


By: Ms Lou Aguinaldo Llanes (Financial Education Graduate of HOME (first batch)

One day, my employer encouraged me to enroll in a self-enrichment course, and even offered her full support behind whatever course I was interested in. At the time, it just so happened that H.O.M.E. was offering a new Financial Education course. I was impressed with the topics, so I joined the class!


On our first day of classes, I met new friends and learned things about finances that I had never known before. I realized this knowledge was very important. This course turned out to be a really big help to the OFW students It is always a privilege to learn every issue of being a Migrant Worker, and this course represented a good part of this beautiful world.a


In our class, we were challenged to pledge ourselves to a new and brighter future. I learned many things, such as planning for my retirement, how to plan for my children’s schooling, planning for my family’s welfare, general business, and the importance of saving money for everyday needs.


We were lucky to have a teacher who was understanding, patient, and had concern for our re-integration. The experiences I gained as a student made me a stronger person with a more positive outlook in life. I still love the things I used to do, like shopping, going to parties, and movies. However, now I know exactly what my needs and wants should be, and that matters a lot.


I consider this course to be a stepping-stone towards my goals for a better future. I know that all of my dreams and plans for the future rely on me being the best that I can be. I will continue to work hard and apply what I have learned in the Financial Education course because I believe that planning for the future will help me achieve my dreams.


As they say, learning is a virtue! So keep fighting the good fight, and all of your dreams will come true. For me, the Financial Education course helped me improve myself, made my life more meaningful, and is now one of my greatest inspirations.


I thank my employer for their strong support, and I thank Ms Cute Rotelo. Please continue to share your knowledge and encourage every OFW to develop and rebuild their dreams for their loved ones.


If you’ve ever thought that there has to be a better way to develop a brighter future, you’re right! The Financial Education course may be the answer. It teaches good information for better outcomes from our decisions.


Sponsors of this course–ILO, ATIKHA and HOME–I salute you!

lou testimony with picture


 by: Saturnina “Cute” De Los santos Rotelo (photo below: first row, third from left)


All migrants haves a goal, a dream, or a plan before they leave their loved ones and their beloved country. It’s hard, it’s painful, tears flow from their eyes. They make promises in lieu of their presence, especially to their children. I have been away from home 21 years- almost half of my life I’ve been working in Singapore.

I continue to work for I have a mission. My promise to my beloved father has already been fulfilled, yet I still doubt about going home. I have devoted my time to HOME for 8 years now, and finally the answer has come to me. Filipinos are very family-oriented; closeness and kindness are always there. Love and respect, pride and beliefs are what often pushes Filipinas to migrate and sacrifice their life, love and loneliness, which money can’t replace.

The I.L.O. (International Labor Organization), in partnership with Atikha (a Pilipino organization providing economic and social services to overseas Filipinos and their families in the Philippines) did research to find out why many migrants return to their county a failure and not with innovation. I attended a thorough training by Athika on how to help the migrants, by helping them understand financial matters, and teach them how go back to their home country successfully.


Devoting my Sundays off to training and educating other migrants makes me happy. My parents sent me to a private university, but I still ended up here in Singapore as a Domestic Worker. I have no regrets, but I did miss out on a lot of things in my life. I have learned a lot myself interacting with my students. Now the 3rd batch of students is almost done, memories linger on how very thankful he students are for receiving this course in Financial Literacy. Their testimonies, written or oral, make me cry as they always say that I changed their lives and have made them realize how important it is to understand how to spend your money between the needs and wants, and that savings are important in preparing for all the hazards of life. As the course continued they realized also that by keeping track of their expenses, they can understand why they have lots of debts. Many families of migrants depend on them fully, all money made abroad is sent back, and the migrants go home for good without any money. In our Financial Education course you learn that you have to to help educate your family, and set an honest example how to manage your hard to earned money.


Every migrant has a goal, or shall I say a dream, to achieve. By planning finances carefully, together with your family, and using SMART ways, everything is achievable. Many migrants end up with a broken family because of the prolonged separation, so we are trying to slowly stop this practice. So I’m hoping that through this course migrants, especially women, will realize that leaving the country and living away from their husband and children is not the answer for all their dreams. Our journey continues, and I hope that I.L.O. will discover more to protect the worlds migrants, especially women.

Good things come to those who bake.

A super DW – By Juliet Ugay

advanced bakingWhile most Domestic Workers enjoy their Sundays off, Chef Janeth, or teacher Janeth as her students call her, is busy teaching baking to her fellow DW at HOME Academy.

janet with her advanced baking students

Janeth Abrias Bullecer, is 40 years old, and hails from Nueva Vizcaya in Northern Philippines. Janeth is one of the gems of HOME Academy. Her 23 years of working in Singapore gave her a lot of experience, and the courage to do something to help her fellow Domestic Workers. Her passion for baking landed her spot as one of the teachers of HOME Academy. Janeth started volunteering for HOME in 2012. She came to know about HOME when she read articles about the organization, its work and of course the founder, Bridget Tan. Bridget created a Facebook page called Gabriela, of which Janeth became a member. After Janeth met Bridget during a workshop, she started her journey with HOME.

At first, Janeth’s dream was to become a make up artist, so she took up Cosmetology classes at Bayanihan Center. When she started volunteering at the organization, she and her best friend Ningsih did fundraising by making cakes and cupcakes, which was what she enjoyed most. She fell in love with baking.

janet with her basic baking last batch

Janeth started basic baking classes with 14 students, then 30, to 40, and reached 50 plus on her 5th batch. She taught cake making, cake decorating, baking different types of bread, etc. She was overwhelmed by the student’s enthusiasm and that inspired her to improve her teaching. Her signature cheesecake was always a hit, and she baked for Bridget Tan and MP Halimah Yacob during an HOME event. Due to overwhelming response, she started an advanced baking class and has 10 enrolees so far. Two of her former students, Sarah and Rhoda are now teaching in HOME Academy 2 and 3.

janet with her basic baking class first batch

Janeth’s work for HOME made her well known for her creations, and due to the encouragement from HOME staff and friends, she was given an opportunity to study first module in baking under a scholarship program at the Baking Industry Training College (BITC). She is currently taking up the second module, which she is paying by herself and she is hoping to continue to gain a diploma. Her main inspirations are her family, especially her mother, who sacrificed a lot for her family. Janeth hopes to have her own bakery shop in the future.

janet with her employer and kids

At present, Janeth is taking care of two boys. She studies two nights weekly, teaches baking on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month and attends computer classes on the 1st and 3rd Sunday. It might be a tiring routine but she manages to pull it all off, thanks to her very supportive employer Ms Nadine Mains. Since Janeth started volunteering, she gained confidence and made lots of friends. She said that the best part of all is to be able to share her knowledge and skill. Seeing her students happy makes it all worth it. Indeed Janeth is one extraordinary Domestic Worker – a SUPER DW!

Check out the recipe for Janeth’s famous cheesecake here!

advance baking

HOME, an inspiration


During our last HOME Academy graduation day one of HOME’s students, Indonesian Domestic Worker Maria Handayani, made a speech to all  graduates. During this speech she recited a poem. HOME likes to thank Maria for her wonderful words, which we like to share  with you all, hoping she will inspire many others like her. 

HOME, A Masterpiece of Inspirations

I remember the days, when I was not able,
To stand up.
I remember the days, when I was not able,
To speak up.
I remember the days, when I had nothing,
To offer.
I remember the days, when I could not make,
My own, decisions.

With your gentle care,
You lifted me up high.
With your gentle care,
You taught me, through learning.
With your gentle care,
You helped me, to be strong.

Now, I am able to to stand up,
Because of you.
I am able to speak up,
Because of you.
And, I, have something to share.

I can do, what I always wanted to do.
I can be, what I always wanted to be.
I can stand strong, and defend myself.
All this I can do, because of you.
And this is, what I share with you.
Because, this is, what I am, today.

I am beautiful.
I am strong.
I am smart.

I know, that, I am special.
I know, that, I am unique.
And I know, that, you, are special too.

I found, a masterpiece, in you.
You, inspire me, to be,  what I am today.
And I treasure you.
Dear HOME.
You are, a masterpiece of inspirations.

Writen by
Sri Handayani Sutarno.


More information about HOME Academy and current courses on offer can be found on HOME website: