In life, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes, things may turn out for the better or the worse.
This is something that Filipino nationals who started out working as household service workers (HSWs) in Dubai learned positively because coming from a lowly background, these Filipinas are now open to more kinds of opportunities as new social entrepreneurs.
From Nannies to Entrepreneurs: Filipinas Make Something out of their Dubai Experience
Eighteen Filipino nannies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were among the 116 graduates who completed the Ateneo School of Government’s Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) program last October 25, as shared in a report by ABS CBN News.
39-year old Nora Sinense Torres, a nanny in Dubai, was one of the speakers at the commencement exercise. She shared that her education motivated her to learn more about entrepreneurship.
Nora explained that after graduating from the LSE program, she is now motivated to apply all her learnings not only to herself but also to her family. She also wants to put up a business to help not only herself and her family but also the community.
Torres shared that before working overseas she had worked for 10 years as an accounting clerk in a private college in Tarlac. It is now her second time to work as a nanny in the emirate.
The LSE is a six-month empowerment and capacity-building program to help overseas Filipinos become agents of change and social transformation. The program covers three main areas of study and application: leadership, financial literacy, and social entrepreneurship.
The program empowers and equips trainees with the knowledge and skillsets to become social entrepreneurs to address various social problems either in their host countries or in the Philippines should they decide to return.
The program has been fully adopted in other places outside the Middle East such as Milan, Madrid, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore where most Filipinos are working in homes of local residents and expats.
There have been a total of 39 nannies – 15 enrolled in Dubai and 24 in Abu Dhabi out of the 542 enrollees who have taken the LSE in the UAE since 2013. The nannies’ tuition fees were funded by generous individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The program was established with the aim to make sure that “Filipino migrants and their families are united towards supporting each other in becoming empowered and highly respected members of society, consciously contributing to nation-building.”
At present, there are now more than 3,000 LSE graduates from 22 cities in 12 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.