Friday, July 10, 2015

How LSE paves the way to a helper’s dream

Note to our readers.  WIMLER will be publishing articles written by our LSE alumni and participants. 

By Jeanie Castillo Carambas
LSE 30

Set small goals and fulfill them while working on your long-term goal. Keep on dreaming. Keep on learning. Be positive. Believe in yourself. These are some of the words our mentors shared with us aside from their usual lectures.  In addition, I say, do your part and have faith that God will give you what you deserve. These are the thoughts that I live by everyday. Thoughts that I try to impart to my family, friends and people I meet in my daily life.

I have been working as a domestic helper here in Hong Kong for over 10 years now. I lived a life that many of us are familiar with. Doing household chores became my everyday routine but I never let my world revolve around the limited space of the house. I try to keep learning new things. And then one day, through a best friend, I learned about LSE.

LSE 30 in one of their sessions
When I first heard about LSE, which stands for Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship, I must admit, it sounded very ordinary to me.  I have already attended similar trainings here in Hong Kong so the topic was not really new to me. Then, when I attended the graduation of LSE 22, I changed my mind. The graduates looked so happy and empowered that I already imagine myself as one of the graduates of the next batch. I have great admiration for helpers who aim to be a step higher. It never occurred to my mind that the course will open up a new opportunity for me as a student of the course. Yes, I am still a student hoping to graduate on the 11th of October this year. 

Who would imagine that from a typical helper’s mind, I am now trying to write my article? Mixed emotion is what I am feeling now. Excited because this is an opportunity that I have been waiting for, to write. It has been my dream to learn how to write. I am happy because through this, I would be able to share my insights with more people. I am hoping that through writing, I will be able to inspire others. I want to share my experiences.  The more I think of it, the more I feel the urge of learning more.
Participants of Writers' Workshop with Jun Concepcion

The urge to write started in LSE where we are asked to write an essay after each session. We write journals about what we have learned. My latent passion for writing has been ignited once more. Writing essays in fact, led me to writing this article. The experience brings so much inspiration and motivation to me. It brings confidence and the desire to do more and to learn more. I hope that my story will inspire others to get out of their own comfort zone. Take courage to make a change. Aim to improve yourselves. Aim to be different. Don’t stop dreaming. Take the first steps. Keep going because we never know what opportunities await us. I never imagined that the sacrifices I did to take this course will lead me to fulfilling one of my dreams! I learned how to manage my finances and cut down on a lot of expenses. However, I am happy that I did it but I am not there yet. We are still working on our business plan to complete the course. This achievement means so much to me. I have attended a course to be a good leader and a social entrepreneur and I am learning how to write is a bonus!

Thank you to Ma’am Leila Rispens-Noel for the encouragement to start writing. I would also want to thank Sir Jun Concepcion for guiding me through the Writers’ Workshop, also organized by WIMLER Foundation. We are so lucky to be the first batch ever! Thank you LSE, to our mentors, for helping us to change our mindset and for giving this opportunity to us. The country will be truly indebted to you for all of these programs that you do. You empower not just OFWs but our families back home.

The author: I am Jeanie Castillo Carambas, 43 years old  from Alaminos City,  Pangasinan. I have 4 children whom I left when they were 12, 9, 7 and 2. I have worked in Hong Kong from April 2005 up to present.

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