Workers of hope for everyone

Dubai - Female blue workers work for the UAE and fulfill the dreams and livelihoods of so many in their home countries

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Wed 7 Mar 2018, 10:44 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Mar 2018, 12:47 AM

An inspiring section of the community that is not given as much importance is the female blue collar community in the UAE. These women are not only bold, hardworking and optimistic, being the sole breadwinners for their families back home, they manage on their own and stay strong away in spite of living away from their children and families.
Jennifer (Indian, 41, resident of 14 years)
Jennifer left her three very young children with her parents in India 14 years ago and came to Dubai to provide for them. " My husband left me when my kids were very young and I had no source of income at that point of time. This is when I got a chance to come and work in the UAE and I took the opportunity in order to provide for my kids and give them a good future," Jennifer said.
It was tough, Jennifer says but the worst is over. My eldest son is now on the verge of getting a job and apart from funding for the education of all the three, I also sent a good amount of money for my eldest son so that he is able to get the right professional training in his field and gets the job he wants.
Jennifer said that it was her circumstances that led her to become a strong mother that she's now. " I couldn't get a good husband but at least I have good kids, who are now gearing up to support me. I may not have anything but I have a strong will power and I aim to inspire my children. I am happy that I have a job and I have a purpose to live and that is to raise my children and give them what I didn't get in my life."
Giving out a message of hope to women on the special occasion of women's day, she said: " I have lost some things in life but I'm concentrating on what I got. Don't ever give up, count your blessings and make use of what you have. Live for your children or your family and set an example for them. Show them what perseverance is and show them how to win and shine."
Sapna (Nepali, 36, resident of 9 years)
Sapna has spent nine years in the UAE and she says it all feels like a dream. " I have two daughters who are now 13 and 11 respectively. My husband divourced me and married another woman when my younger daughter was just seven months."
Struggling to make her ends meet, Sapna began working in her home country for just 100 Nepalese rupees (Dh3.51) per day but that fell short. She then came to the UAE at a better salary is happy that her job has helped her become independent. Not only is she providing a good upbringing for her daughters by giving them good education but is also supporting her ailing parents back in Nepal.
"My mother has been extremely unwell for over a year now and it is only me who is financing her treatment. I have spent 300,000 Nepali rupees since last year on her treatment. And how else would I have done that if I had no job here. My livelihood has come from Dubai. This is how I am able to send my girls to school and take care of my parents also."
Sapna says she has lived her life alone and her message to all women is: "Believe in yourself and remember, if you are good, people around you will be good but if you are unhappy then then everyone around will be unhappy. Love your life and live it well and remember that only if you are strong, you can keep your family members also strong."
Sapna, who earns a meagre Dh1,200; sends about Dh1,000 home and survives on the left over Dh200 that she keeps for her expenses.
The hardest part, Sapna says was leaving her young daughter, who was just 1.5 year old when she left her and came to the UAE. "I want to make my girls strong and that so will do by providing for their education. There is no future without education. I want them to not become like me but to have good high respectable jobs. I want them to make their mark and establish their own identity."
Divine Mercy (Filipina, 26, resident of 6 years)
In the prime of her youth, 26-year-old Divine Mercy has been in the UAE for the last six years. "I did a four year hotel management course and was working as a receptionist in my country but we don't have good salaries there, so I came here to the UAE as a cleaner. The transition from being a smart receptionist to a toilet cleaner was hard but I am grateful that I have a job. We have to learn to adjust to any circumstances," she said.
Divine says she is the man of her house back in the Philippines as she is taking care of not only her ailing and siblings but also providing for her 15 nephews! Divine worked hard for two years and got promoted to become a team leader now. "I want to say that although it's not an easy job as we get screamed at all the time by customers but I have learnt to give them a smile in exchange.
Divine who has four sisters and a brother who are all married with kids, is the youngest but the strongest in her family as she is single-handedly managing the finances of her house. "I am the sole breadwinner of my house as all my sisters and brother got married at a very young age and are now separated. To top it all, they have no jobs.
"I lost my father shortly after I came here to the UAE and since then even my mother and brother have become ill. It is their thought that keeps me going. My mother's health, my nephews education and my marriage are some of the issues that motivate me to work harder and perform better."
In order to support so many family members, Divine sends her full salary to Philippines almost every second month. " It is easy to sit at home and cry but that won't help. I chose to be a fighter and that's how all women should be."
saman@khaleejtimes.com



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