Boss Mom Q&A: Empowered to empower

Created by Marie with the belief in women empowerment to eradicate poverty, Uplifters is a non-profit organisation empowering underprivileged communities and especially foreign domestic workers through online education. The organization offers a free money management and personal growth online program to help foreign domestic workers build sustainable futures for themselves and their families. Our first 3-week module “Dare to Dream” teaches them how to plan for the futu, save, budget and communicate better with their families and our follow-up 6-month module “Make it Happen” helps them to reach their personal and financial goals. Learn how Marie be empowered to empower more.

Marie相信賦予婦女權力以消除貧困,Uplifters是一個非營利組織,通過網上教育賦予貧困社區,特別是外籍家庭傭工權力。機構提供免費的資金管理和個人成長在線計劃,以幫助外籍家庭傭工為自己和家人建立可持續的未來。Uplifters 第一個為期3週的單元「敢於夢想」教他們如何規劃未來、儲蓄、預算並與家人更好地溝通,以及其後的6個月「實踐行動」的單元幫助他們達到他們的個人和財務目標。看看Marie 怎樣以生命影響生命:

Q: What inspired you to start your business?是什麼驅使你創業?

A: Let’s be clear, it was never on my bucket list to create a non-profit organisation.

But I’ve always wanted my job to have a positive impact on the society. Originally, I hold a master’s degree in management and before moving to Asia I was managing an online education centre in France.

When I arrived in Asia in 2015, I worked for a charity dedicated to domestic workers. After my first child was born, I hired a wonderful Filipino woman to take care of him. I knew how challenging it can be for them to save so we were chatting regularly about her plans for the future and how to increase her savings. At some point I realised that my previous work experience in online education could help thousands of domestic workers build sustainable futures for themselves and their families. I am lucky to see my children smile to me every morning while most of these courageous women spend their entire lives away from their children and do not manage to lift themselves out of poverty. To be true to myself I felt I should at least try.

我從來想像過自己會創立一個非弁利組織。但我一直希望我的工作能夠對社會產生積極的影響。當初我選擇管理學碩士學位,在搬到亞洲之前我在法國管理在線教育中心。

當我於2015年抵達亞洲時,我曾在一家專門為家庭傭工服務的慈善機構工作。在我的第一個孩子出生後,我聘請了一位出色的菲律賓女人來照顧他。我知道這對他們來說是多麼具有挑戰性,所以我們定期聊聊她的未來計劃以及如何增加儲蓄。在某些時候,我意識到我之前在線教育的工作經歷可以幫助成千上萬的家庭工人為自己和家人建立可持續的未來。我很幸運能夠看到我的孩子每天早上都對我微笑,而這些勇敢的女性大部分時間都是從孩子身上渡過的,並且無法擺脫貧困。為了對自己真實,我覺得我至少應該嘗試。

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Q: Was there any breakthrough in between your motherhood and your business life? 當母親和當老闆之間有沒有什麼突破?

A: I don’t think I would have felt strong enough to create a start-up (a new NGO is also a start-up!) before having my first child.

My first hours as a mother were very scary but also very empowering. We had arrived in Hong Kong just a few months after I got pregnant, so I had no close friend. My husband was still travelling for business as my due date was a few weeks ahead. He was in Singapore the moment I called to tell him to board the next flight as I was having an emergency c-section.

I felt very scared, but I did not want to panic and get put under tranquilizers and my baby taken away from me (not this would have happened, that was just my thinking at that time). I really wanted to be there for our baby so I took a few deep breaths, signed all the consent forms and went on for surgery with doctors around me talking to each other in a language I could not understand. Our baby was fine but the pediatrician told me it was my choice to keep him under observation in the neonatal unit or bring him with me to the postnatal ward. I took my first decision as a mum that he would be safe enough in the postnatal ward and better in my arms. Long story short it taught me to trust myself and stand up for what was important to me.

在我生第一個孩子之前,我認為我不會覺得自己足夠能力可以創業,何況是一個新的非政府組織!)。

我當上母親的經歷十分驚險,但也給予我更大的能力。我懷孕幾個月後才來到香港,所以我沒有親密的朋友。孩子出生比預產期提前幾週,而當時我丈夫還在出差。那時候因為我需要進行緊急修復生產,於是我便馬上打電話給他登上下一班航班由星加坡回來香港。

我感到非常害怕,但我必須保持冷靜。當其時我在想若我需要服用鎮靜劑,寶寶出生後不能留在我身邊(不會發生這種情況,那是只我當時的想法)。我真的很想和我們的孩子在一起,所以我深吸一口氣,簽了所有的同意書,然後和我周圍的醫生一起用一種我無法理解的語言互相交談。我們的寶寶很好,但是兒科醫生告訴我,我可以選擇讓他在新生兒科中接受觀察,或者把他帶到產後病房。我作為一個媽媽做了我的第一個決定,他在產後病房裡足夠安全,並且在我懷裡更好。長話短說,它教會我相信自己,並堅持對我來說重要的東西。

Q: How to balance between family and business? 怎樣同時兼顧家庭和工作?

A: By cultivating self-awareness. I tend to become obsessed with my work. At some point it’s not healthy anymore, neither for me, nor people around me. Luckily, my husband is a good alarm system. I go back to simple things to get me grounded like exercising, walking to work instead of taking public transport, breathing deeply a few times a day.

Ultimately, I don’t believe you can have it all. Days have only 24 hours. You need to choose. I try to make these choices more consciously and hopefully wisely.

透過培養自我意識,我傾向沉迷於自己的工作。在某些時候,它不再是健康的,既不適合我,也不適合我周圍的人。幸運的是,我的丈夫是一個很好的警告系統。她教我會回到以簡單的方式生活,讓我做多一點運動,步行上班而不是乘坐公共交通工具,每天深呼吸幾次。

最終,我不相信你能擁有一切。一天只有24小時。你需要選擇。我嘗試更有意識地和希望地明智地做出這些選擇。

Q: How would you like your child(ren) see your business? 你希望你的孩子怎樣看待你的生意?

A: M. Gandhi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world”.  We read every day in the news about the climate change and other challenges our children will have to face because our generation and generations before were not mature enough to tackle them.

One of my motivations to create Uplifters is to be able to tell myself and my children that I did not walk away when I had a chance to do something good. But there are of course many other ways which do not involve to create a non-profit in order to have a positive impact on the society you live in.

甘地說:「成為你想看見的改變」。我們每天都在看新聞關於氣候變化以及我們的孩子將要面對的其他挑戰,因為我們這一代和前幾代人還不夠成熟,無法解決這些問題。

我創造Uplifters的動機之一就是能告訴自己和我的孩子,當我有機會做一些好事時,我不會拒絕。但是,當然還有許多其他方法不涉及創造非營利組織,以便對您所居住的社會產生積極影響。

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Q: How does it help your business when you are a mother? 作為一位母親,在創業過程中有沒有幫助?

A: Stepping back is crucial to keep thinking clearly. As a parent, you step back every evening when you go back home. I open the door and I see my children and I usually instantly forget about my work, well at least until they are sleeping.

退一步對於保持清晰思考至關重要。作為父母,你每天晚上回家後都會退後一步。我打開門,看到我的孩子,我通常會立即忘記我的工作,至少在他們睡覺之前。

Q: . Life as a mom is hectic enough, adding a business in the picture makes it even better, so how do you relax? 當媽媽已經很辛苦,再加上把你自己的生意當然是苦上加苦。你是怎樣舒減壓力?

A: Recently I started to walk to work. I find it very relaxing and I can at the same time listen to podcasts which I had never took the time to do before. I love to learn new things!

Otherwise my secret home-made recipe to relax before going to bed is to drink a cup of warm milk with a spoon of orange-blossom water in it.

最近我開始步行上班。我發現非常輕鬆,我可以同時收聽我從未花時間的廣播。我喜歡學習新事物!

否則,我睡前會放鬆自己秘製喝一杯溫熱的牛奶,裡面放一勺橙花水。

To learn more about Marie and Uplifters, please visit:

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