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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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