We were thrilled to host our 5th Graduation Ceremony - and our first virtual one - on October 24, 2021 celebrating the achievements of migrant domestic workers who have completed our financial and empowerment education workshops. It was an incredible and emotional celebration of achievement! Read on to find out how the day went.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it many challenges for migrant domestic workers, many of whom have faced job insecurity, increased expenses, family financial pressures, mental health challenges and more. With this in mind, our theme for this year’s graduation ceremony was ‘Rise. Overcome. ACHIEVE!’ recognising the resilience, strength and determination of 231 Enrich graduates from Hong Kong and Macau! You can watch the full event on Facebook or Youtube.
The ceremony was kicked off by our emcees and Enrich Trainers, Esther Guevara and Pritya Pravina, who not only ran a seamless bilingual event in English and Bahasa Indonesia, but also kept us smiling with their fun and dynamic energy!
We then heard from Enrich Board Chair, Luna Chan, who welcomed the graduates to the Enrich family, commended them for their achievements, and reminded them that Enrich is always here to support them in future. Enrich’s Executive Director, Lucinda Pike, also thanked the graduates for taking “a leap of faith” in Enrich and in their own dreams.
“Your resilience, your dedication and your determination have been absolutely inspiring. Each and every one of you has worked incredibly hard to be here today, and you should be so proud of everything you have accomplished.” - Luna Chan, Enrich Board Chair
“You joined classes in financial literacy and empowerment, perhaps not knowing exactly what we would teach, learning with your peers, and perhaps meeting new people. But this leap of faith is where you grow; for when you challenge yourself in difficult and uncertain circumstances, you grow….Martin Luther King says, “take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Thank you all for taking that first step.” - Lucinda Pike, Enrich Executive Director
We were then honoured to share messages from the Philippine and Indonesian consulates, both of whom commended the graduates for their efforts and acknowledged the value of partnering with Enrich to benefit the Filipino and Indonesian domestic worker communities.
“In this difficult time that we are in, being able to handle money well and making the right financial decisions will go a long way. I admire our graduates for their perseverance to learn new knowledge and their determination to improve their skills despite the challenges and demands of their jobs. I congratulate you for being the embodiment of strength and resiliency amidst the challenges of working in a foreign land and in a different culture.” - Ms. Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan, Deputy Consul General of the Philippines.
“Enrich students are hard workers, persistent and also resilient to the situation. In their spare time they still managed to join all the positive activities which are provided by Enrich. Managing your money is a very important knowledge to have. It can protect and empower you to reach your goal and dreams.” - Ms. Elfani Prassanti, Indonesian Consul of Information and Socio-Cultural
Of course, we were most excited to hear from our students themselves, and to represent the graduating class we welcomed two speakers, Mary Jane Javillo and Rosie Sukamto. Both speakers celebrated their fellow graduates and encouraged them to continue pursuing their dreams.
Mary Jane embraced the theme of our event, passionately sharing about challenges during the pandemic, and how financial literacy has helped her become more motivated to achieve her goals! Hear her full speech.
“I’ve also learned that a migrant domestic worker who is financially secure is happier, more confident, and able to focus on achieving their goals...Now I understand that achieving goals is addictive. WHY? Because the more you achieved the more you desire...This graduation is special for me because it made me realise that it is never too late to learn financial literacy.” - Mary Jane Javillo, Enrich Graduate
Rosie shared her inspiring story of how financial literacy empowered her to overcome debt and plan for her future, including for her retirement and future business! Hear her full speech.
“Because of the education that I received from Enrich, I have been able to slowly reach some of my long term goals, which is to have enough investment for my retirement fund. Applying what I learned from Enrich in managing my finances, right now I am also saving some funds to use when I want to set up my own business after I finish working here in Hong Kong and go back home.” - Rosie Sukamto, Enrich Graduate
Delivering our financial and empowerment education programmes takes an army of supporters, and so we were also thrilled to showcase the activities of our Enrich Trainers and our Ambassadors. Without their invaluable contributions and hard work, our programmes would definitely not be possible!
Finally, as we read out the names and celebrated each Enrich Graduate, we couldn’t help but feel so proud of all these participants who had sacrificed so much to make it to our graduation - to invest in themselves.
Following the event, we held ‘Zoom parties’ where our graduates could join and share their joy! We were thrilled to see many graduates who had come together to celebrate in parks, churches or their homes - they tuned in from all over the world, including Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines and Indonesia!
We’re grateful to the wonderful team who made this amazing event come to life, especially our brilliant behind-the-scenes team led by Quincy Gonzales, including ambassadors, staff and volunteers, Valkan Productions, our emcees Esther and Pritya, and our friends from Lensational Hong Kong who volunteered to take beautiful portraits of each graduate.
We’re excited for the road ahead for our graduates. There will be ups and downs, especially as they recover from the impact of this pandemic, but we know that nothing is impossible with hard work and determination. As always, we remind our graduates to hold the lyrics of our Enrich song close at heart:
It may be difficult, it may be scary
It’s complicated and we’re feeling weary
Just focus on our dreams. Our goals are near
Focus on ourselves – WE CAN ACHIEVE!