Eighteen Filipino nannies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates were among 116 graduates who completed the Ateneo School of Government’s Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) program last October 25.
Nora Sinense Torres, a 39-year-old nanny in Dubai, was one of the speakers at the commencement exercise. She said her education motivated her to learn more about entrepreneurship.
“My plan after this program is to apply all my learnings not only to myself but also to my family. I want to put up a business, and place savings in a trusted bank to help not only my family but also my community,” she said.
Before going overseas, Torres worked for 10 years as an accounting clerk in a private college in Tarlac. It is now her second time to work as a nanny in the emirate.
The LSE is a six-month empowerment and capacity-building program to help overseas Filipinos become agents of change and social transformation. The program covers three main areas of study and application: leadership, financial literacy and social entrepreneurship.
The program encourages trainees to become social entrepreneurs to address various social problems either in their host countries or in the Philippines should they decide to return.
The LSE training program was first introduced in Rome, Italy in 2008 with Filipino domestic workers and low-income earners as the main beneficiaries.
The program has been fully embraced in Milan, Madrid, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore where most Filipinos are working in homes of local residents and expats.
There have been 39 nannies- 15 enrolled in Dubai and 24 in Abu Dhabi- out of 542 who have taken the LSE in the UAE since 2013. The nannies’ enrollment fees were funded by generous individuals and small and medium enterprises.
The program’s vision is to make sure that “Filipino migrants and their families are united towards supporting each other in becoming empowered and highly respected members of society, consciously contributing to nation building.”
There are now more than 3,000 LSE finishers from 22 cities in 12 countries in Europe, Middle East, Asia.