Many domestic helpers in Hong Kong find satisfaction in being able to send money to their loved ones back home, and enjoy a little rest and recreation during their days off.
But for Terenia, a young Indonesian maid, that clearly is not enough.
Over the past two years, she has been pursuing her education, studying English literature through a four-year distance learning program offered by the Open University of Indonesia.
“I am a domestic helper but it doesn’t mean that I don’t have a dream,” Terenia was quoted as saying in an i-Cable report.
“I just want to break tradition and go beyond my limitations.”
She said she doesn’t want to follow the path of her mother, who got married at 19 and was forced to stop schooling.
For Terenia, it is important to be smart, educated and independent.
“I want to go to Harvard or Oxford. I know such a dream may appear too big, but who knows?” she said. “Just keep on dreaming and do what you have to do.”
During weekdays, Terenia finishes her duties at around 10 p.m. After taking a shower, she starts reading and doing her school work.
Sometimes she goes to bed at 3 a.m., sleeping with her laptop and books still open.
“I will keep on learning… Maybe, I’ll be lucky and get a scholarship to pursue my formal education.”
Combining her work and studies is not easy, but Terenia finds inspiration in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Translation by Chloe Chow
– Contact us at [email protected]