We take language for granted. Having been brought up learning the global language English, communication comes easy for the majority of us. However, there are millions in the world who were not given the same opportunity to learn the language.
In the first installation of Humans of Helpling, we feature one of the top cleaning professionals on our platform, May Aster. Find out how her passion for the English language gave her the impetus to overcome boundaries and struggles in life.
1/5 Tell us more about yourself
I am from Myanmar and now I live in Singapore. I used to study nursing and I have a degree from college in Myanmar. My father passed away 5 years ago so I have to take care of my mother. I came to Singapore to find a better job as being a nurse in Myanmar does not pay well and I needed to support my elderly mother. Now, I am employed as a Home cleaning professional in Singapore.
2/5 What are the things that matter most to you?
I really like to learn English. When I was small, I had no chance to learn English because not many schools in Myanmar have English classes. I think that learning English is very important for my future because having knowledge of English will give me a higher chance of getting a better job and have a better future. I think that learning English changed my life because learning it has given me many new opportunities.
3/5 How much of your time do you spend on these things?
I spend more than 6 hours a day on English. In the morning to afternoon, I practice English by talking to my customers. In Myanmar, not many people can speak English, and in Singapore, most of my friends speak Burmese. My job has given me a lot of new opportunities to improve my English. After work, I usually watch English movies or videos on Youtube. My favourite movie is Frozen as it inspires me.
4/5 What are you most proud of till date?
I am proud that I came to Singapore alone. It was very difficult at first because I often think about my home and my mother. With my new job, I can support my mother and have savings every month. The initial struggles are worth it. My English has also improved a lot and I feel happy when my manager and customers share their positive feedback with me.
5/5 What do you want to achieve in the next 5 years?
I want to make enough money to be able to build a new house for my mother. I think that I can accomplish my goal in the next 5 years if I continue to save my salary. The second goal is to improve my English to a high standard. There are still times where I do not understand some words and I will have to use a dictionary to help me. I want to be fluent in the language within the next 5 years.