LuSan is the young woman who is Nomi’s nanny in Singapore. Nomi is my four-year old granddaughter.
I first met her three years ago and on the first visit when she told me that she is qualified as a midwife from Myanmar, but wanted to work in Singapore to help her family financially. Migrant workers from other countries are only allowed to work in Singapore in certain areas of work such as domestic work. They are not permitted to remain in Singapore, marry or have children there.
While I was there this time I did a drawing of her ironing. I had an interesting response.
Bev commented that it is so nice to see drawings of people doing everyday things. I agreed completely. My son said that LuSan would probably rather I did a sketch of her with her laptop, not doing menial work. Both viewpoints are so spot-on!
LuSan is now 29 and Andy and Anna are leaving Singapore to go back to Sweden, so she has reassessed where she wants to go. A lifetime of domesticity without relationships permitted is a bleak prospect. Andy and Anna have invited her to Sweden for a holiday, but she would be very isolated and lonely (and cold) there if she chose to stay permanently or if she was able to. Myanmar is a very, very poor country and is in the middle of a civil war. In fact Myanmar is on the news almost daily at present over the refugee boats. Nevertheless, LuSan is going home.
But she has a plan. For the last 9 months, she has been on a community business course every Sunday and has written a small-business plan for an enterprise she hopes to start when she goes back. On the course, everyone learnt about how to run a small business and had to submit essays. They also had to prove to their co-ordinator that they were saving (by showing their bank balance sheets) and at the end of the 9 months they had to submit the proposal. She has saved hard, despite having to send money to her family every month and living in a very expensive city. I was there the week she was submitting her Plan, and I was able to proof-read it and help her with her English in a couple of places. She wants to start a business making corn oil from sweet corn.
On the 20th July Andy, Anna and the two girls will be going back to Sweden and LuSan will be going back to Myanmar. I feel for her as the future is so uncertain. What is certain is that it will not be easy. She hopes to be armed with an oil extractor (about $400) plus whatever else she’ll need for her start-up, including printed labels fopr her product. Andy and Anna will be helping her and will get the labels printed for her.
I have offered to design a label for her corn oil (and will also contribute financially). I’ll give you the brief tomorrow.
I’ve been trying to figure out if there is a way that my blog readers can be invited to help sponser LuSan. Maybe a gift token and then I could do a bank draft? Please give me your responses. My blog will never be a platform for fundraising, yet in this instance, you may feel you’d like to contribute…mmmmm?