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“I do everything with a big heart,” says Myanmar migrant in Singapore

Mary Joseph Don Don (Photo supplied)

A Catholic girl from Myanmar dreamt to be a nun, but the circumstances of life led her to be a housemaid.
Mary Joseph Don Don is a Myanmar migrant worker in Singapore. She is from Thin Gan Ai Village, Hinthada Township, in Myanmar Irrawaddy Division.
Seventeen years ago, a young woman from Thin Gan Ai village, came to Singapore to work. At that time, she could not speak English well. She had so many worries because of her language barrier. By working in Singapore, she expected that she might have a hand with her family. 
“My family is a big family with ten siblings and I am the fifth child in my family,” the 44-year-old Mary Joseph told RVA News.  
Because of her enthusiasm to help her family members, she went to Singapore to work. 
She said, “I could finish the only third-year undergraduate studies at Dagon University, Yangon. I could not finish it because I needed to support my family.” 
She did not have a graduation certificate or another professional skill training document. So, she chose to work as a housemaid. She prayed to God so that she would meet with a good employer. 
Mary Joseph shared the experience of the first day of her work in Singapore, “I still remembered the experience of my work on the very first day. I could not understand their English immediately and I did not know what they were asking.”
“But the employees were very kind to me. They were very patient and taught me how to do and work,” she said. 

Mary Joseph Don Don (Photo supplied)

Mary Joseph faced difficulties with the help of God. She always prays every night. 
She shared her dependence on God, “Among the many difficulties, I forget the past and future for a while, I face the present with my best. It makes me closer to God.” 
She added, “Even the smallest thing cannot be done without God so I offered to God whatever I do. I could rely on God more.”
She recalled her dream of childhood, “In my childhood, my dream was to be a nun but I am here as a housemaid.”
“I did not want the employers to look down on the Catholic Church because of me as a Catholic employee. I did my best in my work. I tried to be patient,” she added.
It can be because of her mother’s teaching. “My mother has 10 children. She admonished her children with the biblical verse, “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt 6:33).
“With that scriptural inspiration, I could overcome the difficulties. The prayers of my family and friends played an important role to overcome the difficulties,” she added.
Mary Joseph said, “As a housemaid, I did with a big heart whatever the employers asked without grumbling.”
That is why the employers remarked, “You are the great blessing of God for our house.”
She has been working in Singapore for the last 17 years. 
She did not discourage for not having the vocation to be a nun. 
“Although I did not get the vocation to be a nun, I am trying to share Christ in any place in every circumstance with my deeds and life.”
She is proud of her parents, Catholic faith, family, and village. 
Thin Gan Ai village can be reached within 20 minutes by bus from Hinthada Town, southwestern Myanmar.
“I tried to be happy in my daily life. I am glad that I have the chance to help my family and those who need my help,” she said. 


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.