HOPES: Jho B’s Story
“I want people to remember, when they hear my name, that I’m a happy person. A person with courage. A person who can always survive. My favourite line is “I can do it.” We all can do it. If you’re still breathing – just keep going.”
Jho’s life is a story of courage, resilience, and transformation. Her positive attitude is inspiring.
She never planned to come to Canada. After finishing a BA in Psychology in the Philippines, it was hard to find a job and she knew she had to leave home. She went to Hong Kong, to work. “I told myself I’m going to go there for one year and then go back to Philippines because it was so painful to leave my 6-year-old son. It was heartbreaking.”
In Hong Kong, Jho had just 12 hours off – Sundays from 9 to 9. “My Mom was there. And we didn’t have a place to stay. We spent our time under a bridge. We put down newspaper, and she had a blanket… that breaks my heart. The whole year, I was just crying because I wanted to go back home.”
An agency asked Jho if she was interested in going to Canada. She thought it was too far, but she applied anyway. After 15 months in Hong Kong, she arrived in Canada with no relatives or friends, and took a job as a live-in caregiver. She sent what little money she had to her son. “I wanted to stick to the plan to get my son. When I left him, he was six. It took me 7 years to get reunited with him again.”
Jho had a baby girl in 2014, but she continued to struggle. With a new baby, no job, no relatives and no savings, she found herself caught up in an immigration scam which sent the perpetrator to prison. Jho didn’t know what to do. “I was going through lots of stress and trauma. I really needed help because I felt like I was going crazy, and that is when I met MNLCT.”
The HOPES program offered emotional support and the sense of community that Jho needed. Counselling sessions provided psychological and mental stability – and confidence. “MNLCT gave me hope to move forward and they guided me to work with a plan. We need courage and perseverance, no matter what happens. Stick to the plan. Grow into it. Make it your motivation to move forward!” she says with conviction.
Jho studied Business Administration at Anderson College, and is now a full-time Admissions Advisor in their sister school, Academy of Learning, where she guides others into suitable programs. “My dream is coming true now. New people come into my office and share their experience. My greatest achievement is when I made someone happy through helping them in any way, even a small thing.” Jho is also establishing her own business, selling health related products.
“I want to see myself successful, and I want to retire happy and content. I’m doing this for my children – to see them having a happy and healthy life. You have to have faith in yourself. Believe in yourself. So I’m looking forward to my success. I’m on my way there.”