(a fundraiser for an anonymous Filipino Migrant brother and sister living in Malaysia)
Kayla's Story | Edited by Celine
"My mother and I aren't permanent residents in Malaysia. In order to live here with peace of mind, I've visited immigration offices annually, going through hours and hours of paperwork and interviews. Years of waiting and still no I/C. My family has sent in numerous applications over the years, all to amount to nothing. Growing up, my brother Jason and I went to public school and did our best but when it came time for college, my single, Filipina, migrant mother could not afford to pay.
I've spent my whole life in Malaysia but I still don't feel like I belong here. At an education fair, I got excited because I thought maybe I could apply for scholarships to study Psychology. But I was told that since I do not have an IC or status in this country, I am not eligible to receive any help.
I am 24 this year with 3 years left in Malaysia, before I may be forced to leave. Living life this way, I found it hard to believe in myself and to believe I was worthy of help. I was afraid to ask for assistance and felt undeserving as so many seemed to go through worse situations.
My brother and I have been working as kindergarden teachers. We love our jobs and we find value as educators, but educators in Malaysia don't pay enough for us to survive. Because of the pandemic, our single mother has lost her job and as of today, we are behind on rent by 4 months. The thought of this has brought me constant stress and anxiety and I often wonder if life could ever be different?
Deep inside, there is a longing. My brother and I have carried our dreams despite all we've endured over the years. He dreams of being a marketing and advertising specialist for a big company some day and I dream of helping children with early childhood trauma or mental health difficulties. My heart longs to see children heal and find peaceful resolve from their early troubling life experiences.
With any help we receive, it'll help fuel our dreams to become a reality. Amidst these tough times, we hold on, we get back up when life kicks us down and we fight. Thank you for reading and for supporting our cause. We are eternally grateful."