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Dubai-based Filipina expat wins Dh70,000, best nanny award

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 14/12/2018 Saman Haziq
Dubai-based Filipina nanny wins Dh70,000, best nanny award © Provided by Khaleej Times Dubai-based Filipina nanny wins Dh70,000, best nanny award

39-year-old Filipina nanny Rosie Villa won the title of UAE's Best Nanny for 2018 on Friday from 42 candidates who were shortlisted for the award. She will also receive 1 million Philippine pesos (Dh70,000 approx) for winning the award.

Thirty-nine year old Rosie couldn't hold back her tears when she was announced the winner of the UAE's Best Nanny award on Friday morning. The dedicated Filipina nanny will be completing six years with her employers, Agustina Rastelli and Andrew Wojecki on April 2019.

Villa has worked as a nanny for 17 years, and was selected as the experts choice because of the way she took care of both her employer's family, and her own family back home.

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Rosie started working after her husband left her with her and their one-year-old child. She moved back to live with her parents and nine other siblings only to realise that she would have to work harder to finance her daughter's education and also help her parents and nine siblings. This is when she took up a job with her current employers in Dubai.

Rosie's daughter is now 17 and all set to start her bachelor's degree in accounting.

"My parents are bedridden and it is my sisters who take care of them as well as play the role of mother for my daughter. I am grateful to them"

Rosie earns Dh2,800, of which Dh1,900 is sent back home to fund her daughter's education and cover her family's expenses.

Thanking her employers and the Rise team, she said: "It is my employers' support and trust that has given me and my family this opportunity. They have stood by me at all times. I am grateful to the Rise team for this gift of a lifetime."

When asked about what she will do with the prize, Rosie said: " This prize came at the right time that I needed it most . First, my daughter is about to enter college so this will cover her fees for the next four years. Second, my employer helped me set up a small grocery store in the Philippines for which I have to repay a loan and this will help me with that. Lastly, I will use it to build a house for me and my daughter so that we can spend some quality time; I would like to make up for all the days I couldn't be with her."

Talking about her life in Dubai, Rosie said: "I feel at home here. I work passionately because I love my employers and I enjoy serving them. They are my family here and they have a good heart. I am lucky to have a family away from home that loves me, cares for me and makes me feel welcome."

Despite winning a retirement fund, Rosie says that she will continue working in Dubai as long as her health allows it.

UAE's Best Nanny award is an initiative by fintech platform Rise, which is celebrating its third year. In 2017, 45-year-old Filipina expat Melanie Manansala bagged the award and received 1,000,000 in her home country's currency to help her realise her dreams.

Families and friends nominated their nannies online for the award by filling out a form on Facebook.

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A panel of four experts assessed nannies on critical childcare skills such as child learning and development, building a nurturing environment, safety, health and nutrition, impact to the family, and role modeling. The panel weighed all the candidates down to the finalists, and then again to the final winners.

The expert panel included - Michelle LaRowe, Stella Reid, Sarah Rasmi, and Caroline Kanaan. Apart from the Best Nanny award, other awards such as the Rising Nanny, the Longest Serving Nanny and the Best Employer award were also given.

Padmini Gupta, Founder of Rise said: "We started the awards to recognize them and created the prize of a retirement fund so that more families play a proactive role in empowering their nannies' future. We are looking forward to next year and continuing to grow awareness about the contribution of these amazing women to our society."

saman@khaleejtimes.com

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