The International Migrants Day falls on the 18th of December. The WorldRemit community are primarily migrants and their families, thriving to build better lives for them and their loved ones abroad.
We love to hear your stories and share them with the world. And so, we’ve spoken to our customers to see what being an International Migrant means for them and how WorldRemit helps them along the way.
Anne helps Ugandan girls to stay in school
Anne has lived in the UK for thirty years, after moving from Uganda to do her A-levels. Although she was already donating money to charities based in the UK, she decided to do something that would make a real difference in her home country. “I thought, why not do some work there too?” she asks. “I couldn’t afford to do much here in the UK, it would have had to be a big project, and this seemed like something that would make a difference, and fortunately, it is.”
With her cousin Florence’s help, over the last four years, Anne has helped start-up businesses to scale up. Nowadays, she is supporting two young girls through school.
“A couple of years ago,” she says, “I wanted to help some disadvantaged girls in Uganda, who weren’t studying, to go to school. My cousin knew some people I could help, and there are two girls I send money to now. One had been abandoned by her parents and was living with her grandmother, and the other one, her family couldn’t afford to feed her. Now they live with my cousin and her family. They are both twelve years old, so next year they would have been married off, and now that won’t happen, and they’ll stay in school instead.”
As well as sending the girls to school, Anne’s gifting provides the girls with the care they weren’t receiving at home, and with essentials, like stationery. With her help, the girls are thriving.
“It took one of the girls two years to smile. Now she’s constantly smiling. Seeing that is the biggest thing.”
Anne uses WorldRemit to send money back home, because, she says, “Worldremit was the easiest thing to use. I used to send transfers with other companies, but the fees were so high.”
She uses WorldRemit because the money is easy for her to send and easy for Florence to receive. “I can do it on my phone, and it’s there in seconds. They get a text, and you get a text, and you know that the money has been received. It’s so convenient. The money goes on to my cousin’s phone, so she’s got a balance and she can withdraw it when she needs to. She just goes to a kiosk. That was an advantage, too, because she used to have to travel to an agent, whereas the mobile money kiosks are all around.”
She’s also keen to see her community at home growing. “One person wanted to start a hair salon/barbershop, and so sending him money to secure the first three months rent helped him to start the business. He’s doing quite well now!”
Anne visits Uganda regularly. “Growing up in Africa where people sometimes don’t have a lot, £30 or £40 could make a lot of difference. And you can see the impact, for example, the business that someone started. It’s nice to give back,” she added.
Laureen sends money to students for better equipment
Laureen had been married for two years when she and her husband moved to the UK from Nigeria so that Laureen could study for her Masters at the University of Manchester. They’ve lived in Manchester since 2009, and Laureen has just had a new baby.
“In Nigeria,” she says, “it’s traditional to look after your parents. My children will look after me when they are grown up.” She sends money home to her mum, for upkeep, medication, and everyday items. “I don’t tell her what she can spend it on; it’s her money to spend it on what she wants.”
Laureen hasn’t been able to go home since she and her husband moved to the UK. “The money goes home instead of me,” she explained.
With a group of classmates, she also sends money back to her school and university in Nigeria. “My school alumni and I give back to our secondary schools and to our university, where I did my first degree. It’s money for renovations on the buildings, or for a new lab, or something like that. I was happy when you introduced business accounts so that I can send straight to the school. I used to send money to one of my school friends, but now I can send it to the business account. It’s a lot of help to the schools that we’re able to give back. My husband sends money back to his family, and back to school, too.”
Laureen used to use another money transfer service, because “everyone used it,” but she and her husband both switched to using WorldRemit in 2013. She says that the best thing about using WorldRemit is the peace of mind.
“It’s so convenient. The money arrives instantly. Very rarely there’s been a delay, but before you know it there’s a text message to confirm that it’s fixed, and then it’s all very quick. We’ve never been disappointed.”
“You always know the money will end up where it’s supposed to. With WorldRemit we’ve never had any worries that it will go to the wrong place, or that someone won’t receive it. We know it’s safe.”
Happy International Migrants Day from WorldRemit
Moving to another country, or even another continent, requires an enormous amount of courage and effort. At WorldRemit, we recognise the hard work of migrants, their contributions to national economies and their community support.
Our customers are proof of how hardly migrants work to achieve their dreams. Laureen’s and Anne’s stories are just the tip of an iceberg of the accomplishments that migrants earn each day.
We wish our customers and all migrants around the world a happy International Migrants Day.