Irish expat couple in Dubai gift house and driving lessons to maid

Published:  29 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia, Dubai, UAE, Money
A Filipino maid who’s been working in Dubai for an expat couple has been gifted with a home and driving lessons as well as other demonstrations of their appreciation.

April Rose Marcellino Gatin has been looking after Irish expat couple Henry and Elaine Horan for 11 years since her arrival in Dubai, after first becoming their maid when they lived in Brunei. Their relationship is an all-time success story in a country where maids aren’t always treated with the kindness and care they bestow on their employers.

Perhaps the most long-lasting gift of the many she received from the grateful couple was a fund composed of extra cash on top of her monthly salary which allowed her to purchase a plot of land in her home town and eventually complete the piece-by-piece building of a house for her extended family back in the home country. The purchase and step-by-step build took a full five years before she was able to invite her family to move in.

The Horans secured her future by paying for insurance policies and ensuring she became financially literate, and also paid for her driving lessons. Now she’s passed her test, she’s putting money by to save for a car. However, the most important gift the Horans have ever given their maid was their first to the then young girl – the means to ensure her father regained his lost health.

April’s father was working in Saudi Arabia when he was imprisoned for a year and subsequently deported in 1995. A broken man, he suffered violent fits and talked to himself incessantly. Finally, he had a nervous breakdown due to his treatment whilst imprisoned. To help the family afford treatments for her father, April agreed to leave home and take over her aunt’s job in Brunei as maid to the Horans. Due to their ongoing kindness and help, her father was able to get the specialist help he needed and is now fully recovered.

She still remembers her welcome to the Horan household, complete with flowers, a handwritten welcome note and chocolates, and she happily took over caring for the couple’s two young children. When the Horans moved to Dubai, she came too and was given a room larger than most expats’ condos, and last year they nominated her for the UAE’s Best Nanny competition. She made the shortlist of 26 finalists and, although she didn’t win, she considers herself a winner because of the kindness and generosity she’s received.
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