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This former OFW and fish vendor is now school owner in London

by | Feature

The story of success of former overseas Filipina worker (OFW) Nova Fossgard seems taken straight out of a fairy tale book.

From being a fish vendor, maid, and caregiver in Hong Kong, Fossgard now owns hectares of land in the Philippines, including a grand home and school in London.

But her success was not served on a silver platter. Like many others, Fossgard had her own share of struggles growing up in pursuit of her dreams to provide a better life for her family.

Fossgard is the eldest of six children. Her parent worked as fisherfolk in Zamboanga del Sur. To help her family and younger siblings, Fossgard sold fish in the local market.

The OFW juggled being a fish vendor and a student because she believed education is the only key for her to be able to give a bright future for her family.

“Nagsumikap ako na mag-aral talaga. Ayaw ko sa ganitong buhay. Strive na strive ako,” Fossgard told Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.

Despite her efforts, Fossgard had a hard time supporting her education.

This led her to work as a maid for her relatives in exchange for payment for her school fees.

After graduating from high school, Fossgard received a scholarship grant from Central Mindanao University which helped her finish her degree in accountancy.

However, her graduation was not the end of her struggles, as she was not able to pass the board exam.

Fossgard decided to work as an OFW in Hong Kong for six years until she was asked by her employers to transfer to London to take care of her employer’s parents.

It was in London where Fossgard met her current husband, John, a writer in a school there.

Fossgard narrated that she and John also had financial struggles in the beginning of their relationship.

It was until one day that one of John’s bosses asked him if he was willing to buy the school he was teaching in.

The couple decided to buy the school despite their financial situation. They sold their assets and borrowed money from friends until they were able to buy the school.

Despite having no experience in managing a school, the two divided the tasks — Nora was assigned to work on the administrative side while John was tasked to head the academic department.

After 10 years of hard work, they were able to retrieve their assets and pay off their debts. The school now handles more than 3,000 students from 25 countries.

“I never thought na ma-reach ko ang dreams ko na ganito,” Fossgard said.

“Ang buhay talaga, araw-araw you are learning different things, na maging wide ang isip mo. Ang maibigay ko na lang na payo is mag-aral. Pag ang tao na may dream, wag ka gagapang, dapat takbo ka palagi. Baka yang pintuan na yan na bukas, pag di mo pinasok, baka ma-miss mo,” she added.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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