Over 500 guest workers from 70 dormitories came together at Kranji Recreation Centre on Sunday, 16 January from 2-9pm, celebrating the festivities of Pongal Festival, which is widely celebrated by the Tamils as thanksgiving for their bountiful harvest.
This initiative was organised by the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO)—a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA)—together with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), JTC Corporation, Project Dorm, Free Food For All, Life Centre Community Services, Dorm Mums and other partners.
The festivities featured various activities including terrarium workshop, tug-of-war and carrom competitions and lucky draws, carnival game stalls that were set up for the guest workers to enjoy, and distribution of Pongal goodie bags, Pongal rice and sugarcane. A truck full of biryani and masala teas were also brought to the recreation centre to be given out to thousands of guest workers. The festival celebrations also sought to engage with the guest workers and improve their well-being and mental wellness through many more carnival games, activities and educational programmes that will be organised every week at Kranji and Tuas Recreation Centre. The President of HIA, Rev Ezekiel Tan, shared, “The activities are a way to share the joy and festivities of Pongal with the guest workers, as part of our thanksgiving to them for their labour for our nation and to harvest fruitfulness to begin the year 2022. This is also our way to encourage them to look forward to a better year ahead.”