In order to assist our guest workers and help them gain new skills during this trying period, SowCare—the community service arm of The Bible Society of Singapore—has been partnering closely with the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO)—a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA)—to launch new initiatives for the guest workers.
Returning to the Community
AGWO was delighted to see our fully-vaccinated guest workers gradually returning to the community—with health and safety protocols still put in place through a prudent approach. This good news was released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on 9 September 2021. AGWO has been supportive of this development and is also pleased to be working alongside MOM and other relevant authorities to recommence activities for the guest workers.
Engaging Guest Workers during Deepavali
AGWO partnered closely with the Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Tuas South Recreation Centre (managed by JTC Corporation), various stakeholders, and religious bodies to organise carnival activities for the guest workers during the Deepavali from 4 to 7 November at Tuas South Recreation Centre. There were games, magic shows, photo booths, mental wellness talks, free haircuts, lucky draws, and many more. There was also a Tuas Got Talent competition where three winners received $200, $300 and $500 respectively. During the 4-day event, there was also a distribution of festive meals and gifts to more than 5,000 guest workers across dormitories mainly in Tuas areas and to more than 2,500 guest workers who were present at Tuas South Recreation Centre.
Launch of New Initiatives
On 7 November, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, the Senior Minister of State for Manpower, attended the event as the Guest of Honour. He launched the religious services and online literacy programmes for the guest workers and presented award prizes. The religious services were a pilot programme started initially in September every week to improve wellness and fulfil the guest workers’ spiritual needs. AGWO has collaborated with Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) Singapore—under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)—and major religious bodies to launch these religious services.
The online literacy programmes were also officially launched by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, together with the distribution of laptops to the guest workers. The online programmes began in September in collaboration with the Dorm Mums—a group of dedicated female volunteers who are committed to improving the lives of the guest workers.
When the programmes started in September, there were over 60 guest workers who registered and more than 10 teachers who volunteered themselves to run the various modules. The modules include three levels of English literacy, two classes of Finance literacy, 12 classes of basic Computer skills, 12 classes each for programming classes in Python and Front-End Web Design, and 12 classes for Microsoft Excel. To adhere to the safety protocols, classes have been temporarily held via Zoom every weekend.
It was indeed so heartening to see all people from various different backgrounds come together to support and improve the lives of the guest worker brothers. May this Deepavali brought joy and happiness to our brothers as we journey together with them 👷🏿♀️❤️
BIG thank you to all the partners, volunteers and donors who have contributed so much of their time and efforts to make a difference. All these would not have been made possible without you ❤️