Empowering Migrant Domestic Workers: Collaborative Programme Enhances Skills and Celebrates Talents in Singapore

This December marks the second anniversary since the launch of The Alliance of Domestic Workers Outreach (ADEO) in 2021. ADEO is a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA) that seeks to provide holistic support and care for the migrant domestic workers (MDWs) community in Singapore in a sustainable manner. This year, in conjunction with the celebration of ADEO’s 2nd Anniversary and HIA’s International Migrants Month (IMM), a reading programme for the MDWs was soft-launched on 10 December 2023.

This programme aims to empower and encourage more than 200 MDWs in the first 2 years of the launch, in the hope to improve their proficiency in speaking and reading in the English Language. Through regular Basic Conversational English Lessons and Book Club sharing, ADEO hopes to cultivate a habit of reading among the MDW community.  This feat is made possible through the partnership and support from National Library Board (NLB) and ADEO partners. This is also an opportunity for stronger connections among our volunteers and the MDW community with the common interest of learning and reading to be fostered, echoing the theme for IMM #TogetherInSingapore. These lessons and book clubs will commence in 2024.

The Guest-of-Honour,  Ms. K. Jayaprema, President of Association of Employment Agencies (AEAS) addressed our MDWs at the ADEO anniversary celebration. In her speech emphasised the importance of saving money for the future and awareness of scam threats. The MDWs were encouraged to spend their off days meaningfully by joining activities and volunteering their help to their fellow MDWs in Singapore. Ms Jayaprema ended her speech with a reminder to the MDWs that they are never alone and that there will always be help available for those who need it.

During the celebration,  we also invited talented MDWs to showcase their performing talents, from singing to dancing. Many came forth confidently and shared their joy and warmth through performance, especially those that showcased their ethnic cultures. It was indeed a feast of wonderful performances brought forth by the MDWs to celebrate with ADEO. In celebration of such a joyous occasion, ADEO also held a flea market together with our partner Big At Heart, selling preloved items such as clothes and shoes. The celebration then ended happily with birthday cake-cutting, lucky draws and dinner for the MDWs. Everyone was delighted with this celebration, with one MDW commenting how ADEO’s activities have made her feel special after a whole week of work.

As part of HIA’s IMM efforts, HIA also partnered with DKatalis Bank to conduct a financial literacy workshop for 30 MDWs from Masjid Wak Tanjong on the same day. Volunteers from DKatalis Bank presented the importance of saving, as well as how to make use of digital banking services to better manage one’s finances. They also introduced the MDWs to basic investment tips, and how to manage finances with relatives in their home countries. ADEO hopes that through the partnership with DKatalis and Masjid Wak Tanjong, more such collaborations could be done for the MDW community. 

2023 also marks the second year of partnership with Gardens by the Bay (GBTB) where free visits to Flower Dome were sponsored for the Migrants Workers (MW) and MDWs during HIA’s IMM. Since Deepavali, HIA has been facilitating free entries for multiple groups of MWs/MDWs every Sunday. More than 5,000 MWs and MDWs have benefitted from this collaboration thus far. We are grateful to GBTB for their generosity in joining HIA to appreciate the contributions of our migrant friends, as well as better support and care for our migrant worker community in Singapore.

We hope these programmes can benefit more MDWs and help to improve their lives for the better!

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