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How to help migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in Singapore

How to help migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in Singapore

Unsung heroes

Text: Natasha Khoury


People travel far and wide to witness Singapore's impeccably clean streets and state-of-the-art architecture. But behind the island's inspiring growth are Singapore's unsung heroes: migrant workers. Playing an instrumental role in supporting our workforce and infrastructure, they often work tirelessly behind the scenes to create the alpha global city we know today. And now as Singapore goes into circuit breaker mode, they are in dire need of our help. Affecting many throughout Singapore, the COVID-19 pandemic has not spared the community of migrant workers.

A recent count of Singapore's record daily spike of 287 COVID-19 cases had seen 202 of the cases linking back to clusters at migrant worker dormitories — and unveiling the real culprit — their cramped dorm living conditions. An unsettling truth that Singapore is now confronted with, exposing the many considerations that have failed to be given to our foreign workers, who are now at a severe disadvantage in the age of the pandemic.

Fortunately, there are things that everyone of us can do to lend a hand, thanks to a list of organisations who are standing up and doing their part to help. Even if you aren't financially comfortable with donations, read below for other ways to contribute.

TWC2

A non-profit organisation dedicated to improving conditions for low-wage migrant works, TWC2 launched a campaign targeting an ongoing forgotten issue. The pandemic has resulted in many migrant workers having little to no balance in their prepaid cards and insufficient funds for their data plans. Why is that of concern? Not only are mobile phones the only service connecting them to their families, but some dormitories do not have WIFI. Add that to close dorm confinement mixed with no assurance of income and you get an impending human catastrophe.

To help combat this, TWC2 took to Facebook announcing that they set up a WhatsApp helpline and a donation link for donors to top up the SIM cards of workers.

Migrant Workers Assistance Fund

Fittingly titled "Migrants We Care", this humanitarian charity instigated a fundraising campaign that tackles several existential matters. Where will your money go to? First off, charitable donations will be dispensed in the event a migrant worker is displaced and unable to retrieve his salary. Secondly, since airlines have ceased operations, migrant workers are forced to stay in Singapore for the time being. Funds will thus be used to provide food and accommodation. Lastly, your donations will also be used to provide daily required necessities including toiletries.

To help reach Migrant Workers' Center contribution goal and assist the vulnerable, click here to donate on the Giving.sg site.

H.O.M.E.

Empowering and supporting migrant workers since 2004, H.O.M.E. is a local-based charity that fights abuse, exploitation and human right violations. And the COVID-19 crisis is no exception. Setting up a donation fund, H.O.M.E. listed down unwavering threats facing the migrant community that will be assisted with the proceeds. Including  but not limited to  financial assistance to all migrant workers in need of urgent medical care, aid in food and transport and unequivocal emotional support and counselling during these anxiety-ridden times.

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Interested in answering H.O.M.E.'s calls for migrant workers support? Donate to their COVID-19 fundraiser here.

SDI Academy

An innovative social enterprise that empowers migrant workers, SDI academy has stepped up during this crisis by instigating a fundraising drive. Seeking $10k for migrant workers, SDI academy partnered up with FundedHere to provide COVID-19 hygiene kits including masks and hand sanitizers. On top of that, due to the nature of their working hours, they will also provide migrant workers with daily necessities like food supplies such as rice and oil. In times like these, giving a helping hand for the distribution of hygiene kits makes all the difference.

To donate, head on over to their Give Asia fundraising page.

Soap Cycling Singapore

An NGO that works with volunteers and charities across Asia to recycle soap, Soap Cycling Singapore has also lent a helping hand. To ensure migrant workers stay healthy, Soap Cycling has provided our most susceptible communities with free soap. Having already distributed 7,500 bars of soap to 2,000 people, Soap Cycling in collaboration with their volunteers aspire to surpass that achievement by providing 20,000 extra soap bars for 5,000 in need workers over the next 6 months. For every dollar you send, Soap Cycling will give 1 bar of soap.

Keen to donate? You can opt to PayNow, scan the QR code or do a Bank Transfer. Alternatively, you can head to their website by clicking here to donate. And if you're interested in volunteering, you can also contact them via their website.

Covid Migrant Support Coalition

Made up of four non-profits including Migrant x Me, itsRainingRaincoats, Citizen Adventures and Singapore Migrant Friends, Covid Migrant Support Coalition have commenced several fundraisers to support the health of migrant workers across Singapore. Rising funds for their NGO partner SG Accident Help Center, Migrant x Me will be acquiring and distributing COVID-19 essentials like masks, sanitizers and vitamins for the workers. They will also assist in funding injured workers who need transportation for healthcare and will provide data top ups when needed. Similarly, itsRainingRaincoats launched several initiatives for migrant workers. First off, to boost the spirits of both migrant workers and isolated folks at home, itsRainingRaincoats started an English teaching session for those wishing to make a difference while cooped up at home. The best part? All you need is English speaking skills and 45 minutes to spare during your week.

Moreover, due to reduction in income, itsRainingRaincoats offers sponsor support for the workers through WhatsApp numbers you can contact. Lastly, in partnership with Singapore Migrant Friends, Citizen Adventures has created simple online lessons mixed with other content for workers to find fulfilling ways to spend time in their dorm and this will also be in coordination with itsRainingRaincoats's English lessons  doing wonders for everyone's mental health wellbeing.

To donate to Migrant x Me, use PayNow. Once the transfer has been sent, send them a confirmation email. All details can be found on Migrant x Me's Facebook page.

Volunteer for itsRainingRaincoats's English teaching session via the sign-up link here. If you're interested in helping migrant workers during these challenging times, check out itsRainingRaincoats Facebook page for the WhatsApp numbers to contact.

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Volunteer in Citizen Adventures and Singapore Migrant Friends learning engagement portal by clicking here or email them at hello@geylangadventures.com.

 

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