Speech by Minister of State for Manpower at ADEO's First Year Anniversary Event
Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State for Manpower, The Bible House
- Good afternoon Reverend Ezekiel Tan, President, Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA); Ms Joyder Ng, Team Lead, Alliance of Domestic Employees Outreach (ADEO); distinguished guests; our migrant domestic workers (MDWs), ladies and gentlemen.
- Happy first-year anniversary! Thank you for inviting me to this very important event. I am very delighted to be able to celebrate this milestone with ADEO.
- Building a strong ecosystem of support for our MDWs requires a whole-of-society effort. This is exemplified by one of ADEO’s initiatives earlier this year. ADEO brought our MDWs to places of interest, such as the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Singapore Zoo. Many Singaporeans generously donated their SingapoREdiscover vouchers to support this initiative. Volunteers also readily stepped forward to plan the visits. As a result, about 1,600 MDWs had an enjoyable and memorable experience in Singapore.
- Another good example is ADEO’s “Flea Market With A Heart” carnival, to commemorate International Domestic Workers’ Day in June this year. Over 200 MDWs enjoyed a wide range of activities, such as Zumba and photobooths. They also picked up new or preloved items at low prices. This is a meaningful gesture to appreciate our MDWs.
- ADEO organises monthly gatherings with socio-recreational activities such as talent shows, flea market, and various exercise classes. More MDWs can look forward to picking up a new skill or hobby and spending their rest days meaningfully with their friends here. This will go a long way to enhance the well-being of our MDWs.
Supporting MDWs’ mental well-being
- ADEO’s partnerships with other organisations are also making a positive impact. For example, ADEO works with the Ministry of Manpower, NGOs such as FAST and HealthServe, and ‘Caring For Life’, collaborating to train MDW volunteers in psychological first aid skills. These volunteers, known as ‘Care Sisters’, provide a listening ear and support fellow MDWs. Thank you ADEO, as well as the network of partners and Care Sisters, for your efforts in enhancing the mental well-being of our MDWs. Let us continue to work together to train and grow our network of Care Sisters!
- I am also very thankful for ADEO’s case work. ADEO works with partners to care and support MDWs who are in need. They direct MDWs to MOM’s and FAST’s helpline. Ms Anne’s story is a good example. Upon learning about a distressed MDW, Ms Anne, a fellow church goer, approached ADEO to seek assistance on behalf of an MDW. In turn, ADEO contacted MOM and explained the situation. Meanwhile, Ms Anne constantly checked in with the MDW to assure her and to take care of her well-being while the case was being looked into by MOM. This case illustrates the reach of ADEO and the connection ADEO has with its partner organisations. I encourage ADEO to continue to work closely with everyone, leverage each other’s capabilities so that the MDW community can be better served.
Appreciation to MDWs
- As we celebrate ADEO’s 1st Year Anniversary today, it is fitting that we also celebrate International Migrants’ Day which is on 18 December. I would like to thank all the MDWs and sisters amongst us today, and Happy International Migrants’ Day.
- In closing, let me once again express my appreciation to ADEO and its partner organisations and all the volunteers here in supporting our domestic worker community in Singapore. Let us continue to work together, hand in hand to sustain a strong ecosystem to support MDWs in Singapore. Have a wonderful celebration for the rest of the day. Thank you!