Cheering on our migrant workers
JRS’s migrant worker volunteer group held its first outreach event at the Cochrane Recreation Centre (CRC), on 25 September 2021 bringing cheer to over 100 migrant workers who were at the centre for their rostered routine testing. The morning activities organised by JRS volunteers were a much-needed respite for the migrant workers, many of whom have been confined to their workplaces and dormitories for almost two years since the pandemic.
Mr Ramasamy, a volunteer arranged by CRC, led the workers in a 20-minute workout, giving participants a good stretch. As the sporting participants focused intently on the lesson, others looked on with interest. At the end of the activity, participants were thrilled to learn that they could keep their exercise mats sponsored by JRS volunteer Jocelyn Lee.
Meanwhile, over at CRC’s canteen, JRS volunteers held rounds of Bingo for the workers. Unfamiliar with the game, some of the participants were apprehensive at first but soon warmed up to the friendly and encouraging volunteers. As soon as they grasped the rules of the game with guidance from JRS volunteers, the participants were on a roll. “BINGO!” came the first cry, moments later, with the happy winner taking home a $20 SIM Card, sponsored by SingTel. 10 winners walked away with Bingo prizes that day, while other participants cheered for more.
All participants in the activities went away that day with a lunch voucher, sponsored by JRS board member and head of the Communications & Advocacy Committee, Ms Josephine Choo, as well as a goodie bag filled with daily essentials such as masks, hand sanitiser and toothpaste packed with love by the students of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School. “JRS started its migrant worker programme in the midst of the pandemic as part of its move to engage with the community in Singapore. Due to restrictions on contact with migrant workers, interaction with them had centred around donations of food and also preloved handphones. This activity is the first direct contact between JRS volunteers and the migrant worker community, and it has also brought an enriching experience to our volunteers,” said Mary Lee, Chairwoman of JRS’s Migrant Worker Programme.
“We see the partnership with JRS as a long-term initiative for CRC as we encourage more public involvement with migrant workers’ welfare in Singapore. Through the involvement of persons across age groups, we hope to increase awareness of how the migrant workers have been part of Singapore’s development. JRS has helped to make that possible through this event, and we look forward to working with JRS on more exciting events for the migrant workers at CRC,” said Mr Jaysankar of Guthrie FMC Pte Ltd, recreation centre manager for CRC.
“JRS intends to continue its engagement with the migrant worker community through events at the recreation centres under JTC Corporation. We hope all the migrant workers enjoyed themselves as much as our volunteers did at our first event. We hope to be able to organise excursions in future as we collaborate with more organisations,” Mary added.