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Over 1,000 migrant domestic workers and employers gather to celebrate International Migrants’ Day

The Centre for Domestic Employees and The Salvation Army team up for this year’s celebration to strengthen the bond between migrant domestic workers and their employers.
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By Ian Tan Hanhonn 10 Dec 2023
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Model ID: 7fb59523-525b-4d8b-b82a-af80dfcc883f Sitecore Context Id: 7fb59523-525b-4d8b-b82a-af80dfcc883f;

Over 1,000 migrant domestic workers (MDW) and their employers gathered on 10 December 2023 at Gardens by the Bay to celebrate International Migrants’ Day.


This year, the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) collaborated with The Salvation Army (TSA) to hold a mini carnival themed “Flavours in Harmony” to honour the contributions and sacrifices of our migrant domestic workforce.


Event highlights included fringe activities and food kiosks offering cuisines from various MDW nationalities.


Employers and MDWs were also invited to participate in a recipe competition prior to the event.


Guest-of-honour Manpower and Education Minister of State Gan Siow Huang launched a digital cookbook featuring the ten winning recipes along with 32 other recipes.


Ms Gan, who had a sit-down picnic with 20 families and their MDWs during the event, shared on Facebook that the celebration showcased the rich cultures of Singapore’s migrant community.


She wrote: “MDWs play important roles in supporting many households in Singapore. As a society, it is vital that we care for them, too, and show our appreciation for their contributions.


“Caring for our MDWs requires a whole-of-society effort. Together with CDE and our community partners, let's work together to strengthen the ecosystem of support for our MDWs.”


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Acting Director of Migrant Workers’ Segment and Migrant Workers Centre Executive Director Michael Lim added that the celebration was also about enhancing the bond between MDWs and employers.


“Through this celebration, we hope to encourage more employers to take the proactive approach to get to know their MDWs better, so that employer-employee relationships can remain harmonious and respectful,” he said.


MDWs also enjoyed free admission to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, as part of Gardens by the Bay’s Gift of Gardens community outreach initiative.


Bringing families and MDWs closer


Meanwhile, families also engaged in fun and meaningful conversations with their domestic helpers with the help of conversation cards curated by TSA.


Conversation topics spanned from the domestic helper’s hometown to their dreams and hopes for the future.


A quiz was also held to acquaint employers and workers with each other’s cultural norms and practices.


TSA Social and Community Services Director Marcus Moo said the celebration demonstrated the gratitude local families have for the MDW community who support Singaporeans’ daily lives while sustaining their dependents’ livelihoods in their home countries.


He said: “Their importance in our everyday lives is understated and immeasurable with their dedicated service to Singaporean families in their prime years. With time, these families embrace them as one of their own.


“We hope that from the event, employers are better able to appreciate their culture and take their working relationship to new heights.”


CDE hopes to continue working with partners such as TSA to co-create more meaningful initiatives for MDWs.


CDE will continue to engage with the public and focus on MDW’s personal well-being, while providing platforms to foster greater integration between MDWs and the local community.


Learn more about CDE and their services here.