40 pairs of helping hands at home | Singapore Informer

by Gillian Lim SPECIFIC days of the year are dedicated to special and important people in our lives, like Mother’s Day. But six years ago, another type of day has been getting some attention – Maid’s Day, or Foreign Domestic Worker Day. It’s today. Figures from the Ministry of Manpower put the number of foreign domestic workers at 227,100 as of June this year. This year’s Foreign Domestic Worker Day event sees a variety of activities: From awards given out for the Foreign Domestic Worker of the Year (we talked to one of the eight nominees for this award), to Employer of the Year, the event is jointly organised by Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) and the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore). There’s even a Talent Time competition for maids and a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate FAST’s 10th anniversary. These are the people who live right with us in our homes, doing the backbreaking work and sometimes combining duties of nanny, caregiver, cook and general help. Besides recognising their efforts, this day is also to highlight the support that foreign domestic workers receive from both employers and non-governmental organisations alike. Available for them are baking and cooking courses, entrepreneurship courses and even foot reflexology courses from organisations like the FAST. Not all foreign domestic workers are happy with their lot. A report released by Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) in March this year showed that 65 per cent of the 670 foreign domestic helpers surveyed were not treated with dignity by their…

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