Minding the well-being of migrant workers


SOCIAL enterprises Hush TeaBar, SDI Academy, and non-governmental organisation The Art of Living Foundation (AOL) partnered to provide mental health support to migrant workers during this pandemic.

With grant support from Swiss Re Foundation and The Majurity Trust's SG Strong Fund, they provided self-care kits, online resources on mental and emotional management, and interaction in Singapore Sign Language with deaf facilitators.

The customised self-care kits - which included hygiene products such as face masks and hand sanitisers - were distributed to the workers in Tuas on Sunday.

When the Covid-19 cases spiked in workers' dormitories in April, an online survey conducted by Dutta with over 100 workers showed that 68 per cent responded "somewhat agree", "agree", or "strongly agree", when asked if the pandemic was making them feel depressed.

Nishi Kuttanna, lead volunteer of Community Service Projects, said: "AOL volunteers rallied to organise its first free wellness and relaxation session on April 11. The online sessions, which are still ongoing, are held six times a week in four languages. The sessions were so well received that new and exciting possibilities for collaboration between the broader Singaporean community and the migrant worker community started to emerge. The HushAOL effort is one of them".

Deaf facilitators from Hush will join the volunteers from AOL to teach migrant workers how to check in with their feelings and express them using Singapore Sign Language.

SDI Academy has been helping migrant workers build their skills with English language, IT, and entrepreneurship courses.

In response to Covid-19, the SDI Academy app was developed to continue providing training.

"SDI Academy app is an interactive learning platform that hopes to bridge the learning and communication gaps by providing content and avenues for locals and migrants to connect," said Sazzad Hossain, CEO of SDI Academy.

Anthea Ong, former NMP and founder of Hush, said: "I am delighted to see this multi-party collaboration between the private and people sectors to support the mental well-being of our migrant workers because how we treat the vulnerable members of our society defines who we are as a people. We must come together as a community to support our migrant workers, and all essential workers, so that we can build back better and emerge stronger, for all".


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