Singapore

Foreign domestic workers to get new clubhouse

This article is more than 12 months old

New planned facility for foreign domestic workers in Telok Kurau will have training academy, social service hub and sports arena

Foreign domestic workers may soon get a new clubhouse that is 10 times larger than their current premises - and a place where they can relax, socialise, exercise, pick up skills, undergo counselling, and remit money, among others.

Plans are afoot to rent the defunct Telok Kurau Secondary School building in Chin Cheng Avenue as the new clubhouse under the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast).

The news was announced by Fast president Seah Seng Choon during the ninth FDW Day yesterday held at the Institute of Technical Education College Central campus in Ang Mo Kio.

Addressing the maids in his welcome speech, Mr Seah said: "Last year, I promised you a new and bigger clubhouse in view of the huge membership (of Fast). The good news is that we have already identified a larger location for our new clubhouse and we plan to move in by the middle of next year."

Mr Seah said Fast is in talks to rent the Telok Kurau Secondary School building, renovate it, and move in by middle of next year.

Renovation costs are estimated to be in hundreds of thousands of dollars, but he said Fast is confident of raising the money through sponsors, partners and well-wishers.

Its current 500-capacity clubhouse in Jalan Bukit Merah is fully utilised, said Mr Seah.

Fast is understood to have some 8,000 members.

The new facility, which can accommodate some 5,000 maids, will feature a training academy, social service hub with counselling and mediation services, and more.

There will be a sports arena for games such as volleyball, basketball and badminton; a gymnasium; an aerobics hall, a yoga room, music lounge, cafeteria, sundry shop, and more.

FDWs will be able to remit money, utilise courier services and top up their SIM cards too.

Said Mr Seah: "We hope FDWs will gather at the new clubhouse instead of at other places such as Lucky Plaza.

"We want them to have a place to call their own, where they can celebrate their birthday, enjoy the facilities and activities such as line dancing and zumba."

He said Fast will also start providing training courses for FDWs to help caring for people with stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease and disabilities.

These new courses, expected to start in a couple of months, are in response to Singapore's ageing population.

This month, Fast launched the Caregiver Support Service and Helpline (1800-339-2273, or 1800-FDW-CARE), to help FDWs who provide caregiving services manage stress and build mental resilience.

COMMUNITY ISSUES