Singapore

Virtual concert dedicated to foreign domestic workers

After three years away from her family, foreign domestic worker Mary Jane had fervently looked forward to visiting her son for his birthday in the Philippines' Quirino province in January last year.

The 33-year-old, who has worked here for seven years now, was left disappointed when Covid-19 disrupted her travel plans and forced her to remain in Singapore.

She was comforted by her employer, Ms Jez Lim, who encouraged her to video call her friends and family regularly.

As the pandemic wore on, both turned to Jazz dancing at home to support each other's well-being.

Yesterday, the duo got a chance to perform in a virtual concert organised to lift the spirits of foreign domestic workers here who have had to stay at home on their rest days and be away from their family during the pandemic.

Organised by local charity Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast), the three-hour virtual show Fast Forward 2021 featured song and dance performances.

Minister of State for Manpower and Education Gan Siow Huang was the guest of honour at the event held at the Singapore Manufacturing Federation Building and streamed live on Facebook.

The virtual show could be viewed by foreign domestic workers on their mobile devices.

In her opening address, Ms Gan acknowledged the essential role played by foreign domestic workers in Singapore, many of whom are primary caregivers in households, and commended their support in adhering to safety measures to protect the community from Covid-19.

Ms Lim, a human resource manager, said she ensured everyone at home followed the proper safe distancing measures, exercised proper hygiene and sanitation.

"I am very thankful that everyone is healthy and with Mary Jane around, managing the household during the pandemic is bearable," she said. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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