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New hangout for domestic helpers set up to prevent overcrowding at popular spots

They can meet at former site of Raffles Girls' School

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Singapore – A pilot at the former site of Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) has been launched to offer alternative gathering sites for foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) announced that an alternative gathering site had been set up at the amphitheatre at 20 Anderson Road, formerly the Raffles Girls’ School, for FDWs to hang out.

In partnership with government agencies such as the Ministry of Manpower, CDE aims to create a safe place that provides services and activities for FDWs while adhering to Covid-19 safe management measures.

The gathering site will remain open for FDWs to use every Sunday until the end of June.

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Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang took to Facebook on Sunday (March 7) to announce the initiative.

Photo: FB screengrab/Gan Siow Huang 颜晓芳

“I met some of our foreign domestic workers and thanked them for supporting families in Singapore,” she noted.

“They were appreciative of the new space set up by CDE for them to relax and meet with their friends.”

“The foreign domestic workers in Singapore are mostly from Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar and India. They are here to earn a living so as to support their families back home. They deserve our respect and care,” said Ms Gan, who is also an alumna of Raffles’ Girls School.

Photo: FB screengrab/Gan Siow Huang 颜晓芳

“Because of the pandemic, several of the usual hangouts for the foreign domestic workers on their rest days have been affected and also are subject to safe distancing measures,” she said in a straitstimes.com report.

Photo: FB screengrab/Gan Siow Huang 颜晓芳

FDWs will need to scan their identity cards to enter the premises. They will also receive a token for contact tracing efforts which they must wear at all times when inside.

Photo: FB screengrab/Gan Siow Huang 颜晓芳

They can then participate in activities such as craft making, Zumba, tote bag painting or even learn English and basic computer skills through a booth set up by the National Trades Union Congress’ LearningHub.

Photo: FB screengrab/Gan Siow Huang 颜晓芳

Food, drinks and clothes are being sold on the premises and remittance services have been established. There is also a CDE booth for workers who wish to file any employment concerns./TISG

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