Jun 11, 2020

Among the vulnerable communities in Singapore impacted by COVID-19, it is the community of migrant workers who have toiled invisibly to help build our nation that has been very heavily affected. Infection amongst their community has been widespread, and a large number of them are confined to their dormitories, unable to leave.

It is thus very encouraging that the Singapore government and many other organisations have stepped up to give assistance and support to them in their isolation.

To help ease their plight, the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (REDAS) announced on 30th April the launch of the REDAS Solidarity Project Fund. Its aim is to provide aid and relief to the segments of the community most affected by COVID-19, particularly in the built environment sector where many migrant workers are employed.

So far, more than 50 REDAS members have contributed $760,000 to the Fund, which was also launched to show appreciation for Singapore’s healthcare workers.

Through collaboration with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) and other partners such as the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), REDAS was able to promptly roll out the initiative to demonstrate our community’s stand for Singapore’s migrant workers.

“Our migrant workers are the cornerstone of society and it is important to recognise their valuable contributions,’’ says Deputy CEO of CFS Joyce Teo. “CFS fully supports such efforts to ensure that they receive the best possible assistance during their time of need. ’’

To mark the start of their giving, REDAS distributed 200,000 care packs to as many workers in factory-converted dormitories through the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC). These care packs will include toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, a shaver and a bar of soap. In addition, 800 standing fans will also be donated to dormitories to help improve ventilation for the workers.

“Given the large number of migrant workers under quarantine in dormitories, there is great urgency for us to meet their essential needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” says REDAS President Mr Chia Ngiang Hong. “We hope this collective effort to spread a little kindness to the migrant workers will provide the much needed emotional support to help them ride out this difficult period.”

The May Day Gift event to distribute the care packs was graced by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Secretary-General Mr Ng Chee Meng, and joined by URA Chief Executive Lim Mr Eng Hwee, REDAS President Mr Chia Ngiang Hong and MWC Chairman Mr Yeo Guat Kwang.

“We are very happy to have REDAS partner with us to support our migrant workers in the factory-converted dormitories,’ says MWC Chairman Yeo Guat Kwang. “We are really very thankful to everyone for giving a helping hand to our migrant workers in this challenging time.”