20 January 2015

The Friendly Neighbourhood Ambassadors

20 January 2015

It’s a Sunday afternoon. We are at a school campus. There are no classes. Yet on 16 November 2014, a large group gathered at Republic Polytechnic, decked in orange shirts, with the word “Ambassador”. What is happening?

Excitedly taking on their new roles as Foreign Worker Ambassadors

            A lighthearted moment at the game booths 
Foreign Worker (FW) Ambassador Programme

The Polytechnic in Woodlands was the venue for our Foreign Worker Cascading Workshop. 306 workers, recognised by their dormitory operators and companies for their leadership abilities and positive influence, became FW Ambassadors. They will spread news to their colleagues and friends about matters regarding employment rights and regulations. 

FW Ambassadors proudly displaying their ambassador cards
         FW Ambassadors showing off their dance moves

We customised a fun-filled, interactive and educational workshop that was conducted in the respective native languages of the Indian, Chinese and Bangladeshi Ambassadors. The workshop started off with cultural performances, and moved on to a series of presentations. The Ambassadors needed little encouragement and participated in games and skits, delighting their fellow ambassadors with their sense of humour and improvised dialogue. 

A conducive, relaxing environment for the entertaining, yet informative, skits

The emcee emphasising an aspect of work safety through games and challenges

The Ambassadors appreciated the booths set up by the National Environment Agency, Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Kindness Movement, Customs, Central Narcotics Bureau and Migrant Workers Centre to engage them. Many visited the booths more than once, and found it easy to digest the information, which ranged from law and order, to social norms.

Officer from the Singapore Police Force giving collaterals to FWs

              Games and prizes galore, carnival style  

A day well spent

With goodie bags in hand and newly-gained knowledge in mind, the event came to a close, but not before the newly-appointed Ambassadors shared some sentiments.

“I find this workshop very meaningful. It has helped me to better understand the rules and regulations. With more information, I believe it will be helpful to my work,” said Mr Liu Song Pin, 33, a construction worker from China who has been working in Singapore for a year.  

Mr Liu sharing his positive feedback about the workshop
28-year-old Mr Chidambaram Ilaiaraja from Sim Lian Construction added: “I had fun watching the performances, but more importantly, it reminded us to never forget our Personal Protective Equipment at work. I even remember MOM’s helpline number now, thanks to my friends acting on stage!

Mr Pinto Ahmmad Sirijul Islam, a 30-year-old Bangladeshi working as an electrician at Kingsmen Exhibits Pte Ltd said, “Good programme. I learnt about bringing up safety issues to my employer, and how MOM listens to what we have to say. I can confidently tell my friends about Singapore’s regulations, and explain rights and responsibilities, and even explain about work permit renewal!

A home away from home

Our foreign friends are a long way from home. Many are apprehensive while some feel anxiety at being separated from their friends and families. Being part of the team organising this workshop was a fulfilling experience for me. The team’s effort brought comfort and reassurance to these workers, who will in turn, spread the goodwill among their fellow workers.

The FW Ambassadors left Republic Polytechnic with big smiles. They now become an even stronger pillar of support for their colleagues. By disseminating helpful and reliable information, their appeal to their friends becomes stronger, along with their value to their employers. They feel happier, work safer and become more productive workers. At the end of the day, many were appreciative of MOM’s effort to organise this workshop. They enjoyed it thoroughly and hope to attend more of such events.

Everybody loves Ming, the MOM Mascot 

Vanessa Ang
Foreign Manpower Management Division, MOM 

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