In the second of a new series, Transient Workers Count Too held a public outreach event Saturday, December 17, 2011. Divided into two sessions — the earlier one relating to domestic workers and the later one relating to male migrant workers with a short break in between, it was designed to be accessible and easy for the general public. Attendees could come and go as they pleased and catch those parts that interested them.

TWC2 vice-president Noor giving a talk about the situation of foriegn domestic workers

However, many stayed throughout, watching the videos and listening intently as TWC2 vice-president Noor and exco member John Gee spoke. There was no shortage of questions from the audience, indicating their engagement with the topic.

Questions touched on a variety of topics, from day off for domestic workers to recruitment fees to TWC2’s funding situation.

Held at The Pigeon Hole, a hangout cafe on Duxton Road, it was also a convenient location with a casual atmosphere.  Making the organisers a little anxious, the North-South Line suffered a major breakdown that morning, but fortunately, full train services were restored by around noon, in time for the start of our event. However, rain soon came.

Nonetheless, we had over 40 persons coming through the event among whom were several signing up as volunteers.

This series of monthly outreach events is generously funded by the United States government as part of their public diplomacy small grants scheme. Future TWC2 events in the series will be a mix of public and targetted activities. Under planning is one for a students from Temasek Polytechnic and another for medical professionals.

Migrant workers may be highly visible in Singapore by their sheer number, but it is surprising nonetheless how little the public knows about the conditions they work and live in. TWC2 hopes to lift the veil of ignorance and misunderstanding through our outreach events.

Videso were screened, giving the audience an inside look into housing conditions and salary frustrations faced by workers