In a triple celebration 7 December 2014, TWC2 marked its tenth anniversary and International Migrants Day with a benefit event Lunch with Heart. Under the glass dome of Kebabs and Curries atop Mustafa Centre, TWC2’s largest-ever event had hundreds of attendees in constant motion, from food to games to meeting old friends and making new ones, with high-decibel excitement reverberating throughout.
The ceaseless activity was a mirror to the high-octane work of TWC2. In fact, right after the lunch, three board members of TWC2 had to go off to speak with a domestic worker, trapped and confined in a house for two years with no salary. She was so scared, she was still unable to decide whether to walk off the job into our care — understandably since being cut off for so long in the home, she didn’t know whom to trust. Then it was off to a hospital to see another domestic worker warded with a serious infection. Even though the infection will be cured, will nevertheless lose her job and be sent home right after discharge.
This snapshot of a day only shows how much work remains to be done on this front.
The founders of TWC2 came together informally in 2003, and the organisation was officially registered as a charity in August 2004.
Most benefactors who bought tickets for the event decided to donate the tickets back so that an equivalent number of migrants worker could enjoy the lunch in the benefactors’ stead. Others bought a few extra tickets so that even as they came to the lunch, they were also able to benefit a few more workers to the same lunch. TWC2 is deeply appreciative of the gesture.
Lunch with Heart 2014 opened with a brief speech by TWC2 president Russell Heng. He recalled how the little group that came together for a cause had no blueprint but ten years later, we have a slate of direct services. We have grown and become effective in many key ways.
His short remarks was followed by the cutting of our 10th anniversary cake accompanied by “Happy Birthday” sung in four languages: English, Tagalog, Indonesian and Bengali. It took so long, the candles almost burned down to the icing.
Formalities over, it was time for a sumptuous buffet lunch. With the large crowd, two separate buffet lines were set up.
Then there were lucky draws, games and a performance by amateur bollywood dancers Funstepppers.
Long service awards were also given out to volunteers who had been with TWC2 for ten years and five years.
And with that, TWC2 drives forward into its second decade, having grown from a tiny group in 2003/2004 to a multi-faceted organisation helping over 3,000 migrant workers a year
- salary claims
- medical treatment and injury compensation
- free meals for those out of work
- transport subsidies for those out of work
- emergency shelter
- enrichment activities
TWC2 would not be where we are without the unstinting support of our supporters and benefactors, and we take this opportunity to thank all our donors and volunteers for their generous help over the last ten years. We hope you’ll stay in solidarity with us through the years to come.