On Sunday, close to 300 foreign domestic workers in Singapore gathered on the grounds of United World College (Dover) for a fun sports day out organised by Aidha and the Humanitarian Organisation for Migrant Economics (HOME) and supported by SportCares Foundation.
The event, the first that reaches out specifically to the international domestic workers communities here, saw participants competing in captain’s ball, futsal and an obstacle course, alongside activities such as Zumba and mini games.
International Domestic workers cheering their friends on during Sports Day. Photo: SportSG
“This is the third opportunity after Game ON and Inclusive Sports Festival 2017 that SportCares is involved in a sports event with the migrant worker communities here. And we are heartened to have public, people and private (corporate) institutions coming together and collaborating on an initiative that brings so much meaning to our community,” said Kerk Kim Por, Director, SportCares Foundation.
“From this event, it’s evident that sport has no boundaries and serves as an important bridge to social inclusion, care and empathy,” he added.
img width="800" height="600" alt="SportCares Sports Day" src="/~/media/consumer/images/read/2018/july/sportsday_futsal2.jpg?la=en" width="800" height="600" /> International domestic workers enjoying a game of futsal. Photo: SportSG
The event also saw participation from 100 Singaporean and expatriate volunteers, including those from SportCares, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
In addition to facilitating game play at the event, these volunteers joined in on the fun and games as well, promoting interaction with the international domestic workers.
Ida Supahat from Aidha. Photo: SportSG
One of the international domestic worker participants, Nur Khasanah, said: “It was quite difficult [at first] because we didn’t know each other, but we had to be a good team and communicate with each other, [so] it ended up good!”
The 28-year-old has been attending Aidha activities since 2016, and it was through Aidha that she got to know her current best friend, Marilyn Garciso, another of the sports day’s participants.
Competitors were split randomly into teams, and they played various mini-games or sports to earn points throughout the day.
Ida Supahat, communications manager of Aidha, expressed: “They had so much fun! I like how they’re super competitive but yet you can see that they like to work with a team as well.
Mini Games were organised as part of the Sports Day. Photo: SportSG
It was really nice to see them working with other foreign domestic workers and make new friends!” “They work from Mondays to Saturdays and it’s usually just housework.
Sometimes they get stressed as well, [maybe] because of personal issues, so we [wanted to] do something active [where] they can release their stress and meet new people,” she continued.
img width="800" height="600" alt="SportCares Sports Day" src="/~/media/consumer/images/read/2018/july/sportsday_2ndteam.jpg?la=en" width="800" height="600" /> Photo: SportSG
While this inaugural sports day marked Aidha’s first partnership with HOME and SportCares, Ida expressed interest in extending the relationship further. She said: “We had so many great partnerships from this event, and we got [a] good response from people also, and hopefully if next year is fine, and everything fits in well, we might be able to do this again.”
Kim Por concurred: “[Everyone today] all took away with them a sense of better understanding of who these [foreign domestic workers] are. They are just like any one of us, [and] they look forward to fun and engaging activities.”