Foreign domestic workers (FDW) in Singapore will have a new clubhouse that is projected to be 10 times larger than their current premises.
Plans are currently taking place to rent the now-defunct Telok Kurau Secondary School building located at Chin Cheng Avenue. In the clubhouse is initiated under the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast), members can relax, socialise, exercise, pick up skills, undergo counselling, and remit money.
The news was announced by Fast’s president Seah Seng Choon during the ninth FDW Day on Sunday (Oct 21) held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central campus in Ang Mo Kio. He said that the organisation is in the process of discussion to rent the building, renovate it, and plan to move in by mid-next year.
In his welcome speech addressing the maids, Mr Seah said, “Last year, I promised you a new and bigger clubhouse in view of the huge membership (of Fast). The good news is that we have already identified a larger location for our new clubhouse and we plan to move in by the middle of next year.”
Fast’s current 500-capacity clubhouse at Jalan Bukit Merah, which offers FDWs a place to relax, socialise and pick up a hobby, is fully utilised, said Mr Seah.
The renovation costs of new facility are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but he said Fast is confident of raising the money through sponsors, partners and well-wishers.
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Having about 8,000 members, the new facility is expected to accommodate up to 5,000 domestic helpers where they can sign up for training academy, social service hub with counselling and mediation services, and more. A sports arena for games such as volleyball, basketball, badminton; a gymnasium; aerobics hall, yoga room, music lounge, cafeteria, and sundry shop will also be available in the new clubhouse. Additionally, FDWs will be able to remit money, utilise courier services and top up their SIM cards too, Straits Times reports.
Mr Seah said, “We hope FDWs will gather at the new clubhouse, instead of at other places such as Lucky Plaza. We want them to have a place to call their own, where they can celebrate their birthday, enjoy the facilities and activities such as line dancing and zumba.”
He also shared that Fast is also set up to provide training courses for its members to build capabilities in caring for people with stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and disabilities. These new courses will be launched in to respond to Singapore’s greying population and projected to start in a couple of months. Skills taught include knowing when to give medication, how to move patients, how to communicate with them and where to seek help.
Earlier this month, Fast was introducing the Caregiver Support Service and Helpline (1800-339-2273, or 1800 FDW CARE), to help foreign domestic workers who provide caregiving services manage their stress and build mental resilience.
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