Erlinda Melchor, a foreign domestic worker from the Philippines, was awarded the Helper of the Year in the Sassy Mama Helper Awards on 1 October after being nominated for the awards.
This event was held for the first time by local parenting website Sassy Mama Singapore. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges including board members from local non-government organisations, AIDHA, AWARE, and HOME, along with the Sassy Mama editorial team.
Erlinda has a different experience with her employers than what we often read in the news about her counterparts in Singapore. She works in a caring family whom she adores. Her employer, Mr Cull (42) and his banker wife Amy (39), came from New Zealand to Singapore to work six years ago, describes Ms Melchor as ‘awesome’.
Straits Times in its report on 2 October wrote that Ms Melchor had worked for the family just two months when Mr Cull was diagnosed with stage three head and neck cancer in 2013.
She took care of Mr and Mrs Cull’s young daughter, Annabel, when they have to go for his treatment, she even also read up on cancer and prepared nutritious foods such as smoothies for him.
Mr Cull said, “When you get diagnosed, everyone’s like ‘Oh my God, what do you do?’ So we were really lucky to have Erlinda.”
“We had lots of family coming over… The house was kind of like a train station. But she was just so good at organising everything – cooking the meals and making sure I was eating healthily.”
Mr Cull’s cancer was improved for sometimes but it has returned and spread.
Ms Melchor has been busy helping the family’s visiting relatives to visit Mr Cull when he was hospitalised, accompanying him to chemotherapy, and helping to take care of a new baby, Daniel, who is just five-month old.
Ms Melchor has a daughter (17) and a son (10), left with her parents who look after them in the Philippines. Her husband had died in 2006 in a car accident.
“Of all the employers I’ve worked for, they are the nicest… There is no reason to leave,” said Ms Melchor, who has worked as a domestic helper in Singapore for more than 10 years.