Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) has just launched a program in which members of public can donate their old 3G phones to help workers to communicate.
By April 2017, 2G signals service will end in Singapore. Many foreign workers are still using 2G phones to communicate with their families, get help when injured or abused, or simply to contact TWC2.
Some of such workers were being interviewed by TWC2. One such interviewee is 44-year-old man, Anthony Samy Francis, came from Tamil Nadu, India.
He owns a 2G Nokia which he uses every day to call his family back at home. “I call India to ask after my family, my children, my baby, how they are with school, how they are eating,” he said.
Mr Anthony said that his son always wants to talk to him and his son would just cry to hear his voice. “I listen only. I cannot see him,” he said.
Another 40-year-old Bangladeshi, Abu, also owns a 2G phone which he had been using for four years. He said that he uses his phone to call his friends and if they have time, they will make an appointment to go out together.
He also said, “Sometimes I need to call MOM (the Ministry of Manpower) in order to fix appointment date. If MOM can’t call me (because i don’t have a phone), or I cannot answer the call then I may miss the appointment.”
Another migrant worker, 40-year-old Rahman Murugaraj from India used his phone to contact TWC2.
He suffered an accident at work in April 2016. He received treatment, however, his finger may not heal completely.
While his case was being investigated by Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Mr Rahman said that his employer wanted to repatriate him. Substantively, he is not supposed to be sent home.
However, his boss bought him an airline ticket and an agent took Mr Rahman to the airport. “At Changi Airport, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to get help,” he said.
The agent had checked him in. Mr Muragaraj sensed something amiss. Therefore, he called TWC2 for assistance.
A team rushed to the airport to secure his release. “If I didn’t have a phone, I would be in India now with no chance of getting compensation for my injury.
TWC2 said that cellphones are a lifeline for foreign workers in times of need. They are a critical defence against abuse.
“Please, donate your old 3G phones to help them get help,” it said.
If you wish to help the workers, you can simply bring your old 3G phone (and charger) to TWC2’s office. They will make sure the items will reach appreciative hands.
- Office address: Transient Workers Count Too, 5001 Beach Road #09-86, Golden Mile Complex, Singapore 199588.
- Drop-off hours: Mondays – Fridays (except public holidays), 9:30am – 6pm
- Alternative drop-off location: TWC2 Dayspace, 1C Rowell Road #02-01, Singapore 207958
- Drop-off hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays (except public holidays), 6:30pm – 8:30pm (ask for Min Yi)
And what if you do not have such items, however, you still want to help? You can donate a small sum of money and TWC2 would be happy to purchase used 3G phones on your behalf. For reference, an old 3G phone costs only about 30-50 dollars.
Go to its campaign donation page here to donate your desired sum of money.
For more information visit http://twc2.org.sg/3G/.