Migrant workers in Singapore were found to be struggling mentally due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak in their dormitories. In light of this situation, Hush TeaBar partnered with SDI Academy and The Art of Living Foundation (AOL) to provide mental health support to these migrant workers by providing them with self-care kits.
On Sunday (19 July), the founder of Hush TeaBar, former Nominated Member of Parliament Anthea Ong, and several volunteers interviewed the migrant workers in Tuas dormitory who received the customised self-care kits.
One of the interviewed migrant workers, Rasel Mirza, 28, had been working in Singapore for the past eight years as a safety officer in construction. He revealed that his father is also a migrant worker in Malaysia, while his mother and wife are currently in Bangladesh.
Other than describing that he had only been married for a year, Mr Mirza and his father are also worried about the uncertainties of current affairs.
He also noted that he appreciated the note pad and pen that were included in the self-care pack and other migrant workers responded the same way. When the volunteers asked what he would use them for, Mr Mirza mentioned that he would write poems for his wife because they got married out of love, as opposed to an arranged marriage.
The second migrant worker, Faisal, worked in Singapore for 10 years. He expressed that his family had been worrying about him as he could not work due to the pandemic and he is still paying for food and lodging.
When Mr Faisal was asked about the self-care kit, he said he felt that they are well looked after in Singapore. He was saying this in comparison to his migrant worker friends working in Dubai. He further noted that he’s appreciative of the support and care, and he signed “Thank You” in gratitude.
The third migrant worker, Chandra, 43, revealed that he speaks to his family three times a day. Regarding the cross-sector partnership by Hush TeaBar, he mentioned that he felt wonderful to “see people” because they’re “all alone”. Mr Chandra also felt cared for and “a lot of happiness”.
However, he was still worried about his family back home, and since he’s here in Singapore for work, he wished to return to work. The construction worker added that the COVID-19 data provided kept them engaged, and they were “stuck to the phone all the time”.
Mr Chandra expressed that he is very grateful for what they received in the self-care kit.
Senthil, one of the migrant workers who spent six years in Singapore, told the volunteers that he liked the sanitisers, masks, pen and notepad in the self-care kit. He mentioned that he would be able to write “stories” with the pen and notepad.
Ms Anthea Ong felt surprised when the migrant workers were excited about receiving a notepad and pen in the self-care kit.
“What has really surprised me has been just how excited and delighted they are about our journal and the pen. We just learned that they don’t have access to these writing materials and many of them would like to write and pen down their thoughts. ”
“That’s really heartening to know that something as simple as a journal has made so many of them so happy.”
Hush TeaBar had also revealed to TOC that they will be delivering the next batch of Hush-inspired Self-Care Kits to healthcare workers around the end of July or the beginning of August, as they have received “many requests” from various healthcare institutions to gather the kits for their employees.
Hush TeaBar expressed that they would appreciate any corporate or individual donors to come forward and help them build psychological resilience in healthcare workers.
They have set up a crowdfunding page for self-care kits for the healthcare workers, and the public may contribute here.