Domestic Worker Writers at SWF 2018

Sunday at its best!

 

We, the contributors of the Our Homes,Our Stories book have been waiting for this day to come: November 11th, 2018. Who could have thought that ordinary Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) writers would be featured at Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) 2018?

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First, we shared our stories of struggles, failures, victories, learnings, love and heartaches compiled into book. The book was launched, and since then we have been invited to numerous reading events then unexpectedly, Singapore Writers Festival invited the Our Homes,Our Stories writers to read at their prestigious festival.

Singapore Writers Festival is one of Asia’s Premier Literary events which was founded in 1986 and was called Singapore Writers Week by then.

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Thank you Singapore Writers Festival for inviting us. It is such an accomplishment for us and so humbling. It is beyond our dreams that we were a part of SWF 2018as presenters and not just in the audience.

The General theme of the 2019 SWF is “The world(s) we live in, which is a perfect fit with that of our book: “Domestic Worker Writers reflecting on their two homes: Singapore and their “home countries.”

Our Homes, Our Stories is a book that give a voice to Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore. A book that every household with MDW should have and read. It is a must-read for employers.

 

On November 11th Seven MDW writers read part of their stories in the following themes:

 

1) Homesickness- Jo Ann Dumlao

2) Making a home:support network- Novia Arluma

3) Home countries:missing family- Miriam Escander

4) Role model- Nina Rotelo (Cute)

5) Love- Rea Maac

6) Self-confidence- Kina Hidayah Kastari

7) Pride in your job- Robina Navato (Bhing)

 

With pride, they read their stories. The audience showed interest as they listened  and asked  questions afterwards. These MDW writers has been working in Singapore for many years and have considered Singapore their 2nd home.

Migrant Domestic Workers spend a big  part of their lives making sacrifices working away from their love ones, from their families. Employers should treat them fair and just and respect them as Human Beings – just like anyone else. They are people, not commodities. And, be mindful that these MDW’s play a big role in your lives – taking care of your loved ones.

Again, thank you Singapore Writers Festival for this enjoyable experience!

By Jo Ann Dumlao

 

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