All posts by myvoiceathome

The more we get together

This April to September, the National Museum of Singapore hosts an exhibition that invites you to relive your childhood memories as well as think about future playgrounds: The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030.

WebsiteBanner 980w x 340pxOn June 10th the National Museum has invited HOME to host a special event, where we will look at the role playgrounds play in the life of migrant domestic workers, and the children they take care of. Playgrounds are much more than a place for children to get rid of excess energy; they bring people of all ages and backgrounds together. Children, their parents, grandparents, and other caregivers. Making friends and building a social network is important for everyone’s well-being, and a playground can help with this for young mothers and domestic workers alike.

At the event we will have readings by domestic worker writers from the ‘Our Homes, Our Stories’ book. And we would love to hear from you too! Therefore we would like to invite all domestic workers in Singapore to join our writing competition with the theme:

The more we get together: domestic workers at the Singapore playground

What do playgrounds mean to you? What role have they played in your life? Did you meet your friends there?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, anecdotes and memories!

The competition is open to all domestic workers in Singapore. The children they take care of, their parents, or grown-ups reminiscing their own childhood caregivers are also welcome to contribute. Prose as well as poetry can be submitted.

The best stories will be published on the MyVoice blog. The top 3 entries will receive a special prize and the writers are invited to share them at our event on June 10th 2018.

We have experienced editors and translators to help with your work. If your story is selected, you will work directly with them to get it in a good shape. So if you don’t have much experience writing, or find the English language a challenge, don’t worry.

Please send your stories, poems and photographs to karien@home.org.sg

Deadline: May 21st 2018

If you’d like some more inspiration: the exhibition at the National Museum opens April 10th, and is open free of charge for everyone. More information here on the exhibition:

The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030.

From the iconic dragon playgrounds of the 1970s to today’s modern, inclusive and community-built versions, playgrounds have played a part in our collective experience of growing up in Singapore.

Explore different playground surfaces, examine the original blueprints of the iconic mosaic playgrounds, and discover how we have defined our playgrounds, not only in terms of physical boundaries and equipment but also in terms of their place and meaning in society. You can also hear from people who have built (and are building) these playgrounds, design your own, and contribute to the building of the National Museum of Singapore’s very own playground!

The More We Get Together is an exhibition developed by the National Museum of Singapore in collaboration with the Housing and Development Board.

Follow our hashtag #OurSGPlaygrounds!
 

Sister, brother, love

During an English class at HOME shelter the residents were given the homework to write about their family, and specifically the relationship and the love between siblings. This resulted in some beautiful writing that we are happy to share with you today.

From Ana Barzo

To My Younger Sister.
I chose to write about her among our siblings because she is the one closest to me.
We are not only sisters, we are also best friends… even if in life we can’t avoid some arguments, has we had mostly when we were teenagers.
We have never competed, but she always thought I was mum’s favourite!
We are very different, in our way of thinking as well as in our physical appearance, but i really love her so much!
Even if I am older she is more mature than me.
She is a very talented person; she accomplished her studies in BS Agriculture and she is now working as supervisor in an agriculture company.
I admire her because even if I am far away she always remembers me and recalls special, funny moments of our life, as we had a shower or played together, to make me smile. I am so thankful and blessed to have a sister like her, because mostly now, being stocked without working, she takes care of all the responsibilities instead of me, gives financial support to my two kids and most of all she gives them her affection!
I love you so much sister, you are in my heart now and forever… I miss you so much
Love&Care
Ana

From Myra Pedronan

I have a very good relationship both with my sister and my brother.
I am the second child, very close to my sister and I am her big fan. I like all about her, except the way she handles her temper, but we are best friends.
When I was still young though we had a good relationship we weren’t so close as today. Now our bond is very strong.
When i came to Singapore, she was already here, and every time we buy dresses which are the kind of clothing we both are obsessed with, we buy the same shoes/sandals and we wear them the same day and everyone asks if we are twins!
She is a very caring, loving, approchable and responsible sister and daughter.
She gives more than what she takes, she is very hardworking and she is always thinking how to payback the sacrifice my parents made for her, for us.
She supports me whatever decision I make, so I can tell her even my secrets and so can she. I love her with all my heart, together with my brother!

From May Joy

“A woman without a sister is like a bird without wings”
When we were young my second sister was my worst enemy: she was convinced that my parents loved me more than her.
But the we grew up that feeling of rivalry turned into the strongest relationship ever.
Now she is always there to help me and I can rely on her either financially or emotionally.
Although my mother in law is taking car of my son, my sister always finds time to visit him and provide to his needs.It is particularly important now that I am away to work to know that she is there showing her love to him!
When I was pregnant she provided me with all my needs, including babies clothes, shampoo, cream even cotton puds when I was in the hospital!
That’s why I can say that having a sister in your life is like having a very best friend. Because a sister will always be there you, always stand by you no matter what will happen!

From Roda S. Misasa

Out of my eight siblings there are especially two I am very attached to. Tough we all has a very good relationship I feel so thankful for having Myra and Leah as sisters.
actually they are not really my own sisters, they are my 1st cousins, but we grew up together, we shared the same house, we shared the same room, the same bed…
My parents took care of them since they were babies, because both their parents passed away.
Myla and Leah are more than sisters, they are my best friends, my biggest supporters and defenders. I can tell them everything and they are always there for me especially when I am down they know how to cheer me up giving me good advices, courage and strength. I am the oldest but they are more mature than me. They changed my life, I can say that they both are the answers to my prayers… I have always asked my parents for a sister, but no… all boys… Until one day Mayla and Leah came into our home, my life!

Salary

By Rosita Madrid Sanchez

 

Salary

I have been counting days since day one

I thinking, what should I buy?

Nice clothes, shoes, what else?

I’m so excited…

 

Time flies, the end of the months arrives

The day I am waiting for, has come.

Where is the list?

I didn’t put new shoes and clothes…

 

What can I do? My family is way back home…

Waiting for this money to help them and support their study

OK then… nothing for me this months

Maybe next month or next time…

 

My hard earned money…. all fly away in the wind

with only a penny left in MY hand

Bye salary see you next month.

But at least they are happy….

 

 

Pride and Joy

By Jho Ann Dhumlao

March 11th 2018 was marked on our calendar for some time. And now,  our book is launched! The event last Sunday was indeed a big success. The book ‘Our Homes, Our Stories’  that contains personal stories by domestic workers who bravely share their true life with the public, is available in Singapore and beyond.

_MG_1052

“Have you ever wondered what is life like to us Migrant Workers working abroad?”

Does anyone care about this subject? I hope so, I hope everyone will grab a copy of the book, from employers to migrant workers and government officials alike, especially those working for the Ministry of Manpower. Within every migrant domestic worker story in this book lies a significant lesson; the readers will be able to learn and understand what migrant domestic worker life is like. Their life abroad needs many elements: Motivation, Courage, Strength, Bravery, Perseverance and Faith with God. They need all of this  to keep on facing life’s struggles while away from their families.

May employers realize that migrant domestic workers are just like their “hands and legs”,  that without us most employers would be helpless. The relationship between an employer and a migrant domestic worker should be on a give-and-take basis. The migrant domestic worker needs the salary from the employer to support their family and the employer needs the migrant domestic worker’s service for their family. It seems simple but it is not. Sacrifices, abuse, lack of food, broken trust, salary deductions, salary not being paid, no medical attention or support and love from the family the migrant domestic worker is working with, the employer dictating how the migrant domestic worker spends her day off, all these are things migrant domestic workers are facing; these things are part of our stories.

Last Sunday on stage, you could see migrant domestic worker writers with faces beaming with joy and happiness after they just received their  copy of their book. They come from the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and India. Those brave migrant domestic workers shared their stories. Sponsors, HOME family, employers, and friends were there to witness the launching of the book. All the proceeds of the book will go to HOME, the home of the homeless, voice of the voiceless and Help to the helpless.

IMGL4691-Edit

A humongous ‘Thank you’ to Karien who edited the book, and Pleun the project manager. Without them, this book would not have been possible, even if we have so many stories to tell. And it is with  with pride and honor that I can say: I am one of those writers.

 

Our book has been launched!

Yesterday was an amazing day, that saw the long expected launch of our book ‘Our Homes, Our Stories’. Seeing the emotional and proud looks on the faces of the writers when they unwrapped their copies was more than worth all the hard work that went into the preparation of the book.

The audience could enjoy some of the writers reading from their own work, as well as a Javanese dance performance by one of the writers and her group. Of course afterwards there was time for buying and signing!

If you would like to pick up a copy, please do, we are selling them fast! And remember 100% of the proceeds go to HOME, as all the work was done by volunteers.

The book is for sale at the following addresses:

HOME offices (open to the public):
Helpdesk for Filipino Domestic Workers, 304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza #06-22, Singapore 238863

Helpdesk for Indonesian Domestic Workers and other Migrant Workers, 511 Guillemard Road #01-06, Singapore 399849

Bookstores:
Books Actually, 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645 (Tiong Bahru)

First Draft, #B2-63 Marina Bay Link Mall, Singapore 018984 (CBD)

Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City, Orchard Road

Tango Mango at #03-11A in Tanglin Mall

Cat Socrates, 448 Joo Chiat Road, Katong

Fairs

upcoming: Boutiques Fair (16-17-18 March) – at the HOME booth as well as the NCA.

Ebook:

The ebook is for sale at international retailers like Amazon, Kobo, E-Sentral.

 

If you like to get  book delivered to your home, please donate to our campaign on giving.sg.  (20 dollar for book delivery in Singapore, 25 for oversees) and notify publisher@home.org.sg

More sale addresses will follow later this week. If you know of a book store that you think should sell these books, please send a message to publisher@home.org.sg.

Disco

By Rosita Madrid Sanchez

DISCO
The lights are on
The music is loud
Every one screaming
Shouting it out

Too dark to see
Smoke in my eyes
What is that smell?
Perfume or ghee?

I walking inside
Everyone is smiling
Singing and dancing
A happiness you never see

The music plays (despacito)
I find myself at the middle too
Laughing screaming as in shouting too

The time runs so fast
My day gone so quick
Change back my clothes
From dress to pants
Remove my heels and put my slipper one

Looking at he mirror
Smiling telling to myself
See you again the place where I belong