Tag Archives: domestic worker

THE CRY OF THE HIDDEN

By: Bhing Navato

 

THIS IS FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD START TO LISTEN

NOT JUST TO MY WORDS BUT TO THE CRY OF THE HIDDEN.

TO REMIND YOU THAT WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS

FORBIDDEN OF OUR RIGHTS, TREATED LIKE WE ARE NOTHING.

 

I BELIEVE THAT WE ALL CAME HERE WITH ONE GOAL

TO PROVIDE FOR OUR FAMILIES, HELP THEM WHEN THEY CALL.

BUT HERE’S A STORY OF ONE MIGRANT HERE

WAITING TO BE HEARD, HER EYES ALWAYS IN TEARS.

 

I APPLIED FOR THE JOB, FULL OF HOPE AND CONFIDENCE

NEVER KNOWING THAT MY DECISION WOULD COST MY INDEPENDENCE

THEY HAVE A NICE HOUSE, AND NICE PEOPLE THAT I CAN SEE

BUT SOMETIMES, I KNOW SOMEBODY IS WATCHING ME.

WITH CAMERAS AROUND THE HOUSE, EVERY MOVE IS SEEN

EVEN IN MY ROOM; TO CHANGE CLOTHES, I’M NOT AT ALL KEEN.

 

MY REST DAY IS FORBIDDEN

WHEN I MAKE A MISTAKE, I AM NOT FORGIVEN.

SOMETIMES, A PUNCH IN MY BACK OR A SLAP ON MY FACE

WHEN I CRY, THEY WILL SHOUT AT ME SO LOUD, IT WILL BREAK THE VASE.

 

WHEN I’M SICK, THERE IS NO SICK LEAVE

NO MATTER HOW BAD I FEEL, THEY WON’T EVEN BELIEVE.

FOOD FOR ME IS LIMITED.

TALKING TO OTHERS IS PROHIBITED

A CELLPHONE IS NOT ALLOWED

WHEN I GET CAUGHT, THEY WILL SHAME ME TO THE CROWD.

 

BUT STILL, I WORK WITH DETERMINATION,

WITH MY FAMILY AS MY INSPIRATION.

I TRIED NOT TO COMPLAIN TO AVOID TERMINATION

BUT NO MATTER WHAT I DO, MY FATE IS STILL MY EMPLOYER’S DECISION.

 

I KNOW NOT EVERY DOMESTIC WORKER IS LIKE ME

SOME EMPLOYERS MIGHT BE AS GOOD AS CAN BE.

BUT I’M ONE OF THE HIDDEN THAT YOU CAN’T SEE OR HEAR

ALL I NEED IS YOUR HELP. PLEASE GET ME HERE.

 

 Bhing Navato is a domestic worker, who volunteers at HOME on her Sunday off, to assist other domestic workers at our Lucky Plaza Helpdesk

Christmas Carrot Cake

Christmas is the time for eating great food together with family and friend. Janeth, HOME Academy’s baking teachers, shares with us a recipe for a festive carrot cake that will impress all your loved ones.

CHRISTMAS CARROT CAKE A LA JANETH

Equipment-2 8’’ round or square aluminum cake tins

Baking time-30-35 minutes

Baking temp. -175-180 °

Makes about 2kg round or square cake

christmas cake

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 ½ cups caster sugar
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs-lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins-presoaked, about 5 minutes
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • ¾ cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 ½ cups grated or pureed carrots

For the frosting

  • 200 grams cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted, softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (preferably clear extract)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice –optional
  • 200-300 grams icing sugar, sift

 Note; double frosting recipe for extra decorating if like

 Direction

  1. Preheat oven, grease the baking tins and line them with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon powder, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the walnuts, raisins, coconut, crushed pineapple and pureed or grated carrots.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, combine well after each addition, using wooden spoon.
  6. Divide equally into the prepared tins.
  7. Bake in the preheated ovens for about 30-35 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Leave in the tins for about 10 minutes before turning them into a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.
  9. Place 1 cake on a board, flat side up, spread some of the frosting then top with the other cake. Spread the rest of the frosting. Decorate

 

Direction for the frosting;

  1. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth and no lumps, add vanilla and lemon juice and beat at medium speed.
  2. Lower speed and add in icing sugar a little at a time.
  3. Beat until smooth and just combined. (May use wooden spoon to mix at this point)
  4. Over beating will cause the frosting to be runny.

During the rest of the year this cake is great too, some ideas for decoration are below:

cakecarrot

My Time

By: Jane Sucaldito Supapo

 

Early 2009 I left the Philippines

Because of dreams

Came to a foreign land, Singapore

To fulfil my plan to work and earn a living.

 

At first I couldn’t handle situations.

In my first and second employers’ homes I lacked food and rest.

I left them and found the third

They’re better and I am happily working.

 

I sacrificed and shed tears for my loved ones

It’s this love for them that I am here and holding

Determined I am to pursue my dreams

And fulfil the promise of a better future for them.

 

Being independent and a self disciplined individual

Wise and smart in a crucial world.

A breadwinner and a single mother to a girl

I learned to sacrifice my self-desires.

 

I thank God above all

For opportunities and chances

And facing forward to a better and brighter future

And one day will be proud of myself going back home where I truly belong.

WALK WITH HOME

By Juliet Ugay

It was an energy filled day as HOME celebrated its 11th year anniversary with a walkathon held at Garden’s By The Bay on November 29, 2015. Nearly 400 participants comprising of HOME staff, board members, volunteers, and migrant workers attended the event. The “Walk with HOME” event is the organization’s way of symbolizing the journey taken by each migrant worker that chooses to come to Singapore in search of opportunities to provide for their families. Since 2004, Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) has provided assistance, advocacy and social integration services for migrant workers in Singapore. There are approximately 1.1 million migrant workers here. Every year, an estimated 3000 migrant workers received direct assistance from HOME. Their toll-free hotline, emergency shelters, vocational training, legal aid and health education are some of the important support services they are offering to migrant workers. However, HOME, a non-profit organization depends on donations from the public, as they do not receive any funding from the government to run its programs.

The ladies from the shelter rocked the stage with their opening dance number followed by an opening remark from HOME’s director, Jolovan Wham. The event was also graced by the presence of HOME’s founder Bridget Tan, who is now recovering from a stroke early last year. Natalia Goh, HOME’s President led the walkathon. It was a 3km fun walk. The excruciating heat didn’t stopped participants from enjoying the walk. Free lunches and drinks were served to the participants. There were also other activities to make the event more exciting and fun like the giant Jenga, giant snakes and ladders, photo booth, tug of war, balloon sculpting, spectrum art, ice cream and ice sticks booth, popcorn and candyfloss booths and a booth for JC Premier, who is one of the sponsors of the event. The afternoon activities include performances from different HOME groups. The event ended with happiness as HOME staff led by Jolovan Wham entertained the audience with their Hawaiian dance number. It was ended a fun day!

A GOAL TO ACHIEVE

 by: Saturnina “Cute” De Los santos Rotelo (photo below: first row, third from left)

Finance1

All migrants haves a goal, a dream, or a plan before they leave their loved ones and their beloved country. It’s hard, it’s painful, tears flow from their eyes. They make promises in lieu of their presence, especially to their children. I have been away from home 21 years- almost half of my life I’ve been working in Singapore.

I continue to work for I have a mission. My promise to my beloved father has already been fulfilled, yet I still doubt about going home. I have devoted my time to HOME for 8 years now, and finally the answer has come to me. Filipinos are very family-oriented; closeness and kindness are always there. Love and respect, pride and beliefs are what often pushes Filipinas to migrate and sacrifice their life, love and loneliness, which money can’t replace.

The I.L.O. (International Labor Organization), in partnership with Atikha (a Pilipino organization providing economic and social services to overseas Filipinos and their families in the Philippines) did research to find out why many migrants return to their county a failure and not with innovation. I attended a thorough training by Athika on how to help the migrants, by helping them understand financial matters, and teach them how go back to their home country successfully.

finance3

Devoting my Sundays off to training and educating other migrants makes me happy. My parents sent me to a private university, but I still ended up here in Singapore as a Domestic Worker. I have no regrets, but I did miss out on a lot of things in my life. I have learned a lot myself interacting with my students. Now the 3rd batch of students is almost done, memories linger on how very thankful he students are for receiving this course in Financial Literacy. Their testimonies, written or oral, make me cry as they always say that I changed their lives and have made them realize how important it is to understand how to spend your money between the needs and wants, and that savings are important in preparing for all the hazards of life. As the course continued they realized also that by keeping track of their expenses, they can understand why they have lots of debts. Many families of migrants depend on them fully, all money made abroad is sent back, and the migrants go home for good without any money. In our Financial Education course you learn that you have to to help educate your family, and set an honest example how to manage your hard to earned money.

finance2finance4

Every migrant has a goal, or shall I say a dream, to achieve. By planning finances carefully, together with your family, and using SMART ways, everything is achievable. Many migrants end up with a broken family because of the prolonged separation, so we are trying to slowly stop this practice. So I’m hoping that through this course migrants, especially women, will realize that leaving the country and living away from their husband and children is not the answer for all their dreams. Our journey continues, and I hope that I.L.O. will discover more to protect the worlds migrants, especially women.

Lemon Cheesecake a la Janeth

By Janeth A. Bullecer

Equipment needed;

8’’ round spring form tin, Greaseproof paper, Foil, Baking tray

Ingredients;

For the Crust;

  • 175-200 grams digestive biscuits
  • 80-100 grams softened butter
  • 1 Tablespoon caster sugar (optional)

For the Filling:

  • 750 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 3 large eggs, at room temp.
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 5 Tablespoons plain flour (only if needed, if batter is runny)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

cheesecakeDirections:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C
  2. Line the round spring form tin with the greaseproof paper then grease with oil or shortening.
  3. To make the crust; In a food processor, place digestive biscuits and process till very fine, add softened butter and sugar, process till you get a soft dough.
  4. Spread the biscuit dough evenly into the bottom of the baking tin, then refrigerate while preparing the fillings.
  5. To make the filling: beat the cream cheese into a large bowl, with a handheld mixer or stand mixer until smooth
  6. Add the eggs 1 at a time, incorporate well
  7. Add the vanilla extract, milk, sour cream and lemon juice, and beat well until smooth and well combined.
  8. If batter is runny add the flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time until it becomes thicker but still pourable.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared chilled crust, spread evenly.
  10. Wrap the sides and bottom of the tin with foil making sure it is high enough to avoid getting the water in.
  11. In a deep baking tray, place the tin with the batter then pour water into the tray, fill up to half of the tin.
  12. Bake into the preheated oven for about 1 hour or so.
  13. Cheesecake is baked when the sides are firm and center is just wobbly
  14. When it’s baked, leave the cake in the oven for at least 45 minutes with the door ajar.
  15. Take it out then cool completely then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

 

Good things come to those who bake.

A super DW – By Juliet Ugay

advanced bakingWhile most Domestic Workers enjoy their Sundays off, Chef Janeth, or teacher Janeth as her students call her, is busy teaching baking to her fellow DW at HOME Academy.

janet with her advanced baking students

Janeth Abrias Bullecer, is 40 years old, and hails from Nueva Vizcaya in Northern Philippines. Janeth is one of the gems of HOME Academy. Her 23 years of working in Singapore gave her a lot of experience, and the courage to do something to help her fellow Domestic Workers. Her passion for baking landed her spot as one of the teachers of HOME Academy. Janeth started volunteering for HOME in 2012. She came to know about HOME when she read articles about the organization, its work and of course the founder, Bridget Tan. Bridget created a Facebook page called Gabriela, of which Janeth became a member. After Janeth met Bridget during a workshop, she started her journey with HOME.

At first, Janeth’s dream was to become a make up artist, so she took up Cosmetology classes at Bayanihan Center. When she started volunteering at the organization, she and her best friend Ningsih did fundraising by making cakes and cupcakes, which was what she enjoyed most. She fell in love with baking.

janet with her basic baking last batch

Janeth started basic baking classes with 14 students, then 30, to 40, and reached 50 plus on her 5th batch. She taught cake making, cake decorating, baking different types of bread, etc. She was overwhelmed by the student’s enthusiasm and that inspired her to improve her teaching. Her signature cheesecake was always a hit, and she baked for Bridget Tan and MP Halimah Yacob during an HOME event. Due to overwhelming response, she started an advanced baking class and has 10 enrolees so far. Two of her former students, Sarah and Rhoda are now teaching in HOME Academy 2 and 3.

janet with her basic baking class first batch

Janeth’s work for HOME made her well known for her creations, and due to the encouragement from HOME staff and friends, she was given an opportunity to study first module in baking under a scholarship program at the Baking Industry Training College (BITC). She is currently taking up the second module, which she is paying by herself and she is hoping to continue to gain a diploma. Her main inspirations are her family, especially her mother, who sacrificed a lot for her family. Janeth hopes to have her own bakery shop in the future.

janet with her employer and kids

At present, Janeth is taking care of two boys. She studies two nights weekly, teaches baking on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month and attends computer classes on the 1st and 3rd Sunday. It might be a tiring routine but she manages to pull it all off, thanks to her very supportive employer Ms Nadine Mains. Since Janeth started volunteering, she gained confidence and made lots of friends. She said that the best part of all is to be able to share her knowledge and skill. Seeing her students happy makes it all worth it. Indeed Janeth is one extraordinary Domestic Worker – a SUPER DW!

Check out the recipe for Janeth’s famous cheesecake here!

advance baking