On 22 April 2012, Singaporean Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Halimah Yacob, alongside Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore, Andri Hadi, inaugurated as many as 697 Domestic Workers from Indonesia.
The inauguration took place at the School of Indonesia Singapore and was attended by approximately 500 guests, including their employers. Fifty two of these Domestic Workers graduated from the Package B and Package C Program and the rest were from English, Mandarin, computer, sewing and makeup courses.
Six best graduates from each field were presented with an award from the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore.
During his opening remark, Andri Hadi conveyed his appreciation for the teachers and employers who had allowed these Domestic Workers to attend various courses held by the Embassy.
He also prayed that the skills they had gained from the P3K Program can be applied in doing their works both in Singapore and especially when they return to Indonesia. These Domestic Workers could also make use of their new knowledge and skills to set up new businesses.
Moreover, he expected that the courses were able to raise the awareness of these Domestic Workers about how important safety is. Therefore, work accident can be averted.
Meanwhile, Halimah Yacob extended her congratulatory remarks to the graduates, who had studied hard, during a speech and encouraged them to continue learning to enhance their skills.
She also mentioned a plan to impose a policy of giving one day off of every week to Domestic Workers which will be effective in 2013. They can use this one day off to rest and do positive activities, such as attending skills courses.
According to Halimah, learning is a lifetime process. She is known as a minister who actively fights for the rights and welfare of the domestic workers in Singapore. Thanks to her hard work, starting from 2013, all the domestic workers in Singapore will be enjoying one day off of every week, including Indonesian Domestic Workers.
Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has been organizing a Center for Education and Training Program (P3K) since 2009. This program was pioneered by Ambassador Wardana and held at the School of Indonesia Singapore (SIS) every Sunday.
The P3K program provides English, Mandarin, computer, sewing, makeup courses, as well as Package B and Package C. Within the past 2 years the program has attended by a total 3003 Domestic Workers with the following details: 958 people in 2010 and 1325 people in 2011. And at the beginning of 2012, seven hundred twenty (720) people have joined the program. The total number of participants since 2009 has reached 2283 people.
The Coordinator of Information, Social and Cultural Functions of the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, Simon D.I. Soekarno, expected these Indonesian Domestic Workers will be able to become more competitive and have forward-thinking. “We anticipated a rise in the number of participants in 2013 due to this one day off policy.
The inauguration was followed by a launching event of “D.U.I.T” (Dana Untuk Indonesia Tercinta), which is a new product of money transfer by Bank Syariah Mandiri and ended with a show by Indonesian famous celebrities, such as Teuku Wisnu, Cici Tegal, Ari Limau and Snada group. (Source: Indonesian Embassy in Singapore/ed. Yo2k)