By Karien Van Ditzhuijzen
March 11 saw the launch of a special book by HOME, at the Asia 1 Room of the Hollandse Club.
The book contains 28 real-life stories written by migrant domestic workers in Singapore. The women write frankly about sacrifice, broken trust, exploitation, lack of food, and salary deductions. But there are also tales to lift the heart, of supportive employers, the love they have for the families they take care of, and how they use their time in Singapore to realise their dreams for the future. “Our Homes, Our Stories” offers a unique way to learn about what it is like to be a domestic worker in Singapore.
The Hollandse Club generously offered the Asia 1 Room for the launch event. After being welcomed by a traditional Indonesian dance performed by one of the writers and her group, the guests were treated to the first viewing of the video to promote this book. Several of the writers read from their own stories, to give the audience a taste of what to expect.
Not all writers were able to attend (as some are no longer in Singapore), but the first copies of the book were given to the domestic worker writers who were present. After that the rest of the audience could pick up their copy to read the stories for themselves.
Would you like to know what it’s like to be a domestic worker in Singapore? The book is for sale at the reception of the Hollandse Club for only $15. All proceeds of the book go to HOME, a registered charity dedicated to supporting, empowering and upholding the rights of migrant workers in Singapore. The writers of the book have either been residents of HOME’s women’s shelter, or volunteers with the HOME community.