This semester Students for Migrants ( S4M ) sub-project , Law & You has been busy conducting workshop for Foreign domestic workers ( FDWs) to allow them to learn about salary matters and employment issues. This is to ensure that they are not exploited when they are working in Singapore and are informed of their rights. During these workshops, the students present on issues such as employment contract, illegal deductions, transfer of employment and repatriation.
This is a reflection of the workshop from one of the members of Law & You, Mark Lim.
“Having heard quite a lot about the difficulties faced by the previous week’s workshop particularly with effectively communicating with the very diverse audience, I have to admit that I headed to the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (“FAST”) Lifelong Learning Center with some serious reservations. However, the diversity proved to be much more of a benefit than a detriment.
For one, the diversity in both ethnicity and seniority of the participants allowed for a more dynamic and diverse discussion. This is perhaps the first workshop I had been to where so many of the participants were new to Singapore, and their eagerness to preemptively learn more about their legal rights was both inspiring and exciting. At the same time, the more senior FDWs who had worked in Singapore for a while exhibited a generous and almost maternal propensity to care for their younger friends, and some even took the initiative to quietly translate portions of the slides that were slightly more technical or difficult. It was a heartwarming sight. Moreover, rather than inhibiting the teaching of the workshop material, I think that the audience’s lower proficiency in English actually improved our presentations because it forced us to critically assess which parts of the presentation could be cut when time was running short, and also forced us as presenters to be deliberate in engaging the audience at a pace that was comfortable for them.
I am confident that given the diversity of FDWs we were blessed to be able to reach today, each and every participant had the potential to be a force multiplier by sharing what they learnt with their community of friends. As I reiterated repeatedly during the session, each of the FDWs has the potential to be powerful and important in spreading this knowledge, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to facilitate this process.
I always believe that these workshops, although targeted at FDWs, are excellent opportunities for facilitators to grow. This growth is not just in honing our presentation skills in general, but also as students interacting with a community of FDWs whose positivity, joy and excitement to learn never ceases to awe and inspire.
I am convinced that every workshop is an opportunity to improve our presentations, and I am excited to see how much more effective we can become over time!”