Deborah Fordyce By: LUMIN HEW

Deborah Fordyce is standing there, light haired, soft faced with the same smile she greets all migrant workers with, she greets the crowd.

“What is the biggest issue you face day to day at work?”

While working in TWC2, Transient Workers Count too - Deborah justifies that all cases are different and specific but the most common of all would be injuries. As she explains about the rough injuries and sacrifices these migrant workers have to deal with, she cringes.

She shows that there are the catastrophic injuries which can really put a burden on someone's life and there are the small injuries which would normally cause employers to send the migrant workers back home without compensation.

After all, what good are you when injured? Singapore wants young and healthy workers to build the core and cityscapes of the country.

These men, early twenties to late forties come from many countries in the south-east. Many have to borrow then hand over thousands of dollars in order to make the trip here, in Singapore.

This opportunity, life changing. A promise made to migrate in search of being a rich man.

The labour is hard and rarely promising, explains Deborah. As a motherly figure, Deborah opens her home and nurses workers who are in need.

“How do you deal with attachment?” one asks.

“It’s a balance you find within yourself.” Deborah answers. She is distant and calm yet empathetic to the wellbeing of the Migrant workers. But why does she do this? Is a common question she is asked.

Deborah explains that she has children of her own, they have grown and she has time. She wants to devote her life into helping others less fortunate.

Before working with TWC2 she worked with another NGO which helped refugees. This experience has helped her with her encounters in her job now.

In a country like Singapore, everything is bound to be polished and perfect. Deborah explains that through her experiences with the Singapore Government and the Ministry of Manpower, they haven’t been of much use towards this migrant worker problem. Most Employers owe workers months of salaries and on top of that, charge them an expensive rent for a lousy room. Squashed, tired and hungry the migrant workers are forced to work hard in hopes of returning home a rich man.

Deborah Fordyce, a woman that devotes her life to the NGO - TWC2 shares her experiences and knowledge about migrant workers in Singapore.

She is a well respected woman, wise with stories to tell, a motherly figure is what most would describe her as.

But why does she focus more on migrant workers instead of domestic workers? It is because of the accessibility towards the migrant workers. Usually domestic workers who are in need are locked up in houses or trapped. Whereas Migrant workers who seek help are left on the streets to fend for themselves. Deborah explains that it is much easier for their NGO to find these men and aid them.

Coming from middle class backgrounds in their home countries, the decision to migrate out in search for a better opportunity is easy, Deborah explains. They work for their family in hopes for a good education for their children and going home happy. But little do they know, they are entering a rough world of labour.

It is NGOs like TWC2 that make that small difference in lives that should matter, this inspires young teens and children in schools to fight against discrimination and be empathetic towards others.

A strong and courageous woman like Deborah Fordyce in standing in front of eager journalists. She explains her journey and hardships in her time working in TWC2. That warm smile she greeted the crowd with, still on her face as she continues her life story.

Created By
Lu Min HEW
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