H.O.M.E. – Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics
H.O.M.E is short for Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics and responds to the special needs of migrant communities. They support, help and advise household helps, nannies and au-pairs that are in need. In response to the growing concern over the plight of some foreign workers in Singapore, a civic movement known as TWC2 (The Working Committee 2) began to campaign against the abuse of foreign domestic workers. The public empathy generated created the conditions for the establishment of H.O.M.E. in 2004.
H.O.M.E helps migration workers in their welfare by providing shelter and food for workers who are abused, victims of human trafficking and forced labour or are required to remain behind as prosecution witnesses. They are subjected to wage theft, work injuries, physical and psychological abuse, among other problems.
The girls receive the sometimes necessary medical and dental treatment for those with limited means to afford health services. In addition, empowerment is a big part of the program. Think of skills training such as languages classes, computer schooling and other necessary courses to sustain themselves such as cooking, care giving or baking. These programs are provided to all migrant workers of H.O.M.E with additional capacity building workshops which provide human rights and sexual health education.
Another way to help this woman is providing advocacy and assistance. These migrations workers have nowhere to go to, nowhere to talk to and nowhere to turn to. H.O.M.E has a help-desk that gives free employment advice and mediation. These girls get legal aid for Singaporean workers and for when they, finally, have returned to their home country.
Moreover this charity provides public education and campaigns on issues affecting migrant workers. Research and documentation and living conditions of workers are needed to get more understanding in the Singaporean society. And in turn to make this abuse a thing of the past. H.O.M.E. works with other civic groups, corporations, government agencies and other community partners. Together they aim to realize an environment without abuse of migration workers. A society that advocates the appreciation and a humanitarian treatment of migrant workers.
Over 2000 migrant workers are assisted each year. 1600 woman and domestic workers annually graduate from the H.O.M.E. academy and more than 700 migrant workers in distress are housed each year. Numbers that are too high, however NCA is grateful that it can contribute to the so much needed cause of H.O.M.E.
H.O.M.E. has come a long way since they started in 2004. Nowadays they offer not only a shelter to abused (physically or financially) domestic workers and migrant workers but also provide them with legal assistance if necessary. H.O.M.E., UNIEFM and TWC2 also have an on-going campaign to encourage employers to give migrant domestic workers a weekly day off. Go to www.maiddayoff.com to find out more.