Homebuilding loan in Indonesia allows couple to win top prize at domestic workers’ awards event

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times / Asia News Network): Vivian Sin and her family believed their nearly six-year maid, Mayasari, deserved an award for her dedicated service.

So they loaned him S $ 18,000 to buy land and build a two-bedroom house for the Mayasari family in Semarang, central Java.

“My mother thought she had worked so long, but she had no property to her name,” said Sin, a retired office administrator.

Her mother, 90, offered Mayasari, who has a name, the loan.

In tears, the housekeeper said, “They are very loving, treat me like family, always sharing food – we respect each other.”

The mutual care and respect that the employer and the helper showed touched a panel of judges of the first awards competition for exemplary migrant domestic workers (MDW) and employers, in which they won the first price Sunday November 21.

Organized by the Association of Foreign Domestic Workers for Social Support and Training (Fast), the award received more than 220 nominations, from which eight finalists were selected.

In her speech at the event, Minister of State for Education and Workforce Gan Siow Huang said housekeepers in Singapore have stepped up to help families with new provisions such as switching to work from home and learning from home as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced people to change their lifestyles.

Likewise, employers are also more sensitive and attentive to the needs of our domestic workers, ”she added.

Gan was the guest of honor at the inaugural Fast MDW and Employer Appreciation Day on Sunday, November 21, where the awards ceremony was held.

The Appreciation Day, which was originally intended to be a carnival for up to 1,000 fully immunized participants, was scaled down to feature virtual performances that were broadcast live online with the awards ceremony.

“Despite our very big efforts to cover all bases in order to maintain this Covid-19 situation, we were nevertheless informed that we had to reduce this event”, said Helen Tan, chair of the organizing committee of the day of appreciation.

Sin spoke effusively of Mayasari’s concern for his family even as the housekeeper was quarantined at Swissotel the Stamford in June.

“She went to the market and was in contact with an infected trader, so she received a text message telling her to quarantine,” Sin said.

Sin said she teased Mayasari that she had to serve the quarantine order at a luxury hotel.

“We told him, ‘So good, so good, go ahead and rest. “

However, Ms. Mayasari was unable to fall asleep at the hotel.

The maid said, “I was still thinking about how they were doing because (Sin’s mother) has back pain. So I was worried about how she would clean the house.

Sin lives with his mother, aunt, husband and eldest daughter, 33, in a five-room apartment in Bukit Merah. Sin’s youngest daughter, 31, is staying with them temporarily, the girl’s husband and their 11-month-old son as they wait for their new home to be ready.

Sin and Mayasari said they haven’t decided what to do with their jointly awarded $ 2,000 prize.

As for Ms. Wong Giat Sing, 48, who won the second prize with her maid, Ima Fitarini, the prize will go to Fitarini’s family and her new hobby.

The Straits Times previously reported that Wong and her husband introduced Fitarini, 34, to cycling to help him cope with his sister’s death from Covid-19.

Said Wong laughing, “The plan is for her to send some of the money home and (use) the rest (of the price) for a new mountain bike to tackle the mountain bike trail in the country. Chestnut Nature Park – she’s the only one of us brave enough to try and get up there!

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