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Migrant workers spend rest days volunteering

Published on Jan 6, 2014 7:49 AM
(From left) Grassroots leader Sunnie Tan and foreign workers Rajagopal Shanmugam, 34, Mohammad Aslam, 40, and Piyash Banik, 24, speaking to workers sitting in open areas at Teban Gardens. The foreign worker ambassadors join police and grassroots volunteers for rounds after work once a month. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

FROM 4am to 3.30pm, six days a week, kitchen worker Zhao Fu Xin's job is to cook sushi rice.

But on his rest day, the 23- year-old Chinese national is back in another kitchen - cleaning floors while other volunteers like him whip up thousands of free meals for the needy in Singapore.

"When we deliver the food to the elderly, I feel like I am doing something very meaningful," explained Mr Zhao, who has been volunteering at soup kitchen Willing Hearts for about a year, since arriving here in November 2012.

"As a foreign worker, my life here can be monotonous. So I like to come here to do things, everyone here is very friendly and warm."

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Background story


The migrant workers that I know are very happy to work with Singaporeans for the benefit of Singapore society. It makes them feel accepted by society to be able to give something back.

- Transient Workers Count Too executive committee member Debbie Fordyce