Founder of Home Bridget Tan recovering in Batam

Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics founder Bridget Tan at the Ang Mo Kio - Thye Hua Kwan Hospital. She will be moving to Batam to continue her recuperation from a stroke.
Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics founder Bridget Tan at the Ang Mo Kio - Thye Hua Kwan Hospital. She will be moving to Batam to continue her recuperation from a stroke.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), a foreign workers' advocacy group, is moving to Batam for a few months to recover from her stroke.

Ms Bridget Tan, who turns 66 in September, said that the slower pace of life and more relaxed environment on the Indonesian island will help in her recovery.

"In a way, I don't want people coming to the hospital to visit me, that's why I want to get to Batam," she said with a laugh yesterday.

Although she was weak and used a wheelchair to move around, she was alert and chatty when The Straits Times visited her at the Ang Mo Kio - Thye Hua Kwan Hospital yesterday, where she was recuperating. She has been recovering at the community hospital since April and is expected to be discharged this Friday.

It has been four months since she collapsed at home and fell into a coma after her stroke.

Since her hospitalisation, social worker Jolovan Wham has taken over the running of Home.

Said Home president Natalia Goh: "In the short period where Bridget has been away from Home, our donors have continued to be very supportive of our cause and we have continued to run our services and operations as before."

In Batam, Ms Tan plans to keep in touch with Home via e-mail and the phone.

"I have spoken to the board of directors and told them that I am available to Home, any time I am needed," she said.

She posted a message on her Facebook page last week, inviting friends to visit her before she leaves for Batam this week.

Some 20 foreign domestic workers visited her on Sunday, on their day off.

"I am very touched, especially when they told me that they cried when they heard I was hospitalised, and that they prayed for me," said Ms Tan.

Ms Tan, a former human resource executive, founded Home in September 2004 using $60,000 from her own Central Provident Fund savings.

She served as its president for eight years without pay. In October 2012, she took the role of the group's CEO - a new full-time, paid position which oversees the day-to-day running of the organisation.

tohyc@sph.com.sg