Kids show appreciation to maids for taking care of them

Parents Genevieve and Jeffrey Pang help daughter Sheena make a family photo frame for their helper Yusyie Quimada (right).
Parents Genevieve and Jeffrey Pang help daughter Sheena make a family photo frame for their helper Yusyie Quimada (right).ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Ms Yusyie takes a photo of a performance by pre-schoolers.
Ms Yusyie takes a photo of a performance by pre-schoolers.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Filipino domestic helper Yusyie Binarao Quimada, 32, has been taking care of six-year-old Sheena Pang Shuen Lin since she was eight months old.

Yesterday, Ms Yusyie received a thank-you card from the pre-schooler.

"This is the first time she has given me a card. I'm so very thankful that I got the chance to attend this event. It is so meaningful to me," Ms Yusyie said.

Both of them were at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) First Campus' My First Skool (MFS) centre at Waterway Point shopping mall where 210 children handcrafted photo frames and thank-you cards together with their parents, which were then gifted to their domestic helpers.

When asked how she felt after gifting Ms Yusyie - who picks her up from school every day - with the card, Sheena said: "I feel happy because I love my auntie."

The event was held as part of a month-long campaign ahead of NTUC May Day Domestic Employees Celebrations on June 16. This year, the Centre for Domestic Employees and MFS joined forces to launch the campaign across all 142 MFS centres islandwide. The campaign engaged around 11,000 pre-schoolers who expressed their appreciation to their domestic helpers through various activities such as performances, written thank-you cards and handicrafts.

Ms Thian Ai Ling, general manager of MFS and afterschool, said: "It is important to inculcate the values of respect and appreciation in children from a young age. It is also wonderful to have parents join in the activities as gratitude is a value best role-modelled by adults in a child's life."

 
 

Sheena's father, Mr Jeffrey Pang, 36, participated in the handicraft activities together with his family yesterday morning. The cruise line executive told The Straits Times they consider Ms Yusyie a family member and are always grateful to her for taking care of the children.

He said: "All this while, she helps us not only with the household but also in making sure the children grow up to be respectful people, to know what is right or wrong.

"More often than not, we do not have such events to show our gratitude to our helper. It really lets the children understand that the domestic helpers are here to help us and we should appreciate them for what they have done."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2019, with the headline 'Kids show appreciation to maids for taking care of them'. Print Edition | Subscribe