You are here: Home News This 'mum' to migrant workers in S'pore cooks for them & sets up homely rest areas in dorms

This 'mum' to migrant workers in S'pore cooks for them & sets up homely rest areas in dorms

Mothership, Singapore, 1 August 2021 - In February 2020, Priya Madan Mohan left her job as a senior finance executive, in the hopes of taking a year-long break after decades of working in the fast-paced industry.

Just two months later however, she found herself working full-time again, ensuring that meals were sent, three times a day, to over 10,000 workers in dormitories across the island.

Priya is the founder of Dorm Mums: a group of volunteers who made it their mission to improve the lives of foreign workers, who are often overlooked in Singapore.

Many workers were in need of meals when quarantined

In April 2020, there was a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases, many of which were linked to large foreign worker dormitories.

Those who lived in dorms with confirmed Covid-19 cases were quickly quarantined, and all dormitories were placed under isolation by mid-April.

Having been volunteering with projects supporting migrant workers since 2018, Priya reached out to some of the workers she knew, trying to understand their situation within the dorms.

She soon realised that many workers were not getting their meals because the sudden isolation of dorms had led to employers and dorm operators alike scrambling to provide meals on short notice.

Before Covid-19, larger dorms engaged caterers to provide meals, while workers in many smaller dorms often cooked their own food, or purchased meals from nearby coffeeshops.

While employers were expected to provide meals to their own workers, the issue is complicated by the fact that many did not know where their workers lived.

Companies who hire a large number of workers would often ensure that their workers live in the same dorm, in order to make operations more efficient, so they naturally know where they live.

On the other hand, for employers who hire a small number of workers, their workers are scattered across the island, making it difficult for them to arrange for the delivery of meals to multiple locations.

Some employers who provide workers a housing budget and allow them to choose their own accommodation may not even know where their workers live, leaving them unable to arrange for meals in time.



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