Labour Day, also known as May Day, is celebrated on 1st May every year. It’s a gazetted public holiday in Singapore meant to honour all the labourers and workers who have worked hard for Singapore and contributed to its success.
This Labour Day, we sat down with one of our helpers, Yee Yee, and heard her story. We have a close relationship with our helpers here at Helpling and we strive to provide them with the best working environment possible.
38-year-old Yee Yee used to be an office worker in Myanmar until she came to Singapore about 10 years ago to be a full-time domestic helper. After she stopped being a full-time domestic helper, she joined Helpling. She has been working with us for about 3 years now.
Coming to Singapore
When asked what made her leave her hometown to come to Singapore, Yee Yee mentioned the prospect of earning more money in a country like Singapore and being able to explore a new living environment.
She came to Singapore alone, but now she has made some friends. They sometimes hang out at Peninsula Plaza, more affectionately known as Singapore’s Little Burma.
Yee Yee enjoys being in Singapore and she says it’s a beautiful country with beautiful people. She has met many nice people as well. Although she has elderly parents and a 15-year-old son back in Myanmar, she intends to keep working in Singapore to earn enough money to support them.
Working with Helpling
At Helpling, we prefer to use the phrase “working with” instead of “working for” as we have an open and horizontal working relationship with our helpers. As mentioned earlier, Yee Yee has been working with Helpling for about 3 years now. That makes her one of our longest serving helpers!
As compared to being a full-time domestic helper where she was essentially on standby 24/7 and only had 1 off day every 2 weeks, she now has more flexibility because she works lesser hours per day and has regular off-days every week.
Yee Yee has developed a relatively good command of both English and Mandarin through working in Singapore. She managed to pick up Chinese when working as a domestic helper and her English started improving after working at Helpling. She’s thankful because she gets to practice speaking different languages when interacting with her customers. (Even I was stunned by how good she was!)
With Helpling, she gets to explore and see more of Singapore. That’s something she didn’t get to do as a domestic helper. She vividly recalls only going to the supermarket downstairs to get necessities before heading back home. Now, she gets to travel to different areas of Singapore every day when she cleans different customers’ houses.
Life outside of work
Curious to know what Yee Yee does when she’s not working?
From her bubbly personality, I expected her to have a packed schedule on her off days, heading out to meet her friends. But surprisingly, Yee Yee doesn’t go out much. Her off days are spent preparing food – comforting Burmese food to be exact – and snacks for the workweek. Once in a while, she’ll head to Peninsula Plaza when she needs to replenish her Burmese ingredients or other necessities.
Besides that, she goes online to improve her English and surf the net in her free time. She wanted to learn how to speak Malay but found that it’s much harder than learning Chinese. I’d think many of us would beg to differ…
Yee Yee calls her family back in Myanmar only about once every 2 weeks because of the situation there. From our conversation, I could tell she’s worried about her family. She tells them to stay home as much as possible and go out only when they absolutely need to.
Hopefully, once both the situation in Myanmar and the pandemic eases, Yee Yee will be able to go home for a holiday and reunite with her family.
At Helpling, we’re committed to the welfare of our workers. If they have any problems or concerns, they can always speak with us and we’ll do our best to help them. Besides that, they’re paid a fair and competitive wage, one of the best in the industry, in fact. This has been our commitment and we will continue to uphold this ethos.
Want to try our 5-star quality service by our lovely helpers? Book now and get $20 off your first part-time helper booking today!
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