HER Journey is a community-based initiative to advocate for and inform women working as Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) in Singapore. Focusing on addressing FDWs’ labor relations and rights issues, we also strive to reshape public perception.
As a grade 10 student, I joined the Her Journey GC (student-led initiatives we call Global Concerns). Her Journey isn’t one of the most popular GCs in school without lots of member and more willing to join. It was founded in 2019 by a grade 11 student.
What Her Journey attracts me the most is the energetic atmosphere it has. The level of involvement of her journey’s members. At the start of grade 10 there is less than 15 students in the GC, yet everyone has a role. We have Cathy in charge of updating aesthetically designed posts on Instagram, Karen and Mercy sharing our ideas to more in the college, Callista reaching out to the FDW organization and their volunteers, communicating with the FDWs conveniently with Bahasa, the mother language of all of the workers. Thanks to those raising awareness for the FDWs, more members joined and our GC gradually expands.
Initiatives in progress
What makes a GC amazing? Talks at the assembly, sausage sizzles for fundraising and fieldtrips some GCs organise to visit the organisation aided by them, it is the number and effectiveness of these activities, I used to thought, that really help a GC to make a change and gain its popularity. Her Journey gives me an eye-opening variety and creativeness of projects a GC can have or be planning to do.
Empathy challenge (find out more on our website) is a card game that simulates the common challenges FDWs experience in their migration journey. In the game, players roleplay as FDWs and employers, and negotiate solutions to the challenge cards. In the process, player’s understanding of NGOs are deepened.
Her Journey Podcasts
Podcasts (find out more on our website) is our second initiative, updated once a month in the “Podcasts” section on the Her Journey website. Aside from recorded interviews, it also includes our own commentaries regarding labor rights issues. They are intended to give FDWs a voice and shed light on conflicts in employment relationships.
Know Your Rights
Our third initiative is a YouTube video series titled ‘Know Your Rights’ (find out more on our website), which are educational videos targeted at FDW viewers. We illustrate and explain legal information using real life cases handled by NGOs.
In collaboration with local NGOs, the above initiatives are carried out in the past two years, and we have received positive feedback from hundreds of FDWs, the national trade union, and partner NGOs.
Other Projects in Plan
Moving Empathy Challenge onto the web is one of our long-term plans. Without the need of actual cards in hand and volunteers explaining the rools, an online version of Empathy Challenge improves the accessibility and convenience of the original card game to a large extent. The project will be put into action at the start of the school year 2021 – 2022.
We are always thinking of creative and interactive ways to raise awareness and to deepen people’s knowledge of the life and situation of FDWs. An interactive video is one that we will start working on soon.
An interactive video is a type of media that gives the viewer the ability to interact with the video content itself. We get the inspiration from the Chinese video platform Bilibili, which offers a tool that enable content creaters to create interactive videos easily. Content creators on Bilibili create awesome works with the tool such as games and quizzes.
With interactive videos, we would be able to link video clips together with certain logics such that the audience will have an immersive experience, experiencing scenes in the daily lives of FDWs, every choice they make will lead them onto completely different results and plots. This could be a short-term solution for the online version of Empathy Challenge before the final program is coded.