Pre-schoolers show their appreciation to their domestic helpers at NTUC event

SINGAPORE – Filipino domestic helper Ms Yusyie Binarao Quimada, 32, has been taking care of six-year-old Sheena Pang Shuen Lin since she was only eight-months-old. On Friday (May 31) Ms Yusyie received a thank-you card from the pre-schooler.

“This is the first time she give me a card. I’m so very thankful that I get a 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, 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, 2019. This year, the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and MFS joined forces to launch the campaign across all 142 MFS centres island-wide. The campaign engaged around 11,000 pre-schoolers who expressed their appreciation towards 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 young. 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 on Friday morning. He told The Straits Times that they considered Ms Yusyie a family member and that they are always grateful to her for taking care of the children.

(From left) Parents Genevieve and Jeffrey Pang help their daughter Sheena Pang to make a family photo with a frame for their helper, Yusyie Quimada. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

He said: “All this while she not only helps us with the household. She helps us in making sure they grow up to be respectful people, to know what are the rights and wrongs. 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.”

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