In collaboration with Life Centre Community Services (LCCS) Migrants I-CARE Ministry, safety training school Fusion Safety Management, and the Ministry of Manpower’s Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) group, the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO)—a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA)—organised the HeroCODE Safety Challenge alongside the Mega Kabaddi Tournament on 17 December 2023. Kabaddi is a team sport played in South Asia. The HeroCODE Safety Challenge sought to promote workplace safety and empower guest workers as Safety Heroes, while the Mega Kabaddi Tournament was an avenue for them to engage in recreational activities. Approximately 4000 guest workers attended the concurrent events at Kranji Recreation Centre.
The HeroCODE Safety Challenge aimed to support the Ministry of Manpower’s Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) 2028 vision. Multiple booths were set up at the HeroCODE Safety Challenge, where guest workers could improve their knowledge of workplace safety. These activities included learning how to extinguish fires and using a safety harness. Guest workers also participated in a lucky draw where they stood to win prizes such as bicycles, wireless earbuds and smartwatches. Other highlights included a bhangra performance - a traditional South Asian dance - and a free massage from Sian Chay Medical Institution volunteers. Officers from Woodlands West Neighbourhood Police Centre were on site to provide scam prevention advisories.
Rev Samuel Gift Stephen, Lead Director of AGWO, described the event as an opportunity to reinforce the concept of safety as a priority, rather than merely focusing on completing tasks quickly. “Watching the videos helped me learn how to work with the required safety measures in place,” said participant P. Rengaswamy. Another attendee, C. Pandi, remarked that the examples of safety hazards helped him recognise what to avoid doing at work.
The Mega Kabaddi Tournament comprised sixty-four teams, culminating in the finals played that evening. ASK & Ranjith Sports Club emerged as the champions, beating runner-ups Illupur Poovai Ampal and winning a prize of $2000. ASK & Ranjith Sports Club’s Pandiyan Vajayabalu expressed that this event was enjoyable for him and that it was a proud moment to win the tournament. “We need some fun and games too,” he stressed. “Otherwise, working every day would be boring.”
Both events were held in conjunction with International Migrants Month and the Together in Singapore campaign. Together in Singapore was launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat on 7 December 2023. The initiative aimed to raise awareness of social issues surrounding the guest worker community and recognise their contributions to the nation.
At the end of the event, certificates of appreciation were presented to stakeholders for their support of the HeroCODE Safety Challenge. AGWO and HIA would like to thank all co-organisers, partners and volunteers for their contributions.