Saturday, 27 September 2014

Preparing for UWC Day - Meeting the construction workers and planning a lunch.

 Update: See what happened on UWC Day

1 October will be a day in which the whole UWCSEA Dover Campus will focus on the UWC values, with activities ranging from working with our service clients to dragon boating to hiking to environmental projects, etc. 

As part of this day, 44 students have chosen to engage with construction workers building our new high school block to get some insight into the lives of migrant workers in Singapore and prepare a lunch and celebration as way of a thank you...This is the first of a number of blog posts about this adventure.

Blog post by Sanah Budhraja - Grade 9

Today we were given the opportunity to go to the construction site in school and interview some of the workers. They were pleased to hear that we, the students, wanted to cook a meal for them on UWC day to show our appreciation and understanding of their laborious task.
Being service oriented is a trademark of UWC and therefore all workers have been provided with a room with tables, chairs, fans, a water-fountain and a vending machine. Since most of the workers only spoke Tamil, it was important that we took students who could interact with them and speak their language. 

We asked them what they missed the most about home and the general answer was family, friends, culture and food. When we inquired about the food they wanted, most of them were open to anything as they appreciated our gesture. But once the formality died down and the workers started really enjoying our company they told us that they would prefer a traditional meal consisting of rice, mixed vegetables and a dessert called ‘paisum’. For entertainment they said they would like tamil music and simple decorations.

As we were leaving we could tell the the construction workers seemed very excited and were looking forward to this day. These workers work 7 days a week earning around $14 dollars daily so they can support their family back home. They are truly deserving of this meal and we hope that on UWC day we can reconnect and remind them of their culture as well as show our appreciation.

Additional Reporting by Leila  Fuerst

Video and Photos by Sean Asahara Thio.

To a school that honors the unsung heroes; NGO's and volunteers, we sometimes forget those who work right on our campus. This UWC day, we aim to give back a little bit to the construction workers, unsung heroes who help to shape our campus, by preparing a meal for them, accompanied by music. But before we can cook for them, we needed to ask the workers what they wanted. During the meeting, despite our sometimes slightly sketchy translations, and the fact we never worked with them before, the workers were extremely open towards us, and helped us to organise food for them. They made it very clear that they would eat anything we would offer them, as they were pleased to be recognised. We are excited to continue working with them to make this the best experience for both the students and the workers.