Protests are springing up across the globe since the inauguration of the tweet-happy King of Petty and his weeklong reign of #AlternativeFacts. From the millions that showed for the Women’s March to the people flooding the airports to protest the Muslim Ban – can any of us remember the last time the public mobilised in such staggering numbers?
Halfway across the world in Singapore, watching the news roll in, you might be feeling a little helpless. Or maybe even a little removed from the situation. After all, it’s not like we can stage our own protest because of post-CNY food comas… and other more law-entrenched reasons.
But even in the face of Trump’s executive order horrors, you can’t help but see the slight silver lining in all of this. Lawyers holding signs at the airport offering their services pro bono, Google putting together a crisis fund, Airbnb offering free housing to those affected by Trump’s executive orders… humanity is coming through.
There are ways to show solidarity from a distance. If you feel so inclined, you can donate to the Muslim Anti-Racist Collaboration or the ACLU. If not, that’s okay too. There are causes closer to home that could use our help.
They are crucial to the day-to-day running of Singapore, but so often marginalised and forgotten. This country relies on low-skilled foreign workers to take on tasks most wouldn’t deign to do, and the least we can do is lend a hand in making their voices heard. Home (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics) is a registered charity that helps raise awareness around migrant worker rights and advocates for foreign workers who’ve been unfairly treated by employers. They funnel donations into providing shelter, legal assistance, upskilling workers and holding educational seminars for both migrants and Singaporeans. Visit www.home.org.sg to see how you can get involved.
Itsrainingraincoats is a local initiative that supports migrant workers by (you guessed it!) providing them with raincoats. Founder and lawyer Dipa Swaminathan was moved after witnessing a group of workers on a construction site in a thunderstorm, chipping away with only garbage bags as shelter. A strong advocator of their well being, she now organises donation drives and gives out items like raincoats and sim cards to migrant workers in Singapore. Small acts of kindness make a big difference – visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/itsrainingraincoats/ to see what you can do!
Casa Raudha is a women’s home – a haven for those who’ve been abandoned, abused or simply have nowhere to go. They provide computer rooms and an art therapy room, as well as a playground for children. Casa Rauda also runs various workshops and entrepreneurship programs for these women, returning a sense of agency to their lives. Financial aid, medical assistance and counselling are among the services provided. Head over to www.casaraudha.org to find out how you can get involved – volunteers are always welcome!
We Can! Singapore
This organisation takes a stand against discriminatory attitudes and violence toward women. It’s part of a larger, global campaign that is spread across countries like Tanzania, Kenya, India and Afghanistan. Its goal is to promote healthy relationships and gender equality via interactive theatre and workshops with various local collaborators. How can you get involved? Throw your support behind the White Ribbon Campaign – you can volunteer, take the pledge or donate to the cause – http://www.wecansingapore.com/
The last time you may have heard Aware (Association of Women for Action and Research) surfacing might’ve been in the high profile Teenage Magazine scuffle of last year. This group is a strong advocate of equal opportunities for both men and women – in education, employment and also in terms of sex and reproductive rights. They run corporate and school programs, support groups and counselling for victims of sexual violence, a free legal clinic as well as extensive research projects. There are numerous ways to get involved – Aware offers internships on top of the usual donation and volunteering avenues – http://www.aware.org.sg/
We may not be facing anything as drastic as a ban on an entire religion or an assault on women’s reproductive health. Regardless, there are enough issues at hand where we can put our money where our mouth is. January has seen 2017 with a rocky start, but hopefully with a bit of compassion, it’s only up from here!