As Singapore gets ready for phasing out the 2G line, about 450 foreign workers will receive new phones that will help to migrate to the 3G line. These phones have been collected by various social organisations.
The low-cost 2G phones are the only link foreign workers have with their families and friends back home. Buying a 3G phone for these workers is quite hard as they get low wages.
One of Singapore’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) distributed the first batch of 50 mobile phones to foreign workers at an event at Desker Road.
TWC2 will distribute about 250 phones in the coming weeks. Some of the phones have been donated by the public while the rest will be purchased with money that was donated.
Alex Au, TWC2 treasurer, said, “It is the generosity and goodwill of the Singaporeans who had donated. I would say it is a group effort. And it’s also an indication that there’s greater awareness of the plight of foreign workers, who are a vulnerable group.”
Another NGO, Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), said they expect to collect 100 phones – all donated by the public - by early April. These phones will be given out to workers who are out of work and have no income because of injuries suffered at the workplace.
In addition to the NGOs, ordinary Singaporeans have also stepped in to offer their assistance. Three local photographers have raised a total of SGD 5,700 in donations from the sales of their print photographs. This was used to buy about 100 new 3G phones, each costing S$57.
These phones will be handed over to Home and then finally distributed to the workers.
The 2G line will be shut down from April 1.