As the world faced COVID-19, many stepped up to meet the challenge of keeping people safe and healthy in trying times.
However, it wasn’t just governments, charities and big businesses helping those in need.
Across Asia-Pacific, individuals are also providing a helping hand for the vulnerable.
As COVID-19 hit Singapore, ExxonMobil staff there reached out to one of the country’s impacted groups: the many migrant workers, who number more than 300,000 and who help with the construction of the nation’s buildings and infrastructure.
These migrant workers in Singapore saw significant numbers of COVID-19 infections due to their close living conditions in shared dormitories – a key factor that exacerbated the virus’s spread.
Due to lockdowns in Singapore, these workers were confined to their dormitories; they were unable to work and they also couldn’t get the supplies they needed.
Seeing these workers in need, ExxonMobil in Singapore donated daily essential items such as toiletries and food through the non-government organisation Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC), which will help over 1,500 migrant workers.
ExxonMobil also ran a fundraising campaign, which saw employees generously dipping into their own pockets to help these people through the difficult times.
The company’s Singapore staff managed to raise more than S$55,000 ($US40,000) for the MWC’s assistance fund, which contributed to helping affected workers pay for accommodation, food and other daily needs.
“It’s easy to overlook the contributions of migrant workers to our company and country,” said ExxonMobil Singapore senior legal counsel Melvyn Lim, who was among the donors.
“I think many of us felt glad to help, judging by how quickly we hit the fundraising target. I chose to donate because it is the minimum I could do to make things easier for our migrant worker friends during this difficult time,” he added.
In Papua New Guinea, the workforce collaborated to ensure those on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 still had access to food and supplies.
The club also educated communities in the vicinity of the facilities on how to protect themselves against COVID-19.
Luke Tosup, Officer in Charge at the Idauwi Health Centre in Hela province, said the food donations were much-needed support for health workers and their families.
“We are very grateful. Donations like this go a long way to ensure our workers continue to focus on and provide critical health services,” he said.
While governments and large companies have been making a huge impact, individuals have also been leading the way, making a difference in winning the battle against COVID-19 across the world.