The Filipino Ongoing Development Programme marks its silver jubilee
More than 300 female migrant workers of various nationalities celebrated the 25th anniversary of an outreach programme catering specially to them on Nov 3.
The FMM House on Holland Road was a hive of activity as Filipinas, Indonesians, Myanmar nationals, Indians, Mexicans and domestic workers from other countries gathered to mark the silver jubilee of FILODEP (Filipino Ongoing Development Programme).
FILODEP is a ministry launched in 1988, which caters to female foreign domestic helpers. It conducts eight-month-long courses in handicraft, hairdressing, baking and other skills.
It initially served only Filipinas, but is now open all races, religions and cultures.
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) Sr Andrea Casuso, who started the programme, flew to Singapore for the occasion.
The Nov 3 event, which was planned and conducted by the migrant volunteers, included cultural dances, a fashion show, speeches and presentation of mementos to all who were instrumental in sustaining FILODEP over the years.
During the celebration, Philippine ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz and FMM Provincial Sr Mary Soh reminded the women that they should save money and return home to reunite with their family.
Ms Cruz stressed that there are plenty of opportunities in the Philippines for its overseas workers to venture into various businesses.
During the event, participants also attended Mass celebrated by Fr Eugene Vaz.
According to Sr Rosalind Chan, FILODEP director, more than 12,000 women have benefited from the ministry’s skills training programmes over the past 25 years.