There is a large community of people from other countries working in Singapore, among whom are workers from neighbouring Malaysia who commute between Malaysia and Singapore to work every day. As a result of Covid-19, both Singapore and Malaysia closed their borders to travel which meant that Malaysians working in Singapore had to either find accommodations in Singapore or stay in Malaysia – they were caught between choosing their jobs or their families.
The Kingsmead Centre for Ignatian Spirituality and Counselling (our retreat house) is working together with the local Catholic hospital to provide accommodations for 12 Malaysian male nurses and hospital staff, so that they can stay in Singapore to continue their work without undue financial burden. It’s our small way of helping to ensure that essential services can continue in Singapore without too much disruption. Some of the nurses shared with us that they missed and worried about their families back in Malaysia, but they are grateful to the Jesuits for allowing them to stay and serve in the frontline of healthcare services in Singapore.