Love translated: BLKJ bridges language barrier between foreign workers and Singaporeans

 Amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the migrant worker community, local creative agency BLKJ has launched an initiative to share messages of love with Singapore’s migrant workers in their own native languages. 

Called “Love Translated”, the movement calls for Singaporeans to WhatsApp their messages of encouragement for migrant workers. The messages will then translated into Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, Burmese and Mandarin, and forwarded daily to the workers via their WhatsApp groups and through targeted promoted posts on Facebook.  The messages will also be uploaded onto Love Translated’s official site. “Love, Translated” is also supported by Mediacorp, SPH, IMDA, StarHub and Getty Images, among others. 



Rowena Bhagchandani, founder and CEO of BLKJ said the initiative was inspired by the outpouring of support for migrant workers on social media. According to Bhagchandani, many Singaporeans have offered kind words of encouragement for the workers online however in most cases, these do not reach the workers as they frequent different social media pages and do not speak English as a first language.

“With ‘Love, Translated.’, we hope to provide a channel where Singaporeans can provide encouragement directly to the workers, and in a way that’s easily understandable for them. We want our migrant workers to know that while they may be in isolation, they are not alone. Many Singaporeans are thinking of them, praying for them and wishing them well,” she added.

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Recently, fellow independent ad agency WILD raised some funds to show their support to the migrant workers through a donation to non-profit organisation Transient Workers Count Too. Joan Lim, creative director at Wild said other than creating content, the agency wants to be able to contribute in a tangible way to provide support to those who need it. 

Similarly, brands in Singapore have also extended help to migrant workers. Pizza Hut Singapore will be delivering 2,000 Personal Pan Pizzas to the migrant workers on 1 May to show its appreciation for their hard work and contribution to Singapore. It also hopes to spread positivity during this period of time, and encourage others to offer help to other communities.

IKEA Singapore has also donated 800 mugs to migrant workers, along with cartons of snacks from its food outlet. In a Facebook post, local organisation Itsrainingraincoats said IKEA activated its team to send over mugs and snacks after hearing about workers with no mugs. This issue was raised after workers were found drinking milk straight from the carton.