A 60-year-old Sri Lankan woman who looked after her employer’s bedridden wife for 20 years in Singapore snatched the top Foreign Domestic Worker of the Year award on Sunday.
The award comes with a cash prize of S$2,000 (US$1,475), and was handed out during the eighth Foreign Domestic Worker Day organized by Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training.
Jayawardena Mudiyanselage Sittamma Jayawardena had been the third maid the Chua family hired primarily to take care of their stroke-stricken wife and mother, from 1997 until late last year when the woman died, Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) reported.
For those 20 years, on top of household chores, Jaya bathed the bedridden woman, helped change her diapers, fed her via a nose tube, administered her medicine and cut her hair.
Jaya’s 76-year-old employer Chua Choo Hock told the newspaper that the maid was appreciated for her full dedication to his wife and the family.
After their wife and mother died, the Chua family faced another loss: Jaya reached the age of 60, and according to Singapore law, only foreign domestic workers aged between 23 and 60 can stay and work in the country.
Since the Chuas considered Jaya a member of their family, they applied for an extension of stay for her. As a result, the Ministry of Manpower extended her work visa for one more year.