Speech by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance & Transport at the WEworkz First Anniversary Celebrations, on 8 July 2009, IKEA Tampines08 Jul 2009
Dr Amy Khor,
Mayor of South West District & Adviser to WEworkz;
Mr Seah Kian Peng,
Member of the SNCF Board of Trustees;
Mr Chandra Das,
Chairman Central Co-operative Fund;
Mdm Kay Kuok Oon Kwong, BBM,
Chairperson, WEworkz Board of Directors;
WEworkz Board of Directors;
Members of WEworkz;
Ladies and gentlemen,
1 A very good morning to all. I am indeed delighted to join you at this first anniversary celebration of WEworkz.
2 Today is special for the South West CDC (Community Development Council) not just because of the WEworkz anniversary celebrations. It is also a milestone for the CDC as a new online marketing portal called Shop@WEworkz will be launched.
3 I understand that WEworkz started from a South West CDC Project called 'Candles By Moms', where women were given the opportunity to earn extra income from being employed to produce candles in their own homes. The 'Candles By Moms' project led to the beginning of WEworkz, where women are trained and engaged to be in part-time or home-based employment, so that they can supplement their household incomes. WEworkz has become so successful that it is now launching Shop@WEworkz, which is an online marketing portal to feature products and services of WEworkz members.
WEworkz Overcoming to Succeed
4 I believe that members of WEworkz, at some point in time, had to juggle between the need to work and supplement their household income, as well as the responsibility of taking care of their families. This is not an easy tradeoff and many face problems balancing these competing priorities. But the success of how a small 'Candles By Moms' project, with just 20 women producing candles, evolved to today's Shop@WEworkz serves as a testament of how difficult barriers can be overcome when there is commitment and desire to
5 Dr Khor has shared that WEworkz now has some 150 members. It had also facilitated more than 50 women to attend training courses, to equip themselves with relevant skills and knowledge for home-based employment. These are laudable achievements for a young organisation.
Complementing Government Schemes
6 Despite this notable start, the people behind WEworkz are not resting on their laurels. They are passionate in their continued endeavours towards helping women become self-reliant ? earning income and gaining financial independence for their retirement. Such initiatives complement and further the Government's efforts in building up the workforce. Through equipping women with relevant skill sets and knowledge, those who have not been working become better prepared to return to the workforce.
7 The challenges women face in balancing work and family can indeed be daunting. But I believe it is because of such difficult circumstances that many have been propelled to think of solutions to overcome them. Sir Winston Churchill said before that "an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty". I think amongst us today are many optimists, who have not just came out victorious from their own circumstance, but have taken the step forward to seize opportunity to be successful women entrepreneurs and enterprisers in their own right.
8 I hereby congratulate WEworkz on its first anniversary and look forward to more women benefitting from the organisation's support.