SINGAPORE - After all the bad press and xenophobic whispers, thousands of foreign workers recently saw expressions of gratitude drop in from the skies.
Remote-controlled delivery drones dropped off boxes of Coca-Cola at the South Beach construction site, as part of a campaign to show appreciation for the "invisible workers" in our workforce.
While the Happiness from the Skies campaign was jointly organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) and Coca-Cola Singapore, the "thank you" notes that reached the workers along with the cans of Coke were signed by ordinary Singaporeans.
In late March, SKM volunteers reached out to Singaporeans, urging them to express their gratitude to the migrant workers in the form of a personalised note.
They were asked to write their message on a board and pose with it for a photo that would then be attached to the Coca-Cola cans.
Some of the 2,734 notes were then loaded onto the delivery drones and flown to the South Beach site. Delivered as high as 35 storeys, they caught the workers by surprise. The rest were delivered less dramatically to other construction sites.
"Many of the people we approached to write the message responded positively to the project," said Dr William Wan, the general secretary of the SKM.
He said that both SKM and Coca-Cola Singapore had been "wanting to do something to express their appreciation to the foreign workers here".
A video of the project was uploaded onto Coca-Cola's YouTube channel last Monday and has since gone viral, attracting more than 230,000 views.
"When people watch the video, they will be reminded that these workers are all around and it will be nice to show our appreciation by simply saying 'hi' or offering them a drink," said Dr Wan.
The campaign comes just a few months after the Little India riot in December, which put a spotlight on foreign workers in Singapore.
"Most of them are here to just do their work and support their family. Let's not stereotype the entire group just because of one incident," said Dr Wan.
"Hopefully, the project will remind people that we should be kind to them as they are our guest workers... (people should) carry out their own kind gestures," he said.
Construction worker C. Narayanasamy, 38, who heard about the campaign, thought it was "nice of them to do that".
"Coke is nice when we are working under the hot sun and getting thirsty," added Mr Narayanasamy.
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