29 June 2013

Foreign Spouse Support Group (FSSG) - Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (ACMI)


FSSG was formed by ACMI on Jun 15 2013, and ACMI is a catholic organisation powered by volunteers and donations and their aim is to help foreigners in Singapore; yes, they also provide assistance to foreign spouse of Singaporeans.

First thing that came to my mind after I read the article was, do we need to convert to catholic before we get help? So I went to ACMI's website and saw this section,

Submitted by acmi on 5 June, 2013 - 11:56
Our training centre centre provides skills training and re-integration courses for foreign domestic workers with valid work permits, regardless of nationality and religion.

Location: Blk A, 98 Hougang Ave 8, S’pore 538791
Phone No: 6284 8797 or email: tc@acmi.org.sg

So they are providing courses regardless of nationality and religion, so how much does it cost? So I read through their course brochure,

ACMI Course Fees

So the courses are around S$90 to S$100, there are also additional costs depending on what kind of course the participant enrolls in, and they are all 3 month courses, I think the pricing is affordable.

I also did a quick run-through of their 2012 annual report and found this,

Number of cases by group and nationality

Top issues

Seems like phone calls and cases for foreign spouses make up a large percentage, about 36.87% for 2012. And looking at the top issues, some of them are more likely to be faced by foreign spouses, looking at the "Seeking financial help" part reminds me that having a foreign spouse is expensive in the long run, especially housing and medical, and if you read this, you will know what I mean by medical is expensive.

I can't help but think that the other issues like seeking divorce, seeking custody of children, spousal violence is related to financial difficulty, but of course there could be other factors, but fact is, marrying a foreigner is certainly more expensive, you don't get any help from the government unless you have a Singapore baby.

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