By G12 Rio & Mayuko
What does Project X do?
They are based in Singapore, and their targets are the sex workers that are working in Singapore. Project X is an organization that works for environmental safety as well as the human rights of the people who work as sex workers in Singapore. They envision “a fair and safe sex industry for everyone involved and a society that respects sex workers, their clients, partners, and families” (suss.edu.sg, 2019). We would like to clarify that Project X does not support women working in the sex industry. The organization provides support and advice when needing help. More information on what Project X does: https://theprojectx.org/programs/
What is the issue?
Currently, a lot of women working as sex-workers are vulnerable. Often, they are afraid to report a crime against themselves due to worrying about legal and social consequences as they will be exposed as sex workers. There are a lot of women who are suffering from physical assault, harassment, extortion, robbery, and sexual violence. As the government marginalizes the sex-workers, it makes them more vulnerable, as they are often hidden from society.
Where did the inspiration come from?
The inspiration came out from listening to a lecture from Ms. Vanessa at school during the English B class. Personally, I didn’t expect there were sex workers in Singapore and it was surprising for me that they were discriminated against by society as well. Hearing the story from Ms. Vannessa and what I was thinking was different from what I was expecting. I thought every sex worker is suffering from the situation which was not true. I had an image of these sex workers are forced to work in this job, however, I have learned some sex workers choose to work in this job by their own choice which allowed me to have to turn the interest to be an inspiration.
What did we do?
For the CAS project, we have planned it throughout with Ms. Vanessa, the founder of the organization. After several meetings, it was made clear that the organization needed active support as volunteers, financial support, and the spreading of awareness. However, as we were under 18 at the time we were not able to participate in volunteer activities. Therefore, our activity consisted of creating an exhibition alongside bake sales as fundraising events. We were able to successfully finish the event with a total of over 300 SGD raised money that was handed to the organization.
Challenges and What we achieved
Throughout processing our CAS Project, there were several challenges that we faced. We had a strong feeling to contribute with the organization such as listening to the stories from sex-workers. However, due to being underage, the contribution we could make to the organization was limited. Another challenge was having good time management. We postponed our original bake sale due to not taking into account assignments and exams. Through this experience we became aware that discrimination and exclusion are faced by many marginalized populations, as they often lack access to accurate information and support; the current outbreak of the novel Coronavirus is an example of this.
What we hope throughout this Experience
We hope that people will acknowledge more about this issue. As a lot of people were unaware of this. We hope to continue to build further relationships between Project X and ISS in order to carry on addressing this issue.