Love Beyond Borders

Joe serves as a Healthcare Assistant in LB’s HPC team.

Aung Kyaw Kyaw, or Joe as colleagues fondly call him, is a Myanmar national who joined LB’s Home Personal Care (HPC) team in June 2023. Though from a foreign land, Joe has overcome cultural and language barriers to love and care for our seniors as a Healthcare Assistant. We catch up with Joe to find out more!

Can you tell us more about yourself?
Joe: Hello, my full name is Aung Kyaw Kyaw, but everyone calls me Joe. I’m 26 years old, from Myanmar! I used to work as a Merchandising Coordinator at CMHL (one of Myanmar’s largest retail stores), but entered the healthcare sector in Myanmar during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of my grandmas had died because of the COVID-19 situation. I was so sad, so I started volunteering at a COVID centre there, and kept going (in healthcare) since.

When did you arrive in Singapore?
Joe: I came to Singapore in November 2022 after finding a job through an agent. Here, I got some information about LB from one of my friends whom I appreciate a lot. She told me that it was worthwhile to join LB. So on 6 June 2023, I joined LB as a Healthcare Assistant with the HPC programme!

I understand you are currently the only male Healthcare Assistant in LB’s HPC team! How do you feel being the “thorn” among the roses?
Joe: [Laughs] When I first came to Singapore, I was working at a domestic centre, and I was the only male too, around me were all women! Now also. Sometimes I feel nervous and uncomfortable, but now I’m used to it. It’s not difficult.

Do you think more male Healthcare Assistants would be good?
Joe: Yes, because some of the clients are heavier (and require greater strength to assist them). Or some of the clients are uncles who may be more comfortable with males. All of my clients are male.

What is your day as a Healthcare Assistant at LB like?
Joe: I do at least five home visits a day. When I go to each home, I will see what I need to do, like housekeeping such as cleaning the floor and toilet, changing bedsheets and washing clothes. Or helping the clients with their personal hygiene such as sponging or showering. I also take their blood pressure and temperature. Then at the end of each day, I will plan my home visits for the next day.

What is the biggest challenge you face at work?
Joe: Some seniors can only speak Mandarin or dialect. Because I’m a foreigner, I can only speak a little Mandarin, that’s why communication is sometimes a bit difficult.

And what gives you the biggest satisfaction?
Joe: When I do something (for my clients) and they feel happy, then my feeling is also very good. I also like to talk to the seniors because sometimes they’re feeling lonely, and also they speak about their whole life experience. I enjoy hearing and learning from them.

How do you feel about working at LB?
Joe: Good! When we come back and meet (as a team), we enjoy and update our experiences with one another. When I just joined, I did not know much about the elderly. But now I see so many different clients and get to know about their experiences.

Joe (seated, in white) enjoys a time of bonding with his teammates during a trip to JB.