Efforts to make Singapore a better home
by Joan L Koh Jia Min and Dawn Lee Shi Han |December 10, 2016 -- Updated 2:32
Following up on the success of the “Just a Chair” campaign, Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) made its first fully planned and executed campaign with students from Republic Polytechnic. The 13-week long project undertaken as part of the curriculum work for third-year Diploma in Mass Communication students required the students to plan and execute a campaign with a budget of $1000 from SKM’s Seed Kindness Fund. The students had to create a campaign to encourage social integration and cultural exchange within the local and foreigners in Singapore.
The students, divided in three classes, came up with three different campaigns:
“Project Acceptance” was a challenge to local and foreign white collared workers to start thinking about accepting one another.
“Switch it on with SKM” aimed at allowing both local and foreign youths to realise that it’s possible to have positive social interaction amongst each other through personal stories.
“ThatsWhy” was a campaign targeted at the residents of Sembawang GRC to promote social integration between locals and guest workers by allowing the community to understand and cultivate racial respect for one another.
These projects revolved around the idea of reflecting on one’s perspective of acceptance, changing mindsets on the possibility of social integration and encouraging individuals to take small steps. All of these projects were successfully executed in at attempt to make Singapore a better home.
UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENCES AND ACKNOWLEDGING SIMILARITIES: It’s never too early or too late to talk about the importance of playing an active role in making Singapore a better home by understanding the differences and embracing similarities. With the companion of their mother, both children shared and learned more about why acceptance is important in a cosmopolitan country like Singapore. (Photo: Joan L Koh Jia Min)
NEVER TOO EARLY: The students involved in ThatsWhy believed that for social integration to be successful, the community must first learn to understand and cultivate racial respect for one another. As early as 7.30am on Aug 4, 22 students were despatched to Woodlands, Admiralty and Sembawang to promote social integration to residents of Sembawang GRC. (Photo: Dawn Lee Shi Han)
REFLECT: A booth was set up at Zoysia Green, Raffles Place Park on Aug 3, 2016 to encourage the lunch crowd at Zoysia Green, to reflect on and pen down what acceptance means to them in the context of social integration on a Acceptance card. (Photo: Joan L Koh Jia Min)
SMALL CHANGES, BIG CHANGE: A total number of 184 Acceptance cards were collected and posted on Project Acceptance social media pages. Despite only needing to reflect and write down their definition of acceptance, it symbolizes individuals taking the initiative to create more awareness of acceptance in Singapore. (Photo: Joan L Koh Jia Min)
SWITCHING ON NEW MINDSETS: A social media callout aimed at youths for photos and personal recounts turned into a photo exhibition at Republic Polytechnic on Aug 8. Switch It On with SKM Exhibition Trail shared stories of youths’ positive interaction and budding friendships with different nationalities to inspire participants to do the same. (Photo: Dawn Lee Shi Han)
USING A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: Switch It On With SKM Exhibition Trial ignites senses in visual, written and aural form. Apart from making the decor concept “hipster” by the usage of fairy lights and boxes to create a rustic look, a two-part live performance by Plug and Out was held, where they performed songs in Tagalog, Malay and Chinese to attract and help bond youths through music – “the universal language of mankind” by Henry Wadsworth. (Photo: Joan L Koh Jia Min)
TAKING THE FIRST STEP: Understanding is the first step to encourage people to make singapore a harmonious home. A simple mix-and-match game allows participants to catch a glimpse as to why certain behaviours were carried out by the respective nationalities. Behaviours like locals “choping” seats and different nationalities hanging out within themselves were some that were highlighted on the sandwich boards.
GETTING THE SUPPORT: The Guest of honour Mr Warren Wang, Director of School of Management and Communication, Mr Ganesh Kalyanam, Director of Office of the Student and Graduate Affairs, Ms Hira and Mr Fairuz, representatives from Singapore Kindness Movement graced the event and showed their support for towards switching on positivity and changing mindsets in the context of social integration. (Photo: Dawn Lee Shi Han)
BELIEVING THAT IT’S POSSIBLE: The 4 teams armed with their sandwiches boards and persistence managed to engaged more than 260 residents of Sembawang GRC from different nationalities and age. Slowly but surely, these small effort in promoting understanding amongst one another like ThatsWhy project will help encourage social integration in Singapore. (Photo: Dawn Lee Shi Han)