Sewing the Seeds of Love

The more the better: One of the students from the first group of people to finish sewing three tissue pouches. PHOTO: Preethi Saravanan

Long working hours, inconsiderate littering and unflushed toilets. These were the top three challenges cited by cleaners in RP, according to a recent survey conducted by four Diploma in Consumer Behaviour and Research students.

Xavier Ting Jun Jie, one of the students who conducted the survey of 20 cleaners, said: “Most of the attendants are getting old, and it is really tiring for them to work for long hours.”

To show their appreciation towards cleaners, the students embarked on a project to raise money for Restroom Association (Singapore) – a voluntary welfare organisation which aims to improve the welfare of low-wage cleaners.

The project, which was named “Sew In Love”, involved collecting old and unwanted clothes that would be transformed into tissue pouches through a mass sewing event. The team behind the project came across the idea when they stumbled on a video of a Do-It-Yourself pouch on the Internet.

Creating tissue pouches was also relevant as tissues are commonly used in the toilets, said Chan Hee Tian, another member of the team.

On July 11, 289 RP students turned up to show their support for the cause and gave the old clothes a new lease of life. They were given a 15-minute course on how to sew a pouch with the aid of an instructional video and student helpers. In all, 816 tissue pouches were created.

Putry Evyna Abdullah, a second-year Diploma in Mass Communication student, was among those who showed up to sew the tissue pouches. “We hardly show our appreciation to the cleaners even though we bump into them every day. Hence, this event would give me the opportunity to give back to them and appreciate them,” said the 18-year-old.

The tissue pouches will be sold at heartland malls for between $4.00 and $5.00. About 90 per cent of the proceeds will then go to the Restroom Association (Singapore) with the remaining 10 per cent to be used to purchase vouchers which will be given to random cleaners at heartland malls in a goodie bag.

Sew In Love is a 15-week project that was done as part of the Citi-YMCA Youth for Causes community initiative. Funded by Citi Foundation, the programme is a catalyst to promote social entrepreneurship and community leadership development among Singapore youths. The youths were given the liberty to choose to support any social course that they were passionate about.  

Teaching with value: Students willingly teach their peers passionately for a good cause. PHOTO: Mohammad Shah Indra Bin Suriya