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Everyone has the power to make our neighbourhoods a better place to live in. As a Friends of Our Heartlands Volunteer, you can choose to cultivate neighbourly behaviour, kickstart a project to activate community spaces within your neighbourhood, or facilitate community conversations on neighbourhood improvement projects.
Watch our Friends of Our Heartlands volunteers in action!
Our outstanding volunteers from the Friends of Our Heartlands network draw on their passions, talents and skills to create vibrant and welcoming neighbourhoods. Get to know them below:
Keen to build strong neighbourly ties within the Jurong community, especially among seniors who had limited social interaction during the pandemic, the enthusiastic students from Fuhua Primary School initiated six virtual mask holder workshops for seniors in 2021. These virtual workshops, incorporated useful neighbourliness tips and games, providing seniors with an engaging platform to forge closer ties with their neighbours. Beyond these virtual workshops, the students also disseminated neighbourliness tips to Jurong residents via house-to-house visits.
Students from West Spring Primary School reached out to close to 100 residents via a virtual cook-a-long session, teaching participants how to make ondeh-ondeh – a traditional snack that is covered with grated coconut and filled with gula melaka. The team also collected homegrown food recipes from residents and consolidated them into a community recipe book, so participants could continue to bond over their love for food after the cook-a-long session. In previous projects, the students taught residents to make hand sanitizers to gift their neighbours, and promoted gracious living through games and performances.
Since 2020, students from Damai Secondary School have been conducting photo frame-making workshops using upcycled materials for seniors in Hougang and Punggol. Through these workshops, the students hoped to raise participants’ eco-consciousness by developing the habit of upcycling materials to reduce waste. In addition, they also took the opportunity to encourage the participants to “pass-it-forward”, by gifting their masterpieces, along with a card of well wishes, to their neighbours.
Noting that the social isolation from the pandemic had exacerbated the loneliness that some seniors face, the students from Manjusri Secondary School prepared care packs and handmade cards with well wishes to lift the spirits of seniors in the Ubi neighbourhood. They also organised a virtual hand sanitiser-making workshop to let seniors to interact with one another. The students also encouraged the participants to gift the hand sanitisers to their neighbours, as an act of care and concern for each other.
Fueled by her passion to bring about a positive change as a resident, Carol initiated a myriad of projects in Punggol for her fellow neighbours since she became an FOH volunteer in 2017. For example, she regularly raised awareness on gracious living at community events, started a brisk walking community project to bring neighbours together, and led eco-tours around Punggol for students and residents. Recently, she also participated in Channel News Asia’s Green Plan Challenge as a Green Coach, where she shared the sustainability features in Punggol. Carol’s dedication and contributions have raised the profile of Punggol town and made her neighbourhood a more cohesive place for all to live in.
An eloquent and skilled facilitator, Lily leverages her strengths to help residents build consensus on neighbourhood improvement projects. Believing that ‘magic’ happens when friendships are forged, she made an effort to connect with her participants prior to each engagement workshop. During each session, she would patiently explain the trade-offs of various options and guide residents to reach a consensus in prioritising the facilities they wish to see in their neighbourhood. From conducting physical face-to-face engagements to leading online workshops, Lily has helped residents realise their aspirations for their neighbourhood.
An advocate for sustainable living, Rachel has led eco-tours around Punggol town since 2020, at the tender age of 14 years old. In her tours, she promotes the technology that support sustainable living and shares useful eco-living tips for participants to adopt at home. Through these eco-tours, Rachel hopes to inspire more to become advocates of sustainability. Rachel has also helped with the digitalisation of the tours and co-created an e-resource kit with HDB. This kit is used by teachers to prepare students as eco-guides, so they can organise eco-tours themselves. Rachel has showed us passion and digital skills can act as driving forces to build a more sustainable Singapore.
Check out the other exhibition pages below!