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The Good Neighbours Movement (GNM) aims to draw on the collective effort of the community to create a harmonious living environment in the heartlands.
#OurGoodNeighbours challenge aimed to raise greater awareness about neighbourliness in the heartlands. Launched on 6 April 2022, the month-long challenge invited the community to share their idea of what makes a good neighbour, through videos that captured heartwarming and thoughtful neighbourly acts.
Check out the submitted videos from #OurGoodNeighbours challenge!
Winner: Yang Qixuan April (@bobthedismantler)
@bobthedismantler #ourgoodneighbours #fyp ♬ As It Was - Harry Styles
This light-hearted animation showcased the spirit of neighbourliness, highlighting the small acts of kindness in our daily lives, such as holding the lift doors, watering the plants for our neighbours and keeping shared spaces safe. It is our neighbours’ love, compassion, and thoughtfulness that bring colour to our lives.
Winner: @Woo Jia Hao
Being a considerate neighbour goes a long way, and it starts from young! In this video, the baby boy displayed his consideration for his neighbours by keeping the corridor and common areas clean and tidy. Every effort is a step forward, and everyone has a part to play in creating a pleasant and gracious neighbourhood.
Winner: Najwa Khayyirah (@newrule_29)
@newrule_29 Hi Everyone! Every year my family & I will give gifts to our dearest neighbours during their festive season. We believe in having good rapport with our neighbours is very important as they're our first help during an emergency or not.Here is my 5yr old distributing gifts to our Chinese neighbours during CNY 2022! We hope you enjoy the video! 😍#OurGoodNeighbours #fypシ #hdbbedok ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE - Queens Road, Fabian Graetz
Festive celebrations are fantastic opportunities to interact with our neighbours, regardless of age, race, and religion. Tiny in size yet big in the heart, this little girl brought joy and cheer to her neighbours through a simple act of sharing food and gifts!
HDB partnered Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic and ITE College Central last year in our efforts to promote neighhourliness. A total of 463 students engaged over 1,900 residents through various projects.
Building a more gracious and eco-conscious community
To help build a gracious, responsible and green neighbourhood, students from the “Event Management course of the School of Business and Services” organised three “Love Thy Neighbour” outreach sessions since 2020, to disseminate neighbourliness and eco-living tips to the community.
In preparation for the outreach, the students participated in the Friends of Our Heartlands Training to learn more about responsible heartland living and ways to communicate effectively. With the positive results from the past sessions, ITE College Central plans to continue this initiative for new batches of students to impact the wider community.
In the 2021 series of “Love Thy Neighbour”, students from ITE College Central reached out to 650 residents of the Teck Ghee community to share the importance of living graciously and responsibly within the heartlands.
The students designed and presented the residents with thank you cards to encourage them to show their appreciation for their neighbours by gifting the cards. To inspire residents to embrace sustainable living by reducing waste at home, the students held 10 virtual workshops titled “Recycling is Caring”. These initiatives have paved the way for a more close-knitted and environmentally-conscious community.
What can one get out of a Bingo game? New friends!
This year, the students reached out to 496 residents of the Bishan community, with the aim of strengthening community ties via games and gardening activities. Residents were paired with their neighbours to participate in a “Plant Hunt” Bingo game to accomplish certain tasks within the neighbourhood.
Through this activity, residents built better neighbourly relations and learnt new ways to improve their living environment. If you are interested to explore more activities with your neighbours, check-out the Bishan - Love Thy Neighbour Facebook page and find the microgreen gardening tutorial!
Bridging friendships between neighbours
To create meaningful interactions in the neighbourhood, students from Republic Polytechnic’s “Integrated Events Management” course conceptualised community bonding activities as part of their Foundation/Final Year Project. Aside from bringing joy to the neighbourhood, these experiences let the students gain practical knowledge in organising events while practising gracious living.
“Neighbours, Let's Meet Online” (2022)
Students worked on bringing the kampung spirit to life during the pandemic by planning a virtual outreach for the Woodlands community, focusing on neighbourliness.
A series of interactive virtual games and activities were created to engage 400 residents through rhythmic dance movements, sing-along sessions, and quizzes on their neighbourhood. This created an opportunity for residents to know their new neighbours better, paving the path for more gracious acts among the community.
Republic Polytechnic plans to continue working with HDB to involve their students in projects focusing on neighbourliness, as part of their Integrated Events Management curriculum.
Forging a close-knitted neighbourhood
Keen to promote community bonding in the Punggol and Tampines neighbourhoods, Year 2 students from Singapore Polytechnic’s “Diploma in Integrated Events & Project Management” organised virtual workshops to engage the residents. During the pandemic last year, the students conducted mask embroidery and hand sanitizer holder workshops to lift the spirits of residents. More recently, the students carried out storytelling, soap-making and Bingo workshops. Through these workshops, participating residents in Punggol and Tampines have forged a stronger sense of community.
Bubbles and Bingo (2021)
In 2021, students from Singapore Polytechnic organised a virtual soap-making and Punggol-themed Bingo workshop for 100 residents. Through the workshops, the students hoped to encourage residents to bond and connect with their community by picking up a new skill. Residents were also encouraged to gift their soap creations to their neighbours to create a more caring and friendlier neighbourhood.
It’s never too young to understand the importance of developing good neighbourly relations! In 2022, students from Singapore Polytechnic organised a virtual storytelling and games workshop for children aged between 5-7 years old living in Sengkang East and Punggol.
Working closely with the local Residents’ Network and preschool partners, the students engaged the children through fun and play, using stories, quizzes and puzzles. During the process, the children learnt the importance of developing stronger ties within the community, and helping others when in need. To further the mileage of their project, the students shared their virtual storytelling resources with HDB to serve as an educational resource to benefit more children and families in the wider community.
Promoting active aging among seniors
Passionate about promoting a culture of active aging and creating platforms for seniors in neighbourhood to meet, students from Temasek Polytechnic’s “Diploma in Social Sciences in Gerontology” leveraged their academic knowledge to co-design outreaches with seniors in the eastern and north-eastern part of Singapore. From mass work-out sessions to cognitive activities involving music and arts and crafts, these sessions helped improve the physical and mental well-being of seniors. Seniors in the area can look forward to more outreaches by the students in the coming years.
Old School Delights (2022)
Water bottles, umbrellas and towels… What do they have in common? They can be used as exercise equipment! Students from Temasek Polytechnic conducted a virtual session in 2022 to guide 235 seniors on using common household items for simple cardio exercises at home. Aside from keeping the seniors active and healthy, students also hoped the seniors would share the exercises with family and friends to forge closer connections.
The seniors also had the chance to get their creative juices flowing during the craft workshops, where they did clay art, paper collages and origami. This helped enhance their cognitive abilities and created an opportunity for community bonding among friends and neighbours.
HDB also tapped into the enthusiasm and resources of the community to build neighbourly ties. In 2021, 297 like-minded residents stepped forward, despite the Covid-19 situation, to initiate community projects under HDB’s Lively Places Programme. These grassroots projects reached over 5,000 residents and established many wonderful, shared experiences that built greater trust and inclusiveness within the community. Find out more:
Creating learning kits for children living in rental flats
National golfer-turned-philanthropist Jen Goh and her team from Hopefull believe that all children, regardless of their circumstances, should have access to educational resources to help them fulfill their potential. With this vision, the team created tinker kits with learning materials for children living in rental flats across Singapore to help them understand the world around them. Having covered topics on environmental sustainability, art, music and sports, Hopefull recently added materials on neighbourliness as they believe that having a strong neighbourly support is particularly crucial for these children.
Much thought was put into curating the materials, covering various aspects of neighbourliness – from making friends and understanding the concept of reciprocity to exercising empathy for others. For example, there was a sock puppet DIY kit with scenario cards depicting different situations between neighbours to encourage kids to think about the possible ways to interact with their neighbours. Beyond providing the kits, the team is also currently conducting physical workshops to teach the children how to use the materials. The seeds of action planted by Hopefull and its partners will surely go a long way in building stronger communities in Singapore.
Project led by Jen Goh, Wilshia Maruli, Thiyaghessan Poongundranar, Victoria Chen, Nur Hadziqah
8 social service partners: Kampung Kakis, New Life Stories, Beautiful People, SSVP Milk and Diapers, Uplift Program @ Kreta Ayer, 6th Sense @ Kebun Baru, The Hut @Marine Parade, Morningstar Community Services
Growing and nurturing friendships in Kampung Admiralty
Doris and her friends had previously created and turned Kampung Admiralty’s sky garden into a welcoming and popular spot for residents to meet and mingle. In 2021, Doris and her team organised both physical and virtual gardening workshops for residents at the improved sky garden, providing residents with a common purpose to meet up regularly.
The workshops taught close to 120 participants how to grow edible vegetables such as kang kong, chili, bell peppers and choy sum. Participants were also encouraged to share their potted creations with their neighbours. Going forward, the team hopes to bring more ‘energy’ to Kampung Admiralty, by working with students from an Institute of Higher Learning to hold other workshops for the residents. The team’s continual efforts in growing, nurturing and sustaining friendships have certainly enriched the lives of seniors in Kampung Admiralty.
Project led by Doris Yuen, Heng Gee Choo, Ho So Wah, Yip Keng Luen, Keoy Saw Choo Jenny, Cheong Yok Lim, Ng Lee Gan
Creating offline-to-online neighbourly connections
Keen to bring the Tampines Green Terrace community closer, Jewel has been actively initiating community events. She set up a residents’ Facebook community group which now boasts about 300 members, organised group buys for her neighbours and mobilised support for those in need dring the Circuit Breaker period. In 2021, she found that many young parents in the neighbourhood were getting rid of children’s books, and thought it was an opportunity to connect residents instead, by transforming part of their void deck into a book exchange corner. The community responded enthusisatically to the idea. Just days into the completion of the corner, residents donated more than 450 pre-loved books and kids were seen making regular visits to the corner. Motivated by the positive response, the team went further to bring these exchanges online, with Jewel’s 9-year old daughter Yu Ting and young neighbour Mavis conducting a virtual story-telling session and the other team members organising a ballet workshop for 60 neighbours.
Project led by Jewel Fong, Heng Yu Ting, Heng Yu De, Mavis Li, Tan Xue Yin
Crafting a spirit of neighbourliness
Wanting to do something for their neighbours, eight student volunteers from Xishan Primary School stepped up to organise a virtual tote bag painting workshop for the less-privileged children in the Nee Soon East community. Beyond offering a platform for their young participants to interact and get to know one another better during a time when physical interactions were capped, the students also shared tips on how they can care and look out for one another and their neighbours. To ensure that their messages are remembered by the young audience, the students designed and gave the participants postcards with neighbourliness messages prior to the session so they can reference them to design their tote bags and used them to pen messages for their neighbours. The students’ dedication for the workshop paid off as they received many positive responses from the residents.
Project led by Ms Yvonne Lin (teacher), Ms Saedah Bte Mohamed Hussien (teacher), Saw Eh Ywa Say Wah, Lucas Lim Fu Xin, Zhuo Ziying, Yellanti Rithwika Reddy, Lum You Jun, Phua Jia En, Tejashrri Frecia Elumalai, Raihah Binte Rahmat
Riding the pickleball wave to bond heartland communities
Fast-gaining traction internationally and in Singapore, pickleball made its way to Jurong Spring, thanks to Jimmy and his team of pickleball enthusiasts. Keen to introduce the sport to more people and build a pickleball community in their own neighbourhood, the team initiated pickleball clinics at the open hardcourts in their area. The initiative was greeted with an overwhelming response, and the intial sessions were fully-subscribed. In addition to the clinics, the team also organised mini competitions so the commmunity can compete and hone their skills together. Residents in the area are now so hooked on the game that the team sees picklers of all ages coming by each day. The team has been so successful that other enthusiasts have asked for their help to set up pickleball interest groups in other areas. Sport has indeed forged stronger bonds in the Jurong community and beyond.
Project led by Jimmy Tan, Michelle Chang, Jeffery Kuok, Chiong Swee Lan, John Ng
Empowering actions to improve living environment through art
Believing that art serves a greater purpose in society, Faith and her two friends – sisters Ting May and Ying May – have been using art to bring neighbours together. The team designed and initiated four online process art workshops for residents from Bishan, Clementi, Queenstown and Toa Payoh, covering topics on communicating with neighbours, noise nuisance, littering and clutter at corridors. During the workshops, participants discussed and reflected on the topics, and expressed their thoughts and feelings by painting on a 9-piece puzzle block. The thoughtfully-curated process instilled values on neighbourliness, broke down barriers and bridged gaps within the group. The 4 workshops drew 200 resident participants and the team plans to run more workshops across Singapore. In addition to bringing people together through art, Faith and her team have definitely inspired positive actions to improve communities!
Project led by Faith Lum, Woo Ting May, Woo Ying May
Making friends across estates over a shared goal
A full-time banker and an avid gardener, Daryl hopes to do his part to strengthen Singapore’s food security by raising awareness on sustainable farming. Initially, he was exploring starting a small-scale aquaponic community farm in his Bartley neighbourhood when he learnt about another interest group led by Kumar at Braddell Heights. He immediately jumped at the opportunity to join forces with them, and it has proven to be a win-win collaboration.
Daryl and his team were able to share their expertise in aquaponics while Kumar’s team secured the site and helped with the necessary farm set-up. The community farm at Lorong Lew Lian, expected to be ready by 4Q22, will be open daily so residents from both estates can come by anytime to learn about aquaponic farming, contribute to its growth or simply enjoy the place. With this community farm in their vicinity, residents from both the Bartley and Braddell Heights estates will soon have a shared place to meet and enjoy a ‘farm-to-table’ experience together.
Project led by Daryl Lim Peng Song, Cindy Neo Pei Wen, Kumareson s/o Athmanathan, Varatharaja Nadarajan, Chiang Kheng Joo, Bernard, Kai Beng Kong Kelvin, Lee Say Hiang James, Chee Lee Chin Angela, Ng Huey Ling, Chan Sai Hoong, Goh Yew Hock, Vivien
Sowing the seeds of neighbourliness
Observing that more and more Boon Lay Meadow Grove residents were growing edibles along their corridors, Mr Tee and his team decided to convert an under-utilised grass patch at Block 180A Boon Lay Drive into an allotment garden so avid gardeners can have a proper site to ‘scale-up’ their operations without taking up more corridor space. To get buy-in and to ensure that the allotment garden benefits the local community, the team engaged residents and students in each stage of the project – from designing the garden, brainstorming the types of edibles to be planted, decorating the plots to naming the garden. In future, the team plans to build up a pool of resident champions to organise regular gardening workshops and help sustain the garden. Beyond addressing a potential issue, Mr Tee and his team have built up a strong sense of community in the neighbourhood even before the completion of the garden through their participatory process. When the garden is ready in July 2022, one will surely see more neighbours coming together, chatting, and supporting each other’s green thumb endeavours at the place.
Project led by Tee Kok Chuan, Liu Li Ping, Tan Zing Bei Benny, Tan Lian Hwee, Yew Kue Ngo, Duan Wan Bing, Chua Lee Kiang, Wu Bao Qin
Bonding through Kokedama
As part of their efforts to spread care and support around Boon Lay and to deepen connections among residents through gardening, Dexter and his team of young students from Westwood Primary School organised a do-it-yourself Kokedama workshop for close to 60 residents living in the area. The Kokedamas originate from Japan and are decorative balls of moss from which plants grow in a natural and eco-friendly way. Residents had a ball of fun creating their one-of-a-kind Kokedama, and gifting their Kokedamas with motivational notes to show their appreciation towards fellow neighbours. These Kokedamas have since become the conversation piece in the community. Given its success, the school plans to scale up this activity by involving all its students and more residents in a record-breaking Kokedama workshop activity.
Project led by Mr Dexter Sim (teacher) and students from the Westwood Primary School Art Club
Enlivening public spaces through a light installation
Inspired by the hugely popular iLight Singapore, John and his team were keen to create their own version of a light festival to bring cheer to their neighbours at Skyline II during the pandemic. Despite the challenges posed by the safe distancing restrictions at that time, the team from Bukit Batok Zone 11 pressed on to complete their creation. They brought in residents, in small groups, to install fairy lights along the 12m long garden trellis linking the two blocks in the estate. To widen their reach, they created a Facebook page to update residents on the details and organized an online photo competition to help spark conversations among residents. During the light up hours, the team also had to arrange for volunteers to conduct safe distancing patrols. Their collective efforts paid off when the place became an Instagram hit! Some 1,300 residents from all walks of life and parts of Singapore visited the spot over two weeks. In addition to bringing buzz to the quiet neighbourhood, this initiative has sparked new friendships among neighbours and has given the residents in Skyline II a new reason to be proud of their neighbourhood!
Project led by John Tan, Mak Kwok Cheong, Hong Ming Han, Chua Chi Yuan, Gabriel Wong, Andy Lee, Celine Tung, Chan Wen Fa, Wang Haoming
Building stronger sense of place through local heritage
Yeow Tiam and his team from Yishun Sunshine hoped to create a stronger sense of place in their neighbourhood by celebrating their local heritage. As Block 243 Yishun Ring Road was the site of the former Lee Cheng Primary school, the team decided to interview residents who were former students at the school and use their accounts to conceptualise, develop and install a series of immersive artworks relating to the school at the void deck of the block. The team also organised online quizzes to engage visitors and test their knowledge of the school. Since its completion, the murals have become a conversation piece among residents. The project has also inspired a larger heritage trail project, known as the Chye Kay Heritage Garden. The murals done up by the team have not only added character to the neighbourhood, it has brought the community together through a shared understanding of Nee Soon’s heritage.
Project led by Ng Yeow Tiam, Toh Siam Ker, Yeo Siak Yau, Lim Ah Sim, Tan Kok Hui
Check out the other exhibition pages below!