As families in Singapore ring in the Lunar New Year, it is also important to remember that not everyone has the same opportunities to celebrate. In light of this, NTU-University Scholars’ Programme (NTU-USP) has continued on its annual tradition of bringing the festivities and furbishing the homes of disadvantaged elderly through its Social Service Projects (SSP) initiative, USPringclean.
Together with Central Singapore Community Development Councils (CDC)’s Silver Homes under the People’s Association, SSP this year partnered with Kreta Ayer Seniors Activity Centre (Chin Swee) to clean the homes of eight residents on 11 January 2020.
The committee made a pre-assessment recce trip to the home two weeks before the event to understand the homes’ conditions and prepare the necessary resources. Committee members spoke with the residents and took note of the languages they were familiar with. Thereafter, groups were formed amongst the 43 volunteers to better facilitate engagement from both sides.
While clearing out the clutter to usher in the new year was the main objective of the event, USPringclean also brought volunteers closer to the residents. One resident shared her childhood photographs during the many conversations, and volunteers reflected that the activities and interactions with the elderly were very meaningful.
To round the event up, mandarin oranges were given to the residents, in accordance with Lunar New Year traditions. While the visit was brief, the volunteers hope that USPringclean had brought some joy to the lives of the elderly and made their Lunar New Year celebration a little more special.
For future iterations, the committee plans to engage the volunteers more actively by forming smaller groups, and to better prepare for the visits with detailed notes and images from the recce trip.
“We are thankful that we had this opportunity to bring some cheer to the elderly during the festive season.” Chia Jia-En, Organising Committee Member
About Social Service Project (SSP)
The Social Service Project (SSP) committee aims to encourage NTU-USP scholars to be more involved in serving the wider community. Through meaningful events planned by the committee for their beneficiaries, the committee strives to inspire scholars to realise that small collective actions can bring about a huge positive difference to the lives of those they serve.