Over the years, many informal and self-organised groups have approached SKM to seek support for their self-initiated voluntary projects. These groups are affectionately called the Ground-up Movements (GUM). Their projects promote the message of kindness to different communities or address more specific social issues. Check out our latest group of GUMs to be inducted into the Kindred Spirit Circle!
Started in 2014, #backalleybarbers offer haircuts to migrant workers and the poor on weekends. None of the barbers are professionals and they try their best to give what their customer asks for. This gives them the opportunity to interact and show love to the migrant workers in a directly personal and intimate way. They started out at Geylang near Lorong 24A, and have since moved to offering haircuts at nursing homes and migrant workers shelters. Their equipment is simple - red plastic chairs, barber aprons, capes, scissors, handheld mirrors and a powdering brush. Till date, they have given 1500 haircuts.
Be Kind SG, started by Sherry Soon, aims to bring about awareness that kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give. She organizes a range of micro-volunteering activities to involve individuals and groups in small ways that can contribute to a positive big impact in someone’s life, and in turn making Singapore a happier and kinder place. Till date, she has organized tons of activities ranging from working with corporates on repurposing wedding flowers to give to the elderly at nursing homes, crafting birthday cards with the prisoners at Singapore Prisons for the elderly at Ren Ci hospital to family bonding activity of painting a kindness rock and hiding them in parks, and giving out to appreciate transport staff after the breakdown to food distribution.
A group of passionate volunteers who aim to mitigate social isolation and loneliness of the elderly, and to support neighbourhoods, one door knock at a time. These volunteers are on ground every week, befriending residents through visits and running various programmes such as potluck parties whereby the residents cooks for each other and running gardening classes for residents. These programmes serve as a platform for social connections between neighbours as well as children and the elderly to forge inter-generational community bonding. They also provide home improvement and medicine management and also escorts the residents for medical care. They hope to be an open door for residents who need help and to promote active citizenry and ground-up community participation in building our own homes. Apart from this, the team believes in the importance of raising awareness of the issues they work on and advocating for the residents they serve. They engage different stakeholders in the community to find avenues of collaboration that will benefit the community.
We are a group of 17 trainee teachers in NIE. Over a period of two months, we spoke to migrant workers at various events and learn about their lives in Singapore. We learned that cycling is their main mode of transport, and many of them rely heavily on bicycles. Our project entitled Friendship on Wheels hopes to engage the public to interact with migrant workers on a cycling cruise, as well as teach migrant workers basic bicycle repair skills, which could empower them to fix their own bicycles and help others’ in need. We will be hosting a hands-on bicycle assembly workshop together with Shimano Singapore, a local bicycle company. At the same time, we are organising an amazing race along the waterfront. The amazing race features various stations with a variety of games and activities with clues and puzzles leading to the next station. With this activity, we hope locals and migrant workers can interact with each other, have fun together, communicate and hence learn about and from each other to promote understanding and empathy.
Dance for Kindness Singapore is organized by a bunch of passionate individuals who want to spread a little kindness and brighten up someone’s day. The flashmob took place on November 12, 2017 at Ngee Ann City. Joining the annual worldwide FlashMob to kick off World Kindness Week, which spans over 50 countries all uniting under the banner of kindness to perform a worldwide dance for kindness.
Happy People Helping People Community aims to create more awareness about independently-surviving elderly in our society, namely those who are without sufficient, or any at all, family and government support. They are currently helping more than 200 independently-surviving elderly all over Singapore, namely, Ang Mo Kio, Jalan Besar, Toa Payoh, Chinatown, Geylang and Bedok. During Happy Sundays, they distribute coupons for cooked food, drinks and NTUC vouchers to the cardboard collectors. They also organise at least one outing for them every month, such as bringing them to watch The Getai Challenge.
Harriet Koh, a photographer by trade, dreamt up the simple idea of surprising hardworking Indian and Bangladeshi migrant workers. Together with her team of volunteers and close friends, they set up a pop-up photo studio right in the heart of Little India, offering free portrait taking and prints. What did the workers do with these pictures? In their own words: "keep in room", "send to family", "send facebook" and "send home find wife". With her team of volunteers, the world was made a little smaller and cosier that day.
Organized by 2 people, Phyllis and Dan, gathered a pool of volunteers to visit the elderly staying in one room flats weekly. The same set of volunteers visit the same elderly, spending an hour at their house, just chatting, building a relationship with them. They also organize day trips out to the national museum with the elderly.
You can reach the sky is an interactive, engaging and multi-sensorial theatre performance specially catered for young audiences between the ages of 2 months -2 years. You Can Reach the Sky’s narrative centers around a protagonist and its desire and curiosity to reach the sky, much like our baby audiences. Baby theatre in Singapore is a very under-developed sector. We want to push the boundaries of this, and invite kindness and graciousness to happen within this safe space that we will be creating. We are of the opinion that there should be no shame when a baby throws a tantrum, and graciousness can come through because of this shared experience that all parents are having with their babies. We hope to allow interaction between families to happen, pushing the boundaries of this idea of a “shared experience” even further.
VOLUNTEER BIKE PATROL (脚踏车巡逻志愿者) is a resident-led volunteer initiative started by Zhivko Girginov in mid 2017 to help tackle with the growing issue of damaged, abandoned and/or indiscriminately parked shared bicycles that have been scattered around various public places across Singapore. Every week, with a self-funded rented lorry, Zhivko and a team of other volunteers retrieve and consolidate derelict bikes to so-called “Casualty Collection Points”.