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Bringing Friendship to Seniors in the Community

by | Jan 24, 2022 | Lifestyle & Wellness, Lifestyle habits

Project Amica

 

Amica Italian for “Friend”. Origin – Latin, From which we get the English word “amicable”

Have you ever felt privileged to be able to live, work and play in Singapore, knowing that much of the wealth and wellbeing we enjoy today, are gifts we inherit from our forefathers and not merely rewards merited by personal endeavors? Has this sense of being blessed ever engendered in you a desire to want to pay it forward and give back to society?

Living in the fine garden city of Singapore, I am quite sure many of us have felt momentary pangs of altruism as we reflect on how fortunate we are at times. Nevertheless, however good they are, intentions are merely intentions until actions are taken to make them do some good in the real world.

Project Amica is the result of two ordinary Singaporean youths, Jonathan and Sujesh, who acted on their good intentions to want to give back to society and do some good for elderly persons in Singapore who may require some assistance in their daily lives. Growing Needs Sg caught up with them to find out more about what they have been up to lately:

 

Please share with us what your initiative is about.

We are a group of youths passionate about service and giving back to the community. The overarching aim of Project Amica is to link service-minded youth with elderly who require assistance. Volunteers will be tasked with going down to the homes of elderly to help them with their daily chores, such as cleaning, along with other activities which the elderly may not be able to complete on their own. Through regular acts of service, we also hope to foster bonds with the elderly, many of whom live alone and would enjoy such company.

 

What inspired you to start such an initiative?

This initiative has actually been in the works for a few months. Both of us have always been interested in, and on the lookout for opportunities to use our privileged positions to give back to society. This first began when another social enterprise came to give a talk at our school. This inspired us to start our own project which would allow us to take more ownership over it, as well as customize it based on the problems which we thought needed addressing. However, at the time, we were both swamped with school work, and the notion of starting a whole project felt too daunting. Thus this idea was cast aside for the time being to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

The idea was revived again during the year-end holidays of 2021, when we had more time and energy to look around for people in need of help. We considered a wide variety of beneficiaries, ranging from students to elderly, but finally decided on serving the elderly because Sujesh noticed first-hand how elderlies in his neighborhood struggled to complete daily chores (like cleaning and cooking). Many of them did not receive adequate help in this aspect and often had to rely on their friends, who may not be physically disposed to help them out themselves. Realizing that mobilizing the youth to assist the elderly would actively tackle this problem, we set out to create this platform.

The first semblance of this project came together when we both met up with a leader in the residential committee to have a dialogue on how we could best help. From then on, we decided to reach out to a few close friends to join the EXCO and help build up this project.

 

What outcomes do you hope to see from these efforts?

As a project, our main aim is to create a network of youth bonded over their shared passion for service and giving back to the community. Being confronted by a silver tsunami, there are innumerable elderly who require some form of assistance. If it were just us and our friends, the number of elderlies we would be able to reach would be quite small. It is only by acting as a bridge and making volunteering fuss free that we can best harness the power of youths to make a difference, collectively.

 

What kind of volunteers are you looking for and how can people join or support you?

Our initiative is mainly focused on youths that are willing to give back to the community. We realize that many youths today do have a heart of service, and given the opportunity, will be more than happy to rise to the occasion. However, many of them face difficulty navigating the maze of registration forms across different organizations. This results in them experiencing huge inertia to actually sign up, barring a few extremely passionate youths.

 

What message would you like to bring to senior persons and their care givers in Singapore?

To seniors: Please don’t be afraid to reach out for help should you need it, there are many people who will be happy to lend a hand!

To care givers: Thank you for all you have done to help our elderly. Should you require any assistance, please feel free to reach out to us, and we will be more than willing to assist in any way we can.

Pearl Buck (1892-1973), winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 once wrote:

“Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization lies in the way that it cares for its helpless members.”

If a nation’s greatness is measured by how its society treats its weakest member, then we may catch a glimpse of a nation’s future through how its youth treats the elderly living among them. By this measure, initiatives like Project Amica gives us much to be optimistic about concerning Singapore’s Future.

Interested individuals are encouraged to join Project Amica as volunteers through their Instagram page. Simply fill up the registration form and the team will get in touch with you.

  • Target Youth Age Group : 15 -18 years old
  • Recruitment Date : 10th – 28th Feb 2022
  • Instagram : projectamica
  • Email : proj.amica@gmail.com
About Growing Needs

About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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