Community Outreach at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home
Faculty, staff, alumni and family members from the S R Nathan School of Human Development (NSHD) spent the morning of Saturday 27 July at the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home at Silat Avenue. This was the third of NSHD’s Community Outreach vents, having visited NTUC Health Active Ageing Hub@Kampong Admiralty and AWWA Kindle Garden before this. These experiences are crucial to NSHD as they provide the opportunities to live out the School’s vision of "Transforming lives, serving society". It is only through such real life experiences with members of our community that we learn valuable lessons that help us shape our programmes and nurture our colleagues in attempting to achieve our vision.
Our activities at the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home involved deep engagement between NSHD members and the residents. The picture bingo session saw almost all residents happily participating in crossing out photographs from pre-modern Singapore. These photographs brought back happy memories from their youthful times. In keeping with the theme of nostalgia, the sing-along session that featured evergreen songs like "You are My Sunshine" and "Hotel California". Many residents joined in the singing and one particular resident, Mdm Fong, was so captivated that she stood up from her seat and started dancing with one of our staff! "I like dancing!" she exclaimed. This was probably the highlight of the day for some residents.
Another highlight for NSHD members was putting up art pieces along the corridors of the Home. These art works were done by NSHD members during the annual strategic planning and team building that was held on 3 July 2019. They were done on framed canvas and were a result of an improvised art workshop. It is special that our art pieces were accepted to be showcased at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home as it brings meaning and purpose to everything we do at NSHD.
In the words of Brazilian educator and critical theorist Paulo Freire, "authentic help means that all who are involved help each other mutually, growing together in the common effort to understand the reality which they seek to transform. Only through such praxis – in which those who help and those who are being helped help each other simultaneously – can the act of helping become free from the distortion in which the helper dominates the helped". It is in such a spirit that our NSHD Community Outreach initiatives are designed. NSHD aims to continue to be part of the community that we aim to serve, and "Transforming lives, serving society" is at the heart of everything we do.