[Left to right] SUSS Social Work students, Lim Dong Qin and Koh Fang Ling
“Society has preconceived notions about the elderly and their abilities, but our experience and interactions with the seniors have opened my eyes to the strengths and wisdom of the elderly. They have a lot to contribute – they just need the right platform.” – Lim Dong Qin, a student from SUSS' Bachelor of Social Work with Minor programme.
How do we better empower our seniors as assets in the community? For SUSS Year 3 Social Work students, Koh Fang Ling and Lim Dong Qin, they have been working with the seniors from Yong-en Care Centre for their community engagement project, Silver Volunteer Programme.
Their project promotes senior volunteerism by engaging them in the making and selling of handmade crafts while enhancing the seniors’ socio-emotional well-being.
For twice a month since June 2019, the duo has held and led craft sessions for the seniors. To date, the seniors have learnt various crafts such as painting, embroidery, jewellery making, amongst others.
Fang Ling and Dong Qin with some of the seniors and the artwork they made at the craft session. [Note: The above picture was taken in 2019 pre-COVID.]
Engaging in craft activities have improved the seniors’ cognitive, physical and social health. Both of them teach a different craft each session to encourage seniors to explore different mediums and create opportunities for the seniors to find their strengths.
Seniors choosing the fabrics for their quilt designs.
The senior volunteers are raising funds by selling their handmade products. Fundraising ends June 2021. Support the senior volunteers by checking out their crafts here.