The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by (from left) Mr Alex Yam, Mayor of North West District, and Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President, SUSS.
On 30 March 2021, North West Community Development Council (CDC) and SUSS renewed a Memorandum of Understanding to extend funding support for community projects under the North West WeCare Fund, deepening our collaboration in engaging the community. This renewal saw North West CDC committing another S$300,000 of funding over the next three years to support SUSS’s community engagement efforts and initiatives in the North West district.
North West CDC Partnership Manager Ms Tan Yanling said: “Through this multi-stakeholder approach, we are able to connect many of our partners to the immediate needs in the community. North West CDC will also continue its role as an aggregator of needs and resources, and provide platforms for partners to do good to support the vulnerable residents in the district.”
Since 2018, funding support provided by North West CDC has enabled 1,200 SUSS volunteers to make a positive difference in the lives of over 2,200 beneficiaries. Community projects spearheaded by SUSS students include initiatives that promote mental health awareness and peer support among youths, engaging seniors and children in experiential environmental education, as well as providing opportunities for children with special needs to socialise through games.
One of the sustained initiatives supported under the North West WeCare Fund is ‘The More We Get Together @ North West’ (TMWGT). Collaborating with multiple community partners (a childcare centre, a secondary school and a senior activity centre) located in Woodlands, SUSS students promote intergenerational bonding in the community by bringing children, youth and seniors together to celebrate life, milestones and festivities.
One of the community partners involved in this intergenerational collaboration is Care Corner Singapore. Mr Edward Tang, who oversees the senior activity centre in Woodlands, shared how such an intergenerational engagement has benefitted the community and led to a tighter social bond among the various stakeholders: “The young add vibrancy to the events, and our seniors enjoy the engagements with them. The bonds forged have also motivated our seniors to adopt digital platforms such as Zoom to continue meeting the children virtually (when Covid-19 restrictions are in place). It has been heartwarming to see the children and seniors encouraging each other and sending well-wishes via the monthly video calls, especially during these challenging times.”
Beyond the meaningful engagement between the young and old, TMWGT also taps on the seniors’ wisdom, strengthening their sense of purpose by involving them in the event planning and execution process. “The students also benefit from the opportunities to develop their social and interaction skills,” Ms Tan added.
To explore community collaboration or for more information on the North West WeCare Fund, you can contact the SUSS Office of Service-Learning & Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr Edward Tang, Care Corner Senior Activity Centre Zone Supervisor, addressing the crowd comprising of seniors and students during the Chinese New Year celebration in January 2020. (Photo was taken before Covid-19)