Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Personal Reflections of the DFC Exposition

Personal sharing and reflections of the Design for Change Exposition (Singapore), held on 8th November 2012. Special thanks to Madhu and her team for setting up the inspiring event!
(For more information on SoCh, visit http://sochinaction.com/)

“Hi Sir, will you like to visit our booth?!” exclaimed an earnest looking group of students from Pasir Ris Primary School.

The passionate group of students had put up an impressive booth; presenting the entire process of needs analysis, ideation, research, planning and execution of the social projects which they have implemented earlier this year.

It was a sight to behold, on how they have passionately shared with me their intimate level of involvement and personal reflections from the project. Looking beyond the huge amount of effort invested by the students (Which is definitely remarkable), it was an added encouragement to realize that there were much deeper, humane and personal motivations behind each student involved in the project, which is their simple desire to show greater appreciation for the elderly within their own families and also to be able to better communicate with other elderly in the elder care centers which they have also visited.

With that, the social project implemented, not only included volunteering at the elder care center, and documenting their day outs with their grandparents, but even more notably, their innovative initiative of consolidating translations of commonly used dialect wordings into the form of QR codes printed on cards that may be distributed to other children from the school or left at elder care centers for future use by visitors. By doing so, they wish that others may easily scan the QR code, obtain their consolidated translations and more effectively communicate with the elderly whenever such opportunities arise.

This project was just one of the many others ran by students from the age range of 8 to 14 years old, under the inspiring Social Change by Children movement, which hopes to encourage all children in believing that they can become positive social change-agents through a design thinking and experiential learning approach.

As one of SoCh partners and a committee member of OSC, I was also given the opportunity to set up an activity booth where we invited students to illustrate their vision of a newspaper article which will appear on “THE SINGAPORE TIMES” in 8th November 2030.

Among many of the colorful and creative productions contributed by the students, some of the outstanding news headline includes one which says, “Too much care!” Followed by a short sentence explaining how businesses are facing manpower shortage due to large number of youths involved in volunteering at old folks home.
Another news headline cries out “NO BOOKS!” with a drawing of students caring only their tablets to school with all their textbooks displayed over multi-media gadgets.

With a mix of witty humor, innocence and many aspirations shared by the students’ hope of what they envision Singapore to become in 2030, I was greatly inspired by the creativity and positivity our children have for our country. I too hope that more children will have the desire to become positive contributor of our society, grow up as active citizens who believe that they “CAN!” become social change-makers and have the courage to do what they must to create a more compassionate and inclusive society that we can call HOME.

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