Since joining SCSG as an intern, I have done soap collections, volunteered in soap scraping activities and helped out at housekeepers’ training sessions. But it was at a recent SCSG event organised in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic that I experienced what it was like for different communities to bond over an activity, putting aside our own work for a few hours to engage in a meaningful activity with one another.
The event saw over 20 educators from the school’s Service-Learning department, their blind colleagues from Dialogue in the Dark (DiD) and student interns come together to learn about SCSG’s work and participate in some soap scraping – over 50kg of lightly used soap bars from a luxury hotel were waiting to be “cleaned” and packed for families living in the Taal volcanic zone.
“Soap is so essential to keep ourselves clean and healthy, and it was shocking to hear of communities who don’t have access to proper soap bars in this day and age. I realise that this small act of kindness can help many disadvantaged groups that we may not know about,”
- Faith Ong, a master trainer from the office of Service-Learning.
Two migrant worker volunteers from our charity partner, SGcare, also joined in – together, we assisted and facilitated the groups in the soap scraping. The blind guides from DiD were paired with a staff or with a student. They acted as visual aids for the guides, enabling them to physically experience what it’s like to support a meaningful cause despite their disability. “In Singapore, you don’t think of soap as you can get it so easily. I’ve learnt a lot from this session. I’m glad I was able to play a part in getting the soaps ‘cleaned’ for other communities,” says Thomas Yong, a blind guide.
A few participants also commented that the session was “therapeutic”.
“I didn’t know soaps can be recycled before this event. I enjoyed the therapeutic process and it’s good to know the soap will go to needy people in the Philippines.”
- Vanessa Tan, student intern at DiD.
~ Lim Zheng Xiang