Another Week Beyond – 1843

Dear Friends,

A learning festival serves as a platform for the exchange of good practices. 8 mothers and 3 youth from Singapore who are in Bandung this week were surprised that their experiences and reflections were valued by participants from other parts of the world. They may not always be able to explain their efforts with a philosophical or practice framework but that did not prevent them from inspiring others.

Khidir, a youth leader was listening to a sharing about the role of a local support team in a community. He was intrigued and sensed that he has been a supportive presence in his neighbourhood. He then decided to share his efforts to verify if he has been on the right track. He told a roomful of people that he believed in the importance of simply being available and approachable; which in his definition, often means being able to approach others. To be available, he sits at his neighourhood’s coffee shop taking a quiet interest in those who come by. Familiar faces stop for a chat and when he is feeling brave, he introduces himself to unfamiliar faces. The small talk over coffee often led to people talking about big issues in their lives.

Once, someone confided in him about his substance use. He was surprised to be trusted with such information, but he soon learnt about the impact of substance dependency on the individual and the people around him. That talk got him realising how important but at the same time difficult it is to put oneself in the shoes of others. Understanding is impossible if we have strong views or an aversion about people’s habits or situations. Hence, he figured that if he made it a point to always speak nicely to people, it improves his ability to hear what people are saying to him.

Khidir is 19 and is deeply grateful for the opportunity to earn his keep as a camp instructor and occasionally, he buys a meal at the coffeeshop for those down on their luck. However, he reckons that while people need to eat, it is perhaps as important that they feel cared for and supported by those around them.

Getting things right inspires but so does the humble understanding and acknowledgement when things are not going well. During a reflection session, Aida, a mother from the Ghim Moh rental flat neighbourhood, shared how a discussion on the importance of appreciating strengths in the community was a wake-up call for her. She realised that she had been pressuring other mums in her group to work toward her targets, without realising the importance of a collective dream. She had just assumed that her vision was right and got frustrated when others did not move in that direction. She concluded that they were not as motivated or committed as her, but she now realises that she had not asked them about their dreams or told them how much she appreciated their efforts and abilities in improving life in their neighbourhood.

A Learning Festival is a gathering in the spirit of sharing and mutual learning. People enjoy learning from the experiences of others, they enjoy sharing their own experiences with others and they enjoy seeing what new possibilities can arise from these experiences. It is also an opportunity to document the experiences that people bring to the event and their stories add to a repository of knowledge and wisdom. We are proud that our members are contributing to this treasure chest and you may want to check out other stories here https://www.facebook.com/constellationclcp/

Enjoy your week.

Gerard

Sustainability is about how strong your social capital is, how good your relationship with other people is. Deep connections are formed when we relate to each other as whole people – accepting vulnerabilities and weaknesses along with strengths. We all make mistakes, but what makes a difference is the ability to laugh at our mistakes and move forward. – Sohail Bawani, public health worker, Aga Khan University, Pakistan.

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond 2428 – The Making of a Youth Leader

By: Nina, Community Relations I met Atiqah ten years ago when I was a Community Worker. It was at a photography workshop we had organized for youths. She was a shy, soft-spoken 16-year-old. Her family had only recently moved in, so she didn’t know any other youths in the neighborhood yet. Throughout the few sessions we held, she mostly kept to herself, except when she offered to help me with minor tasks. Despite her discomfort being around others, she always showed up when invited to our programmes. I always admired Atiqah’s quiet determination and was pleased to see her slowly

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Another Week Beyond – 2427

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Another Week Beyond 2426 – Grizzly to Teddy

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Another Week Beyond 2425 – Do you see me? Do you hear me?

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Community, a place to care and grow (Another Week Beyond – 2424)

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Another Week Beyond – 2423

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Reconnecting with Gratitude 

2 weeks ago, our senior advisor Gerard received an email titled “Reconnecting with Gratitude” from someone who volunteered with us 20 years ago.  She told Gerard that she got his email from a friend of a friend and wanted to thank him in person for what he had said to her then. “I recall what you said to me that has impacted my life to this day,” was how she had put it.  She wrote that she was helping with a juggling programme where she accompanied the children to performances and as she was driving them back to the Centre

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Another Week Beyond – 2421

“Don’t bring your hooligan attitudes from your neighbourhood into ours!” A mother screamed at a teenager as he continued taunting her from a distance. Just a few minutes ago, the teenager and his friends were enjoying a game of street soccer against opponents below 12 years old.  His friends and he were visibly bigger and those watching were rooting for the “home team” of younger boys.   When spectators accused one of the older boys of unsporting rough play, play stopped, and angry words were exchanged all around. Recognising that they were not welcome, the older boys left the court grudgingly,

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PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond 2428 – The Making of a Youth Leader

By: Nina, Community Relations I met Atiqah ten years ago when I was a Community Worker. It was at a photography workshop we had organized for youths. She was a shy, soft-spoken 16-year-old. Her family had only recently moved in, so she didn’t know any other youths in the neighborhood yet. Throughout the few sessions we held, she mostly kept to herself, except when she offered to help me with minor tasks. Despite her discomfort being around others, she always showed up when invited to our programmes. I always admired Atiqah’s quiet determination and was pleased to see her slowly

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2427

No Wealth, No Health? Written by: Pei Ling, Community Relations How often do you find yourself in this situation? You’re unwell or in pain, and it’s been going on for while. But you choose not to see a medical practitioner because you feel you cannot afford it. This is a common scenario amongst Singapore’s financially-challenged – families living in rental public housing. And this is what happened to Ismail. When I visited Ismail on a routine follow-up, he was limping and clearly in pain. He told me he had a slipped disc. I asked about the medical treatment he was

Read more >

Another Week Beyond 2426 – Grizzly to Teddy

by Wilson, Community Worker Grizzly to Teddy During one of our recent learning programmes, one of the kids who attended was an often moody, sometimes truculent 8-year-old.  Let’s call him “Teddy.” Our expectations of Teddy were, from experience, tempered. How well he participated in our activities and interacted with others depended on his disposition from week to week. At this particular session, Teddy was what we had come to describe as “his usual self” – shouting vulgarities and being disruptive. He risked injury by playing with a sliding door, even after being asked by a volunteer to stop. In fact,

Read more >