Our training space for baking and sewing activities that was ready in October last year (AWB – 1945) is also turning out to be a blessing that is bringing us new friends. We have had several chats with other organisations how we may collaborate and have welcome a couple of women referred by others to our activities. Last Friday, a small group from the Mujahidin Mosque came for a baking lesson conducted by our mothers. It was heartening to see our mothers executing the session with so much confidence and putting the visitors at ease very quickly. One of the participants was an Indonesian with Singaporean children and she told us that she really valued the session as being shy and always feeling a little out of place, she avoided social situations.
When we share resources, we build and strengthen our collective sense of community. By collaborating with others, we extend our touch points and reach. At this session, we met an 18-year-old that has never attended our activities even though we work in the neighbourhood she lives in. Now she tells us she wants to learn more, and we are pleased as Bakers Beyond could certainly benefit from having a young person on the team.
That evening, we learnt that Singapore had raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to Orange and that weekend, some of our members told us that they were unable to purchase rice. As their family budget is tight, they buy their provisions in small portions, but the staple was in short supply. Their concerns were allayed quickly when stores replenished their supplies, but it got us thinking that we need to be more mindful how the current situation is affecting our members.
So, on Monday through 42 WhatsApp groups reaching some 580 persons across the different neighbourhoods we work in, we sent out the following message:
We wish you good health and peace of mind. During this time, we will be using this group to give accurate info about the nCoV situation. So, we will be sending messages that will help us to be:
2. Healthy & Hygienic
We also encourage members of this group to inform us if you know of neighbours and friends who are having problems because of this situation. Thank you and let’s keep our community safe and strong.
We followed up by explaining the precautionary measures we will take for all activities in the community and assuring them of our support in executing them. From what we have heard so far, life goes on, but some have expressed that things will be very different should school close as added caretaking responsibilities may mean a disruption to their work schedule and a loss of income. In times like this our solidarity with the families in our membership is so important and volunteering and corporate social responsibility efforts are so essential. Hence, we are glad that our volunteers are arranging to continue tutoring our children via WhatsApp and corporations are working with us to ensure food bundles are still being delivered even though the mass food distribution exercises have been called off.
I would like to end my note this week by expressing our gratitude and appreciation for the many who have reached out to us enquiring how they may render support. Thank you for your thoughtful friendship.
Wishing one and all health and peace of mind,
Solidarity is not an act of charity, but mutual aid between forces fighting for the same objective. – Samora Machel