Wishing you strength and vitality this Year of the Tiger. Good health is the blessing that all of us could do with regardless of who and where we are in life.
12 residents came together to select 2 neighbours as Community Fellows who would be responsible for executing initiatives that encourage healthier lifestyles and positive health-seeking behaviour. The Community Enablers Fellowship Programme is our new endeavour to support residents who are passionate about initiating and incubating a neighbourhood project that tackles a local concern or aspiration.
We are aiming to appoint 6 Community Fellows from 3 different localities who will rally their neighbours to incubate 3 to 6 projects over a 6-month period. These Fellows will attend training and work closely with staff members who will facilitate access to programme funds and other resources within our organisation. However, it must be their neighbours who select them because their initiatives are not likely to succeed if they are not supported and desired by their neighbourhood.
The residents listened intently to a proposal for an emergency fund to support those who hesitated seeing a doctor because of financial challenges. The proposer added that the fund need not be too big as she also aims to persuade at least 70% of her neighbours to sign up as members of the Mount Alvernia Hospital Outreach Clinic that provides highly subsidised medical and dental treatment.
Another proposal was to invite mental health professionals to train a group of residents to be first responders for neighbours who are feeling sad and troubled. This proposer believed that because of the proximity and existing relationships, a first responder team is well placed to identify and support those in need before their situation worsened.
After the proposals were articulated, residents posed questions to those who presented. They wanted to know what motivated them to care and what type of leaders would they be. One replied that although she comes across as playful, she is serious about helping neighbours access health care because she has experienced what it means to be alone and worried. She believes that her playful side is an advantage for reaching out and establishing rapport with her neighbours.
From the selection exercise, we could see that those who put in a proposal already had a fair amount of support from their neighbours. They did not just receive questions but also spontaneous remarks about their positive qualities. This was good to see because there appears to be much mutual trust and respect among neighbours and work can only move at the speed of trust.
Once again, I wish you the best of health this Tiger Year as well as the blessing of being trusted by all who matter to you.
“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”