Another Week Beyond – 2205

Dear friends,

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.

Sincerely,

Gerard

“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”
~ Confucius

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond – 2413

Yesterday, I had a discussion with some colleagues about how we may get residents in the neighbourhoods we engage to present themselves “better” to volunteers especially those from corporations who provide funds and other resources. This discussion was triggered by feedback that these residents do not brief the volunteers well enough on their tasks or explain to them how their time and efforts add value to their neighbourhood. The goodwill from corporations is important for the sustainability of our work and obviously, we want to create a positive experience for these corporate volunteers lest we lose their support. However, this

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2412

Ignite! Is a group of youth studying in institutions of higher learning who share resources,encourage each other and serve as role models for children in their neighbourhoods. It has been in existence for about 2.5 years and at its peak there were 25 members. 2 weeks ago, when a meeting was called, 3 members showed up and they were concerned that the group would no longer exist if there were no new members. Quickly, they discussed what a recruitment drive could look like and they drew up a collective list of friends they could invite to attend an introductory meeting.

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2411

An elderly person contacted us and told us that he would avoid engaging with a colleague I shall call Jane. He told us that Jane had a demon within her. The message via WhatsApp to a few of us left us perplexed. We thought that keeping the conversation going on the phone would only lead to more confusion and so we told him that we will chat over coffee. As I sat with him together with another colleague, this elderly person spoke in an agitated fashion, and we sensed his fear. He related his experiences of how friends have been

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2410

Children roaming the neighbourhood on their own was a concern identified by 2 Community Fellows in October last year. They had observed that some children were unkempt and still in their school uniform at a time when most children would have had their dinner and preparing for bed. These fellows were worried for the children, and they found themselves questioning if their parents cared. They also looked for programmes in the community which they could refer the children to and thought that if there were none suitable, they would create one. During the school holidays last year, they reached out

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2409

Community offers the promise of belonging and calls for us to acknowledge our interdependence. To belong is to act as an investor, owner, and creator of this place.  – Peter Block Yesterday, lunch for 22 neighbours was prepared by our members of our community, at our premises with the harvest from our very own vegetable garden. While it was not quite a harvest festival celebration, it was nonetheless a joyous occasion. We were commemorating the end of an 8-session programme-cum-pilot study to explore the positive effects of urban farming on the physical and mental well-being of those aged 50 and

Read More »

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond – 2413

Yesterday, I had a discussion with some colleagues about how we may get residents in the neighbourhoods we engage to present themselves “better” to volunteers especially those from corporations who provide funds and other resources. This discussion was triggered by feedback that these residents do not brief the volunteers well enough on their tasks or explain to them how their time and efforts add value to their neighbourhood. The goodwill from corporations is important for the sustainability of our work and obviously, we want to create a positive experience for these corporate volunteers lest we lose their support. However, this

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2412

Ignite! Is a group of youth studying in institutions of higher learning who share resources,encourage each other and serve as role models for children in their neighbourhoods. It has been in existence for about 2.5 years and at its peak there were 25 members. 2 weeks ago, when a meeting was called, 3 members showed up and they were concerned that the group would no longer exist if there were no new members. Quickly, they discussed what a recruitment drive could look like and they drew up a collective list of friends they could invite to attend an introductory meeting.

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2411

An elderly person contacted us and told us that he would avoid engaging with a colleague I shall call Jane. He told us that Jane had a demon within her. The message via WhatsApp to a few of us left us perplexed. We thought that keeping the conversation going on the phone would only lead to more confusion and so we told him that we will chat over coffee. As I sat with him together with another colleague, this elderly person spoke in an agitated fashion, and we sensed his fear. He related his experiences of how friends have been

Read more >