The pandemic left many in rough circumstances. This is especially prominent for the less fortunate, when most of the volunteering work came to a halt. Isolated in their own homes, they lived in less-than-ideal conditions, and this posed a real threat to their well-being.
Recently, we had the incredible opportunity to give back to the community by participating in a painting project for the beneficiaries of New Hope CS.
The Hidden Realities of Rental Flats
As the rental apartments at Jalan Kukoh are known to be one of the oldest buildings in Singapore, it is no surprise that the amenities are not well maintained. When we headed down to the units, we were met with the jarring reality of the poor living conditions that many in Singapore are still faced with.
For instance, we noticed that large portions of their walls were peeling and crumbling. It was a serious cause of concern as the walls have deteriorated severely to the point where it becomes a safety hazard for the occupants of the house.
Unfortunately, there are so many others living in poor conditions due to the difficult circumstances that they are in – making ends meet. “This is nothing but the first step in helping to make life more liveable for those who need it,” Rishika, Marketing Communications Executive at BEDANDBASICS, noted.
As we stepped into the beneficiary’s house, “it felt like we were in such a personal space of these people we have never met, and we were able to connect with them in a way” expressed Rishika. This motivated us to push through even though it was physically demanding, in hopes that the beneficiaries would be able to come home to a much more refreshed space.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
As most of us had not tried our hands at wall painting, we followed the lead of Bella, HR executive at BEDANDBASICS, who guided us along with her own personal experience. Breaking through the office hierarchies, everyone assumed a very neutral role.
All of us had one common goal in mind: to do an excellent painting job within 2 days. We were working on a tight timeline given the limited manpower and skill set, but we knew it was going to be worth the effort when the families saw the transformation of their house.
In this process, we came to realise how much the paint on the walls affects perception. A fresh coat of paint truly makes a lot of difference to the entire ambience of the house. But our goal was more than just painting walls. It was about creating a safe and comfortable space for these beneficiaries and improving their quality of life.
The Little Differences We Can Make
Although the painting project was tiring and physically challenging for most of us, the entire experience was extremely rewarding and eye-opening. On the last day of the project, we had the opportunity to meet the beneficiaries and witness the look of appreciation on their faces. It was very heartening to know that given this short amount of time, we managed to make a small difference in their lives.
When asked about her thoughts on this meaningful experience, Adriana, the Marketing Executive at BEDANDBASICS, responded “The greatest strengths that we have are our drive and compassion. We want to channel that into helping the communities in need.”
It is crucial that we recognise the privileges we have and to use that to help the less fortunate. In the long run, we wish to do more for these beneficiaries such as connecting them with the right network and getting them the support they need.
Everyone should have a comfortable home to return to — the community could do so much more to turn this into reality.