Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Project Sukacita VIII 2021: Serving Children and Migrant Workers

Held in accordance with safe distancing measures, Project Sukacita in 2021 was rolled out in two instalments to support children in North Sumatra, Indonesia, as well as migrant workers in Singapore.

Founded, led and coordinated by Tanoto Scholars, Project Sukacita is an annual community service program that brings together Tanoto Scholar volunteers from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore Management University. In previous editions of Project Sukacita, the scholars visited rural communities in Pangkalan Kerinci to conduct programs aimed at raising awareness on health, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and education.

Project Sukacita 2021’s first instalment saw the scholars interacting with three-to-eight-year old children from four partner schools in Bloksongo and Besitang, North Sumatra. Conducted for the first time through live video conferencing in August-September 2021, the team helped raise awareness on matters related to dental health, nutrition, personal hygiene, and learning the English language. The sessions were accompanied by sing-a-longs, colourful visuals, and video demonstrations – educating and delighting the children at the same time.

Following that, in November 2021, Tanoto Scholars partnered HealthServe, a social service agency supporting the migrant worker community in Singapore. This marked the first time Project Sukacita was held in Singapore.

Together with HealthServe, the Project Sukacita team conducted two sessions in early November with the migrant workers, sharing useful information on pandemic-related best practices, chronic diseases, personal hygiene, and workplace safety. These educational materials by Tanoto Scholars were further distributed to over 7,000 migrant workers together with care packs.

Hear from our scholars!

Rachel Tan, NUS Medicine, M2

This year’s edition of Project Sukacita has shown me how it is still possible to carry out meaningful volunteer work even amidst the pandemic. Seeing the bright smiles on the children’s face really warms my heart and reminds me of the power of a single action to brighten someone else’s day.

Shaik Mohideen Shemin Ayesha, NUS Medicine, M2

Through Project Sukacita, I was able to contribute to our migrant worker community! Although we only interacted with the migrant brothers for a few hours, we managed to educate them on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We even answered some of their queries regarding chronic diseases and nutrition. Overall, it was a fruitful experience! By joining Project Sukacita, my soft skills such as communication and teamwork also improved!

Saw Lip Wei, NUS Medicine, M2

Since joining Tanoto Foundation in M1, I have heard a lot about Project Sukacita from seniors and alumni about how meaningful the project is for them volunteering overseas. Although for my year we did not get the opportunity to travel and meet with the beneficiaries physically due to Covid-19 constraints, I am heartened that we were still able to serve through online platforms. This exemplifies the spirit that even when faced with constraints and barriers, we can always continue to strive to help and serve others, albeit in different ways. As a Tanoto scholar, I thought the brief experience volunteering with Project Sukacita was meaningful, as it aligned with both my values as well as Tanoto Foundation’s belief in giving back to others, in addition to empowering education.

Rachel Ong Li Lin, NUS Medicine, M3

I had the honour of being part of the Project Sukacita 2021 team and despite the evolving Covid-19 situation and that we could not be physically in Indonesia this year, it was amazing to have witnessed how the team managed to adapt to conduct the sessions online while also being able to preserve the missions of what Project Sukacita aims to bring about. It was such a great joy when the Indonesian students interacted and responded to our questions despite the language barrier. Besides, it was heartening when the migrant brothers from HealthServe opened up to share their personal stories and although our interactions may be short, we hope that our partners took away some insights from our sharings.

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