Have fun and do good at FestivalForGood

Members of Circus In Motion (from far left) Ahmed Firdaus, Benjamin Teo, Jay Che and Edward Chua.
Members of Circus In Motion (from far left) Ahmed Firdaus, Benjamin Teo, Jay Che and Edward Chua.ST PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI

At this social enterprise festival, you can go shopping, learn new tricks and also support the many businesses which reach out to disadvantaged people

This weekend, pick up a jar of artisanal salted egg yolk cookies, try your hand at juggling and learn how social enterprises work at FestivalForGood, Singapore's inaugural social enterprise festival.

The festival, organised by the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, takes place tomorrow and on Sunday.

The first day of the festival will feature a pop-up market selling goods by social enterprises such as Flour Power, which trains people with special needs to bake, and The Looms Workshops, which provides employment for women through the creation and sale of handcrafted lifestyle products.

There will also be activities, such as a juggling workshop by home-grown circus troupe Circus In Motion, which teaches circus arts to youths at risk to empower them. A ticket to the juggling workshop costs $11.

Or festivalgoers can learn how to play the cajon, a Peruvian box-shaped percussion instrument.

Beat'ABox Group, which holds cajon classes for youth, the elderly, and the visually- and hearing- impaired, will be conducting a session at the fair. A class costs $10.

  • BOOK IT / FESTIVALFORGOOD

  • Where: JTC Launchpad, Timbre+ and ACE Ideation Centre, 73A and 79 Ayer Rajah Crescent (tomorrow); various social enterprises (Sunday)

    When: Tomorrow and Sunday, various times

    Info: Sign up for workshops and activities at www.festivalforgood.sg

Festivalgoers can also catch performances by Beat'ABox Group, among others.

The first day of the fair will take place at start-up cluster JTC Launchpad in Ayer Rajah, the facility's new-generation hawker centre Timbre+ and the nearby ACE Ideation Centre.

On the second day of the fair, activities will take place at the premises of the various social enterprises.

One of the participating social enterprises on the second day is Dialogue In The Dark, a group which educates the public on what it is like to be visually impaired.

It will conduct a tour in complete darkness at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, which is priced at $25 a person.

Festivalgoers can get a manicure ($36 with wine and a cupcake) at The Nail Social in Haji Lane, which employs underprivileged women as nail technicians, or learn to sew a pencil case or cushion cover (from $45) with Sew Into It in Kreta Ayer, which runs a youth mentorship programme.

For a full list of activities, go to www.festivalforgood.sg.

Proceeds from the festival will go to the social enterprises.

Ms Amy Lim, the festival's project lead, says the 40 participating social enterprises are a mere fraction of the growing community of more than 300, which spans diverse industries from F&B to retail.

"We hope that through the festival, the public will gain new awareness of the ways they can support social enterprises by acts as simple as choosing where to eat, where to shop or even where to attend yoga classes or get a manicure," she adds.

Polytechnic student Marianne Soh, 19, got hooked on the cajon after attending Beat'ABox Group's classes and has since taught the instrument to the hearing- impaired.

She says: "I got to better understand how their disability does not stop them from playing music."

Circus In Motion troupe member and full-time instructor Edward Chua, 25, says learning circus tricks helped him get out of an addiction to computer games in secondary school.

"I used to play games all night and fall asleep in school, but I started to lose interest in gaming after being introduced to circus arts. Mastering the tricksbecame my new obsession," he says.

His colleague Benjamin Teo, 25, believes that the festival is a good starting point to rally all the social enterprises. He says: "We can connect and the public can see first-hand what we do."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2016, with the headline 'Have fun, do good'. Print Edition | Subscribe