Migrants and grassroots team up for 50 community service projects

SINGAPORE - Eighty youth, who champion better integration of foreigners, plan to share stories of neighbourliness and friendship between foreigners and Singaporeans on social media channels. The initiative was announced by Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan at a community carnival organised by the People's Association on Saturday.

"There might be some negative sentiment about foreigners online," said youth integration ambassador Isabel Ong, 18. "It's important to show the good side as well," said the polytechnic student who studies mass communications.

Some of these stories come from the youth's personal experience, while the People's Association will highlight some examples for the youth to interview as well. One such example is Ms Fanny Oei, a new citizen from Indonesia who volunteers in the Nee Soon South residents committee. In four years, she has become a familiar face to neighbours and the elderly would even approach her for help to fix their leaking pipes.

To celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday, immigrant associations and Singapore's grassroots organisations will also be co-creating 50 community service projects to benefit the needy in 2015. The Hua Yuan Association for migrants from China, for example, plan to visit lonely elderly in Clementi and partner PA to give out household supplies to them. "It's a platform for people to know each other better," said Adviser to People's Association Integration Council Fatimah Lateef.

kashc@sph.com.sg