Girls' Brigade Singapore partners South West CDC to fulfil vulnerable residents' wishes

Mayor of South West district Low Yen Ling (left) and President Halimah Yacob (centre) presenting Mohd Saleh Abu with an electric kettle. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Mayor of South West district Low Yen Ling (left) and President Halimah Yacob (centre) present S Periyaswamy with a portable fan. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Mr Mohd Saleh Abu, 78, lives alone with a maid in a one-room flat and used to have trouble boiling water without an electric kettle.

He is among 3,000 residents who will be getting their wishes fulfilled under The Girls' Brigade Friend in Deed @ South West project, a partnership between The Girls' Brigade Singapore (GBS) and South West Community Development Council (CDC).

Receiving his new electric kettle at the launch event on Wednesday (July 7), Mr Mohd Saleh, a member of the NTUC Health Senior Activity Centre (Taman Jurong), said it would aid him greatly in his daily life.

The project aims to fulfil the wishes of vulnerable residents under the Adopt @ South West programme, which reaches out to needy families or the elderly, by end-July.

Residents can ask for items within a $60 budget. These can be for home use, such as electric kettles or bed sheets, health and wellness items like mobility aids and school supplies or toys for children.

Corporate sponsors and members of the public contribute the gifts worth a total of $180,000.

The project is part of this year's Girls' Brigade Friendship Day, in place of its annual community carnival model because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It hopes to serve a greater number of beneficiaries through such an approach.

President Halimah Yacob was the guest of honour at the launch which was also attended by Mayor of South West District Low Yen Ling. Both presented wish items to beneficiaries.

Ms Low, who is Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, as well as Trade and Industry, said: "During the pandemic, the levels of isolation and stress have increased for everyone, especially elderly persons. However, it is also in times like these that we experience the strength and solidarity of Singaporeans coming together to help one another."

GBS president Sharon Liat added that in addition to this project, it is also participating in South West CDC's "Adopt-A-Senior" initiative, which engages vulnerable seniors remotely.

From July until the end of the year, 120 GBS members will be paired with 120 South West District seniors for fortnightly tele-befriending sessions. The beneficiaries will also receive a care pack at the end of the programme.

Ms Liat said: "Serving others builds and restores the human touch that the pandemic has taken away… We need to be more forthcoming, aiding those who have been harder hit during this time."

Members of the public who wish to adopt wishes can do so till July 31. To find out more, go to the Girls' Brigade website.

When the Covid-19 situation improves, individuals may also participate in door-to-door delivery efforts. Time slots will be available for booking on the same portal.

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