Volunteer group takes seniors on trip to Chinatown

Mr Owen Tan, founder of volunteer group Jiak Simi, and his team take 20 residents from Thong Teck Home for Seniors Citizens out for a meal and a tour around Chinatown in the run-up to Chinese New Year.
Residents of Thong Teck Home for Senior Citizens, with Jiaksimi volunteers and nursing home staff, on their outing to Chinatown on Jan 26. Started in 2016 and held every couple of months, Jiaksimi gathers volunteers, some as young as 17, to accompany
Residents of Thong Teck Home for Senior Citizens, with Jiaksimi volunteers and nursing home staff, on their outing to Chinatown on Jan 26. Started in 2016 and held every couple of months, Jiaksimi gathers volunteers, some as young as 17, to accompany residents of the home to various parts of Singapore.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

For almost 60 years, Madam Choo Kim Lian had not visited Chinatown. The 86-year-old's long working hours as a former clerk in Marsiling, where she also lived, gave her little time to venture out of the neighbourhood.

On Saturday a week ago, her distant memories of Chinatown were jolted awake as she explored its bustling streets filled with crowds of people shopping ahead of Chinese New Year. The outing was part of a ground-up initiative called Jiaksimi, or "what to eat" in Hokkien.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 03, 2019, with the headline 'Volunteer group takes seniors on trip to Chinatown'. Subscribe