PROJECT EMPATHIZE

An initiative by YCS Cohort 3 Aspirants

18th March 2016

On the 18th of March 2016, a group of Youth Corps Aspirants from Team Doraemon organised Project Empathize. Working with community partner Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), they aim to promote greater awareness of the MINDS center and to educate Singaporeans about down syndrome.


Approximately 50 volunteers were out and about along the streets of Orchard Road on Friday afternoon, giving out colourful socks and temporary tattoos to the public. Volunteers also played a part by encouraging the public to wear these temporary tattoos and socks in support of World Down Syndrome Day, an annual event on the 21st of March.


Previously, these same team of Youth Corps leaders organised a coaster making event and a CNY theme card crafting event in December 2015 and January 2016 respectively.


Joycelin, one of the leaders of the team, even stated that it was “easier than expected” to rally volunteers through the YCS Portal.

An interview with one of the team leaders

Interview with Joycelin

Qn: Why MINDS?

Ans: We felt that people with intellectual disabilities are a marginalised group that deserved to be heard as many have bad impressions of them being violent- which is definitely not true. So this is a good opportunity for us to make that known.


Qn: How do you attract youth to advocate your cause?

Ans: We advertised online through Instagram and also got our own friends to help us reach out to more people. The YCS portal was very useful in getting people to sign up for our event, especially because the age range is quite wide (16-35) and since our event is held during school holidays, it is more likely for students to turn up. For today’s event, the turn-out rate is a lot better than we expected and we realised that people here (at YCS) are really willing to help!


Qn: What useful skills did you acquire as a leader that allowed you to effectively carry out this project?

Ans: The most important skills I acquired is communication and being organised. I didn’t realise their importance until I started out this project. Without these its very hard to get your message across- to your beneficiaries, to the organisers and to your fellow team mates. It was good that YCS had workshops to help us with learning about communication, but I learnt the most on the job.