In appreciation of the Pioneer Generation’s contributions towards Singapore’s nation-building efforts, 150 RCY Link members played host to 200 elderly residents during a community service event in Tampines back in May this year. The event was part of the annual 2-day Linkamania camp. As we celebrate SG50 this year, Linkamania 2015 weaved historical elements of both Singapore and Singapore Red Cross into the skits and games. Day 1 saw our youths bonding together through fun and games, and this motivated them to give back to society during the values in action community service event on Day 2. Read on for pictures, videos and more!
Through the skits and games at Linkamania, Links learnt about Singapore’s past and the humble beginnings of the Singapore Red Cross. Our Links broke the ice with games of yesteryears like pick-up sticks and five stones, reminiscent of our past heritage. Later, the Links played games related to the Red Cross subjects, however all the games had a twist, linking it to how things were done in the past.
“It was a truly enjoyable, eye-opening journey to learn about Singapore’s history with the kids,” said one of the mentors, Red Cross Youth Chapter Member, Jihan Fahira.
Performance Night brings our links on a time-travelling experience, to see how Singapore has grown and prospered since the war to the modern cosmopolitan and global city it is now. Links learnt about what our pioneers experienced at some of the major milestones of Singapore’s history; World War II, the 1964 and 1969 racial riots and the bombing of MacDonald House (during the days of konfrontasi). Our own VIs put up a special performance to cap off the night (see video below).
Day 2 sees our Youth gathered at Tampines Central for a day of games and performances. There were also free health screenings conducted by healthcare volunteers. The screenings performed were to identify common ailments the elderly may be suffering from and included blood pressure checks and cognitive testing to detect early signs of dementia and depression.
During the performances, the elderly and Links sat down to play games and chit-chat over the refreshments served. Despite the seemingly large age gap, they interacted well, with our Links displaying their energy and enthusiasm, and the elderly sharing their experiences and wisdom.
“I’m so pleased to see the Links grow as they stepped out of their comfort zone to interact with the elderly whom they did not know beforehand,” quipped one of our Volunteer Instructor, Ng Zheng Wei.
“As part of our celebration of SG50 this year and (in) recognition of our pioneers, Linkamania 2015 aims to get both the young and old to embrace the spirit of inclusiveness while nurturing the spirit of compassion in the Links to contribute back to society. The activities today are therefore aimed at facilitating robust interaction between our youth and the senior citizens present,” said Mr Tee Tua Ba, Chairman, Singapore Red Cross.
The addition of a community service element to Linkamania draws inspiration from one of Singapore Red Cross’ newly introduced service: Community-Led Action for REsilience (CLARE), where volunteers are empowered to provide first aid, elderly care and befriending to the vulnerable.
“Through this event, the younger generation would hone better values and better understand the needs of our society. This is an important aspect to build a cohesive society. I am heartened that through all these years, the Singapore Red Cross Society has used various events to develop skills that enable to save lives and the spirit of giving back to society,” said Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education & Adviser to Tampines GROs, who attended the event as Guest of Honour.
Indeed, when we inculcate values of empathy and care from a young age, it will stay with the youth as they grow. We aim to create an inclusive and multi-cultural society; where people of all ages and different walks of life can live together in harmony. For this to materialise, there needs to be mutual respect and understanding. We hope that when the Links learnt about the lives of our pioneers on day one and interacted with them on day two, they gained more insights and understanding about our society. The camp might have ended, but the seeds that we sowed is the start of a more caring and compassionate movement.
See you at the next event – Sports & Wellness Day in August/September 2015!
(Playlists includes news clips from mainstream media. Do turn on closed captions for subtitles.)
You can view the photos on our facebook album HERE.