Singapore, 2 October 2010 – The entries for this year’s Friend of Singa (FOS), and especially the award winners, surprised organiser Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) with depth and sustainability.
Mr Teh Thien Yew, General Manager of SKM, said: “The Friend of Singa projects showed a marked increase in sophistication. The students have gone beyond making simple kindness pledges. They built on last year’s efforts and created integrated and multi-faceted campaigns that engaged various groups within the school community. This is a bigger step than what we were expecting when we made changes to the programme last year.”
FOS is now into its 20th year, and it continues to promote the essential values of selflessness and love behind the kind acts of young caring individuals. To achieve greater engagement and to further impress the concept of kindness and graciousness upon the young, SKM introduced a new dimension to the programme last year. Students have to attend a forum theatre workshop, and then develop and execute a kindness project that is meaningful to their school.
FOS 2010 saw participation from 79 primary, 25 secondary and 2 tertiary schools. 32 out of the 106 schools were first time participants. Of the repeat participants, about 40% showed continuity in this year’s projects by building on last year’s theme or activities. Overall, SKM estimates that 60% of the projects submitted this year were integrated and multi-faceted campaigns with good sustainability.
Mr Koh Poh Tiong, Chairman of SKM Council, commented at the FOS 2010 Award Ceremony held at Republic Polytechnic’s Republic Cultural Centre (Theatre): “The students did not disappoint. They came up with innovative and impactful methods that touched the hearts of students, teachers and other staff working in the schools as well. Some of the best projects are actually the simplest ones. To me, these students clearly understood a key factor when spreading kindness: that kindness is not difficult to do. It is not a big gesture; neither do you need lots of money. All it takes is for us to show a little consideration for one another, and to consciously put graciousness to practice. Pretty soon it will be a way of life for us all.”
Mrs Sheryn Mah, President of MILK Fund and Guest of Honour at the award ceremony, furthered: “Participating in Friend of Singa is but a first step. It allowed the students to experience how simple acts of kindness can really create a big impact on those they meet and help. I hope they will continue to be kind and gracious, and contribute to the community and social service scene as they progress with their education and later in life.”
With only a $150 seed funding, the students created projects that are impactful and engaging. In particular, the primary school award winners showed depth.
Ai Tong Primary School showed kindness triumphs with their video “You Can’t Stop It”. Canberra Primary School engaged with videos on the themes of “Being Considerate”, “Being Kind”, “Being Helpful”, “Stop Bullying” and “Let’s Share”. MacPherson Primary School promoted graciousness by endorsing acts of kindness spotted in the school compound. Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School went tactical and conducted pre- and post-project surveys for the activities held.
Mr Teh added: “The projects used a mix of personal interaction as well as platforms such as videos, multi-media and online social networking platforms like Facebook for greater engagement. They also tapped into the schools’ internal network of clubs and societies for greater reach. We are happy with the results achieved.”
Friend of Singa 2010 Award Winners:
- Ai Tong School (Gold) – Kindness in Our Second Home – Central CDC
- Canberra Primary School (Gold) – Canberra Kindness Week – Northwest CDC
- MacPherson Primary School (Gold) – Let’s Spread Kindness – Southeast CDC
- Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School (Gold) – Graciousness Starts With Me – Northwest CDC
- Bedok Green Primary School (Silver) – Kindness at Bedok Green Primary School – Southeast CDC
- Casuarina Primary (Silver) – Graciousness Buzz…– Northeast CDC
- Greendale Primary School (Silver) – Kindness@GDPS – Everyone Plays a Part – Northeast CDC
- Kheng Cheng School (Silver) – Kindness in Action Week – Northeast CDC
- CHIJ – Our Lady of Good Counsel (Bronze) – Fabric of Kindness – Northeast CDC
- Dazhong Primary School (Bronze) – Dazhong Kindness Badge – Southwest CDC
- Jiemin Primary School (Bronze) – Jiemin Primary School Kindness Program – Northwest CDC
- Tao Nan School (Bronze) – Keep the Canteen Clean Campaign – Southeast CDC
- Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) (Gold) – A small Kind of BIG – Central CDC
- Beatty Secondary School (Gold) – Gracious Community in Beatty Sec – Central CDC
- Canberra Secondary School (Silver) – Kindness@Canberra Always – Northwest CDC
- St. Margaret's Secondary School (Silver) – Inclusive or Exclusive – Northwest CDC
- Si Ling Secondary School (Bronze) – Kindness @ Si Ling – Northwest CDC
- Ping Yi Secondary School (Bronze) – Honouring Our School Environment – Southeast CDC
- St. Andrew’s Junior College (Gold) – Expressing Kindness to one and all! – Southeast CDC
- Anderson Junior College (Silver) – Kindness Week begins with You – Central CDC
The projects were judged based on 1) relevance to kindness and graciousness in the school community, 2) outreach and effective change to school community, 3) sustainability, 4) originality, and 5) cost-efficiency.