1. What inspired you to put together care packages for cleaners?
At the start of this COVID-19 war in Singapore, I observed that cleaners were stepping up their efforts to clean and disinfect the surroundings. For many, their bare hands were constantly touching water and disinfectants, without gloves. For some, they were constantly stretching and squatting to clean. When I spoke to some to ask how they were, and if they applied hand cream to protect their hands, they told me they did not know how to find hand cream in the pharmacies because it was all written in English or it was too expensive. But the story of one lady was particularly heartbreaking. When I asked her if she used any hand cream, she laughed and said that she was too old and didn’t need things like hand cream. It was almost like she was saying it was her lot in life to work so hard and she was ‘unworthy’ of love and care for herself. That was so painful to hear. This was what made me decide to put something small together for them.
2. What for you was the toughest moment throughout the whole project and how did you overcome it?
The Majurity Trust has been the most supportive and I am really grateful for their support! If I were to be honest, some of the toughest moments came from having to juggle this project with my work, being a mum to two children and running a household. Time was very tight but with good time management, being very disciplined and sticking to To-Do lists really helped. I even worked during pockets of time like during my lunch time, during my daily commute or when the kids have gone to bed.
3. You have involved your family and friends in this project, why did you choose to do so?
For my kids. It is because I really wanted to show them that it is very possible to do something for someone, regardless of the hard work involved. If we can bless someone with our actions and efforts, that’s all that matters. We see a need, we fill the need! We do not need a lot of money, we do not need elaborate systems, we just need to do our part. We do not have to mind the mess on the floor of the living room, we just need to roll up our sleeves and we can just get something going!! For my friends, I am thankful to be able to harness the power of my community. It really took a village.
4. Was there someone who was instrumental throughout your project? Why?
I would say The Majurity Trust has been instrumental in helping to fund this project. For without the funds, it would have been very difficult to get things going. Very thankful to my husband too, he understood the urgency of the project and had no qualms about driving me around to get the items, packing and packing, driving around to deliver the items. Within a span of 4 days; on top of work. Thankful.
5. Is there anything you wish you could change about Singapore? Why?
From what I have observed, I think we are scared to be criticised when we do too much or do too little. So some of us end up not doing anything, because they do not wish to be criticised, apathy is real too. It could be because we are simply too busy or too self-focused or it could be because people are just too afraid to be criticised.
If there is something which I could change; I would want to see a more courageous Singapore. A place where we are not afraid to do the right thing, to care even when it is inconvenient or it hurts. If it can bless, help, alleviate someone’s suffering, make things better even for that one person, I think we should do it. We cannot have apathy in Singapore too. We must show ‘heart’.
6. What is something you would say to someone who is struggling right now?
You are not alone. We can do this together. Something can be done. One step at a time. Slowly. We move our left leg, and then our right leg forward. Slowly and steadily, things will get better. You can do this.
7. What does thriving mean to you?
“Thriving” in life means living our lives daily with joy, peace, contentment and gratitude. Knowing that we still have this breath of life and with our two hands, we can bless and do something for someone. We are blessed and given an opportunity to live out a purposeful life, and all our callings and destinies in our lives.