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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Do Something Today!

Let's take any Higher Power out, for argument's sake. We don't get to choose to be born in the slums, to be born in Singapore or to be porn as Paris Hilton.

I was reminded of that when i attended Social Icon, a conference where they bring like-minded people together. People who are social entrepeuners (a for-profit business with a social mission), people who belive in social service. It is encouraging, to see selfless people still exist, when often it is inculcated that Singaporeans are a selfish bunch.

 We were given goodie bags where paintings were individually drawn on each bag. I was eyeing this one the Uncle had across the room. It's the nicest i have seen (2 doves above a sunset) , mine had some large flowers painted on. People would say it's nice too, but i wasn't much of a flower fan.

The conference wanted to make a statement- that we didn't get to choose how we're born.
Therefore, they drew lots in the hall and segmented the rich, the poor and the middle class. This, affects LUNCH. The one thing Singaporeans all look forward to during courses and seminars and all other sort of events, and the one thing that we unknowingly take for granted.

People who got black tags were served a 10 course meal, complete with servers and silvery cutlery.

The middle class got buffet, like most of us Singaporeans.
Guess which class i fall into?

The lowest class. We were served soya bean milk (my favourite anyway) and porridge with PEANUTS! It's the watery kind somemore! And we had to sit on these tin cans and wooden crates. Here i was all dressed nicely in my shirt and a-line skirt, but i had to stoop low and sit on the crate for my lunch. Good thing i didn't get any splinters.

I looked greedy, going for 3 rounds of porridge (it was a puny bowl!) and 2 cups of soya milk.

But as the "poor" look over longingly at the "rich", sipping his soya milk, we realised we are fortunate enough to even be able to eat porridge! It was in fact, actually quite yummy despite being watery and plain.

So, if it takes alot of will power to step out of your comfort zone to do something about poverty. Or you don't have money to give to the poor. Here's what i searched out and joined.

Scribbly Friends! Basically, you write to children/ teenagers from poor countries around Asia to help them practice their English and to also be some sort of a friend via penmanship. You don't have to give any money, the only money you will spend are for your writing materials.

I like writing, and i love receiving snail mail. I still have some left over fancy papers + stickers from my school days, so i enrolled. I will be writing to pen pals like Jonathan Pineda, who is 15 years old and from the Philippines. Before being picked up by Tiwala (an association, i presume), he lived on the street collecting cans and other metals to sell. Ever the avid artist, Jonathan’s arresting drawings reflect his memories of living on the streets.

His name sounds handsome enough, who knows...he might fall in love with me over writing and one day become a successful artist and track me down in Singapore to propose!

That's besides the fact that i am almost a decade older, and besides the fact that i don't think you write to them directly with your personal mailing address (stalkers alert!).

Sign up, not because i did, but because you want to make a difference!

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