Since its inception in 2007, starringSMU has been the largest and longest running Community Service Project in SMU, and has impacted over 10,000 people in the community over the past ten years. In 2016, the project team raised more than $24,000 for one of its beneficiary organisations, ‘My Buona Vista Place’, a one-stop centre for social welfare programmes reaching out to over 20,000 residents. The funds were raised through a 2-day charity car wash.
Annually, the starringSMU volunteers organise various activities to engage and befriend the children and elderly from non-profit organisations such as Sunlove Home, SWAMI Home, Faith Acts, Thye Hua Kwan Senior Activity Centres and KitsforKids.
Initiated in 2013, Kidleidoscope engages primary and secondary youths through skills such as Tie-Dye, Silkscreen printing and other craft activities. The project partnered the following youth organisations in 2016 – Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association (CARE), Stag Match, and Calvary Community Care. During the Finale at City Square Mall, the Kidleidoscope team showcased the creations from the beneficiaries on stage via a fashion show, modelled by the student volunteers. A mini carnival with games and food booths both for the public and the beneficiaries to enjoy was also organised.
Initiated in 2008, this project provides a platform for SMU students to actively engage and befriend the elderly. Various activities are organised to foster interaction between the youth and the elderly and at the same time, promote active aging and a healthy lifestyle in today’s greying society. In 2011, the project team first developed a “Sit Exercise” routine that the elderly could perform while seated, which was both convenient and not too strenuous for them
In 2012, the students partnered Pfizer Singapore to organise a wellness screening for over 300 underprivileged elderly, followed by a vaccination to armour them with protection against pneumococcal disease.
The 2016 team developed a simple ‘towelstretching’ exercise for the elderly and also organised a retro-themed carnival at Kolam Ayer Community Club for the elderly beneficiaries.
Western Circuit Sailing Regetta
Jointly organised by the SMU Sailing Club and Raffles Marina, the Western Circuit Sailing Regatta gives sailors with disabilities from Sailability Singapore the opportunity to experience a full-fledged local regatta. Sailability Singapore is a non-profit organisation, which through sailing, helps to enrich the lives of people with any disability, the elderly, and the financially and socially disadvantaged.
SMU students from the Sailing Club help these sailors with tasks like rigging and recovery of boats. They also help to raise funds for Sailability Singapore through various activities such as a charity car wash and an auction during the regatta.
Project Xin Yuan
Project Xin Yuan (PXY) started in 2008 and worked with underprivileged students in China. In 2011, PXY ventured to work with the handicapped students of Guangzhou English Training Centre for the Handicapped (GETCH) and Guangdong Peiying Vocational school. In 2012, they started a new initiative – PXY Laptop Bursary Programme. Five laptops were provided to GETCH to be loaned to needy students at their discretion to facilitate their learning.
The 2016 project team continued the efforts of the previous years’ teams. They taught English, covering a range of subjects the students have expressed interest in such as Business Management, Marketing, Presentation Skills, Leadership and Team Building as well as Music and Cultural Exchange.
Project Gazaab, started in 2009, aims to alleviate poverty by helping the poor start their own micro-enterprises. Through conducting business competitions in high schools, they equip students with business knowledge and inspire them to start-up sustainable micro-enterprises. In 2009 and 2010, the project teams constructed libraries as well for the schools in Nepal in a bid to provide students with a permanent source of knowledge. In 2011, Project Gazaab hit a major milestone, being the first project in SMU to inspire others to take the model and replicate it in other locations. Two teams of capable leaders inspired by the Gazaab cause helped to expand the project to 3 Chapters – Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh in India, and Nepal. Another three projects were organised in 2012 to Maharashtra and Mewat in India and to Nepal. In 2013, Project Gazaab expanded to Thailand and Indonesia.
Since its inception in 2004, Reef Alert has championed reef conservation efforts and promoted good diving practices to divers around the world. Each year, the project team will go through about 3 months of intensive training. This consist of theory lessons on diving proficiency and data collection methods, field sessions in Singapore and facilitated discussion forums for the team to gain a greater understanding of the environmental issues impacting the world.
Data collected by the team are reviewed by the marine biologists or local researchers to ensure scientific integrity of the survey findings, and are subjected to scientific reporting and publication by the partner organisations. The project team has been returning to the Malapascua Island, Philippines, to aid the lead researcher with extensive data collection of the sea floor (reef mapping), shark census survey, planting of camera to observe the fish life and behaviour, as well as reaching out to the school on Malapascua to share about conservation with the students.
The project site was declared as Philippines’ first Shark and Ray Sanctuary by Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro in 2015. This has resulted in an expansion of the protected area to nearly 600ha, and catching and trading of all shark and ray species within these waters is now officially prohibited.
Initiated in 2011, SMU Pendeza is an Overseas Community Service Project (OCSP) to Meru, Kenya to help an orphanage of 180 girls, by developing educational programmes and creating a social enterprise model. The first project team furnished the orphanage with a library and an IT laboratory, and its’ primary school with desks, blackboards and noticeboards.
In 2011, SMU Pendeza was selected out of 450 entries as one of ten international finalists for ‘Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to change the world’, a joint initiative by UN Women Singapore and MasterCard to help empower disadvantaged women and girls. The project has also been regularly supported by the Shirin Fozdar Programme for its innovative ideas. Subsequent project teams are helping the orphanage with the construction of a secondary school, general improvements in facilities, interactive activities to nurture the girls’ soft skills and development of a social enterprise. ” Pendeza” stands for “a cause to love” in Swahili, Kenya’s national language.