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These S’poreans began initiatives to assist hawkers, elderlies

As a result of latest spike in Covid-19 circumstances, Singapore needed to revert again to tightened social interactions and the default state of working from dwelling underneath Part 2 (Heightened Alert).

Eating in at meals and beverage (F&B) institutions is disallowed, and eateries can provide solely takeaways and deliveries. Moreover, individuals will likely be allowed to assemble in teams of as much as two, down from 5.

In only a few days, Singaporeans went from planning for gatherings with teams of associates and searching ahead to the Hong Kong-Singapore journey bubble, to consuming takeaway meals at dwelling and socialising on Zoom.

The brand new measures have severely affected all points of Singaporean society, however it has taken a larger toll on some teams than others. For instance, hawkers and the aged sometimes face the brunt of the Covid-19 measures.

Recognising this, many Singaporeans have stepped up and launched numerous initiatives aimed toward offering help and help to those teams. Listed below are some initiatives:

WhereToDabao and JustDabao

Homeowners of New Hong Kong at Ayer Raja Meals Centre / Picture Credit score: @wheretodapao

Older hawkers who’re neither IT-literate nor social media-savvy have been at an ideal drawback for the reason that guidelines that prevented eating in kicked in.

There have been many experiences on older hawkers who wrestle with making use of social media or on-line supply platforms to increase their attain. These hawkers are additionally seeing an enormous decline in footfall as a result of Heightened Alert measures.

A report by Channel Information Asia highlighted how a BBQ seafood stall at Bedok’s 85 Fengshan Meals Centre couldn’t even obtain S$100 of gross sales in someday.

This prompted the founding of a brand new Instagram account — @wheretodabao. This Instagram account goals to assist  aged hawkers acquire some on-line publicity.

In accordance with the Instagram account, there will likely be three posts on three completely different hawkers every day “to assist aged hawkers to get extra enterprise throughout these powerful instances”. These hawker highlights are additionally crowd-sourced from the general public who can ship in submissions through a Google Kind.

For the reason that account began every week in the past, it has garnered 31,000 followers and shared the tales of 32 particular person hawkers.

In accordance with its Instagram web page, it has additionally managed to ink and settlement with meals supply large Foodpanda. It has additionally lately collaborated with one other initiative — JustDabao.

JustDabao is a sustainable inexperienced initiative which helps F&B shops clear their surplus at discounted costs. It goals to create a win-win-win state of affairs — eateries get to get well their sunk prices, customers get to rescue meals at discounted costs, and the earth turns into greener.

Companions should not charged any commissions, and it operates on a self pick-up mannequin so retailers should not have to interact any supply companies. This permits for the hawkers to clear their surplus gadgets and forestall wastage, particularly when it’s troublesome to gauge demand as of late.


The KampungKakis founders / Picture Credit score: KampungKakis

In 2020, on the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mae Tan, Michelle Lau and Denise Tay noticed a widening hole the place those that are underprivileged, much less tech-abled and residing in isolation, had been falling by the cracks.

Volunteer organizations and residents community facilities needed to stop their common operations, and lots of stay-alone seniors had been robbed of their solely type of social interplay and knowledge gathering from their friends on the void decks or coffeeshops. That’s the place KampungKakis desires to come back in to assist. 

The concept for KampungKakis was conceived by Mae when she was recovering from Covid-19 within the hospital.

Reflecting on her hospitalisation expertise, she was eager to pay-it-forward to the frontline heroes who sacrificed their very own security to make her restoration journey as easy and quick as potential.

Throughout her time on the hospital, Mae additionally witnessed the ache that aged Covid-19 sufferers went by and he or she resolved to maintain the aged and susceptible people protected of their communities amid the Covid-19 disaster.

KampungKakis is a neighbourhood buddy system, which matches individuals in have to volunteers who’re keen to assist. The matching system is predicated on proximity and kind of help required.

For instance, if a lonely aged who wants assist with groceries and meals has been recognized, they are going to look to match the aged with a volunteer who lives inside a 20-minute strolling distance. This volunteer would have indicated that they can help with groceries and meals through a web based sign-up type.

KampungKakis additionally gives related assets and coaching to equip volunteers with the data and abilities to establish neighbours in want. By linking these individuals in have to the formal channels, it ensures that they get the long-term help wanted and that nobody will get left behind.

Thus far, KampungKakis has supported over 500 beneficiaries islandwide and galvanized over 1,300 volunteers to enroll.

Additionally it is an lively companion of social and authorities organisations reminiscent of Individuals’s Affiliation, Company of IntegratedCare (Silver Era Workplace), TOUCH Group Companies, Past Social Companies, public hospitals, senior exercise centres and household service centres to fulfill the wants of sufferers and beneficiaries.

Food4Seniors by Strongsilvers

The crew behind the Food4Seniors initiative. Prime row (L-R): Zavier Chan, Junus Eu, Shunyuan Yeo
Backside row (L-R): Faisal Samudra, Jasmine Goh, Jeral Ong / Picture Credit score: StrongSilvers

Food4Seniors is an initiative began by Strongsilvers — a startup that goals to assist empower seniors to reside higher with with its sensible AI assistive know-how. 

The crew behind the initiative is a gaggle of millennials who realised that seniors in nursing properties craved for hawker meals, however couldn’t get them. That is particularly so when there are tighter restrictions on guests as a result of Covid-19.

The crew behind the initiative helps seniors caught in nursing properties who’ve yearning for meals that they usually don’t get within the dwelling. That is particularly in order there are additionally tighter restrictions on guests.

Anybody from the general public can donate through the initiative’s hyperlink, and the Strongsilvers crew will then use the cash to ship meals gadgets to their nursing dwelling companions.

A few of their nursing dwelling companions embody St Joseph’s Residence, Irene Nursing Residence, Moonlight Residence for the Aged and Handicapped and Adventist Residence for the Elders.

In accordance with the web page, the volunteers additionally buy meals from the hawkers listed within the Hawkers United 2020 Fb Group, in order to help native hawkers as effectively.

It was onerous to get individuals to buy-in to what we had been doing with this marketing campaign at first as we had been a somewhat small crew. We needed to undergo many rounds of background checks with potential donors. However the smiles on the seniors’ faces and them telling us they actually loved their meals make it profitable to me.

Zavier Chan, co-founder of Strongsilvers

The crew has managed to lift over S$2,000 inside the first week of beginning the initiative. It has additionally onboarded Seize as its official logistics parter to supply free meals deliveries, and Gushcloud as its official advertising companion to assist promote the marketing campaign.

It has focused to lift S$10,000 to deliver meals to over 2,000 seniors in nursing properties.

They’re now additionally trying to assist the aged hawkers who should not on meals supply platforms by providing a subscription mannequin to usher in regular stream of earnings for them.


Picture Credit score: Scratchbac

Scratchbac is a geosocial media platform which connects individuals hyper-locally. It’s began by three Singapore College of Expertise and Design (SUTD) college students — Jerry Neo, Cheryl Low and Princeton Poh.

The motivation behind Scratchbac stemmed from Jerry’s private expertise of isolation throughout Singapore’s circuit breaker season final 12 months.

The Scratchbac crew / Picture Credit score: Scratchbac

“Being caught at dwelling alone made me realise how fragile the help buildings of our communities are,” mentioned the 27-year-old Masters scholar.

This expertise revealed the truth that if we had been to take away the help from blood kin and particular person affiliations reminiscent of colleges, golf equipment and the office – we’re basically left with solely our close by neighbourhoods and the communities round us. However why is it that we might be so hyper-connected to the tiktokers half a world away, but we don’t even know the names of our neighbours simply two doorways down the hall? 

Jerry Neo, co-founder of Scratchbac

Thus, Scratchbac permits customers to achieve out to individuals round them hyper-locally at any time when and wherever they go, 24/7, through a Telegram bot. The consumer journey is easy — merely key in a postal code, and you’ll immediately begin broadcasting to individuals as much as one kilometre away.

The core precept of Scratchbac is that the individuals bodily closest to us are those who can provide essentially the most environment friendly assist and vice versa. Subsequently, it’s Scratchbac’s mission to make it simple for individuals to attach with others hyper-locally.

With Scratchbac, customers can collaborate, search assist, share assets and extra with people shut by.

Since Scratchbac was began through the circuit breaker final 12 months, it has amassed 48,000 sign-ups to its Telegram bot, and averages round 100 posts a day. The put up fulfilment charge can be steadily growing, and has reached 55 per cent.

The crew has additionally grown to a complete of 13 scholar volunteers.

At present, the crew is within the midst of creating our standalone cellular app on iOS and Android. This shift goals to unlock extra thrilling options for our customers and develop our consumer base past Telegram. We at the moment are in the course of our beta testing section.

Gojek supporting vaccination efforts

Journey-hailing agency Gojek introduced that will probably be providing all its customers in Singapore with two journey vouchers value S$15 every which they will use to ebook rides backward and forward from Covid-19 vaccination centres. 

With every voucher, riders can ebook a free or subsidised journey for pick-up or drop-off at their appointed centre, polyclinic or clinic.

With this journey vouchers providing, Gojek goals to make sure that transportation isn’t a barrier to vaccine entry and would really like commuters to have a protected and handy transportation choice to and from these centres.

gojek covid-19
Picture Credit score: Gojek

“Vaccination is a crucial layer of safety in our combat in opposition to Covid-19. Simply as we actively urge our driver-partners to take up the vaccination when their flip comes, we need to allow our riders to get to their vaccination appointments with ease too by eradicating any transportation barrier to vaccine entry,” mentioned Lien Choong Luen, Common Supervisor of Gojek Singapore. 

“Journey-hailing gives a protected, handy technique of point-to-point transportation as autos are usually sanitised, and it provides larger privateness and protected distancing in comparison with the extra communal modes of transportation. We hope that with this marketing campaign, extra individuals have a tendency to get vaccinated and we are able to do our half to help Singapore’s combat in opposition to the pandemic.”

Coming collectively to supply help

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many individuals experiencing nice disruptions to their lives, from being unable to buy groceries, to going through financial peril.

Moreover, security measures at the moment have pressured charities to cancel or rethink their volunteer engagement actions, and the truth is that neighborhood care isn’t about one-off tasks that may be executed in a day. 

It requires the sustained efforts of dedicated volunteers who’re devoted to addressing the wants of these of their care.

Regardless of having having full-time jobs or research, these Singaporeans have stepped as much as present assist and help to these in want throughout this era of uncertainty, and impacted the lives of many.

Featured Picture Credit score: KampungKakis

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