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What makes Kolam Ayer special

24 Nov 2020 5 min read

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Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC Dr Wan Rizal shares his thoughts on what makes Kolam Ayer special.

 #1 Youths helping the underprivileged 

Kolam Ayer Youth Network, together with Dr Wan Rizal, distributed 200 care packs to underprivileged community on 27 September 2020. (Image: Kolam Ayer Youth Network’s Facebook page)

In Kolam Ayer, we have many active youth volunteers helping the underprivileged within the community.

Kolam Ayer Youth Network conducts an array of activities to reach out to the underprivileged in the community. (Image: Kolam Ayer Youth Network’s Facebook page)

The Kolam Ayer Youth Network has been working with YYD Education Centre, a charity organisation, to provide free tuition services for 30 underprivileged students. The group also organises fund-raising charity concerts Charity CHIMES to help to raise funds to run the programme.

Other activities include distributing care packs and pre-loved furniture to underprivileged residents.

To encourage more youths to join us, we aim to create ground-up projects that are managed and sustained by youths themselves. We aim to continue to create platforms, both online and offline like forums and informal fireside chats, to garner feedback and promote their respective interests. 

Recently, we even have a brand new Kolam Ayer song “Always Reaching Out!” that our corporate partner YYD Education Centre has given us. 

To all the youths out there, I encourage you to take the first step to volunteer and champion projects on issues that you feel strongly for. Join us at Kolam Ayer Youth Network. It is a good platform not only to develop yourselves, you will also be able to establish networks that may be important for you in the long run.

#2 Women volunteers teaching seniors how to use smart phones 

A senior learning how to use a smart phone at the smart phone workshop. (Image credit: Kolam Ayer Branch’s Women’s Wing)

Other than our youth volunteers, our other volunteer groups are constantly reaching out to our residents too.

Our women volunteers noticed that many seniors did not know how to use a smart phone to keep in touch with family and friends during the Circuit Breaker period. Seniors also did not know how to use their phones to check in with SafeEntry when they were out and had to be assisted.

To equip seniors with the relevant digital skills, our women volunteers have been conducting smart phone workshops for our senior residents since the start of October. The team will be working with Infocomm Media Development Authority to help more seniors acquire digital skills.

Former MP of Jalan Besar GRC Dr Yaacob Ibrahim and Women’s Wing members gave out care packs to essential workers. (Image credit: Kolam Ayer Branch’s Women’s Wing)

In April this year, the Women’s Wing under Kolam Ayer Branch gave out 200 care packs to thank essential workers in the constituency for their dedication in fighting COVID-19.

Once COVID-19 is over and group activities are allowed, the Women’s Wing under Kolam Ayer Branch will continue to reach out to residents through mass activities like Zumba workouts.     

#3 Residents looking after community gardens  

Dr Wan Rizal and former MP Dr Yaacob Ibrahim harvesting the bananas at Whampoa South Community Garden. (Image: Kolam Ayer Community Gardening Club)

In Kolam Ayer, we have many elderly members who actively participate in our community gardens, the oldest being 83 years old. I am touched by the enthusiasm and dedication of all the members of Kolam Ayer Community Gardening Club tending to the gardens.

Not only do the community gardens beautify our estates with flowers, vegetables, spices and fruits, they also allow residents from all walks of life to bond and share their knowledge and experiences. Residents can increase their awareness and interest in the ecological aspects of the community in Kolam Ayer.

Gardening Club members are proud of the flowers and vegetables that they have planted. (Image: Kolam Ayer Community Gardening Club)
Gardeners’ Market held at Geylang Bahru Market and Food Centre (left image) and Upper Boon Keng Market and Food Centre (top right). You can find cute accessories at the Gardeners’ Market. (Image: Kolam Ayer Community Gardening Club)

Other than sharing the fruits of labour, the club organises regular Gardeners’ Markets in the constituency based on the harvest. Proceeds from the sales are used to purchase fertilisers, seedlings and other stuff for gardening.

When COVID-19 is over, we look forward to resuming the Gardeners’ Markets and welcoming visitors to our gardens. 

#4 Residents doing their part in recycling and upcycling 

Dr Wan Rizal joined Kolam Ayer Whampoa South RC in its Recycling Drive. (Image: Kolam Ayer Whampoa South RC)

Over the years, our residents have been doing their part in recycling and upcycling. Our volunteers organise recycling drives up to nine times a year. On 18 October 2020, I joined Kolam Ayer Whampoa South Resident Committee (RC) in its Recycling Drive. I was impressed that the volunteers collected more than 8000 kg of recyclable materials in a day.

Nine-year-old Etienne Neo is the youngest volunteer at the event. (Image: Kolam Ayer Whampoa South RC)

Our residents’ recycling efforts have also been recognised. Kolam Ayer Division has previously been awarded Best Constituency – Merit Award and Most Improved Constituency (Central Singapore) award for its recycling efforts by National Environment Agency.

I hope more residents will join us in our recycling and upcycling efforts and do our part in building a sustainable Singapore.

Cover image: Dr Wan Rizal’s Facebook page