Making a difference with what you have? It’s possible.

Today’s youth are both ambitious and compassionate, desiring both fulfilling careers with advancement opportunities, and eager to effect humanitarian change in the world.

To do so, they rally with like-minded individuals to support causes they are passionate about.

Despite that, it’s hard not to occasionally doubt your own limitations, to ask, “can I make any real change in the grand scheme of things?”

It’s now or never

With this in mind, a group of diploma students recently pooled their newly acquired knowledge together to help migrant workers in need. Their goal was to contribute to the Cuff Road Food Programme, run by Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), which aims to provide migrant workers in need with a daily free meal and basic counselling services.

Kaplan Singapore students and their enthusiastic alumni leaders also raised funds for TWC2’s annual fundraiser, Lunch with Heart.

According to group leaders Benjamin Tan and Jazliyana Lee, the group achieved its goals by tapping on their diverse educational backgrounds, consisting of students from fields ranging from Psychology to Commerce.

Duties were then distributed based on their individual specialisations, which also allowed students to apply what they were learning. For example, students studying mass communications looked into how they could publicise the cause to other students on campus, while a student studying Logistics and Supply Chain Management took charge of the transportation and distribution of their refreshment contributions to Little India, where Cuff Road is located. Of note, Mass Communications student Chai Pei Tze suggested that the team make use of her newly acquired knowledge to produce a short film that would create awareness about the plight migrant workers face.

“Our classes and lessons were definitely helpful in preparing us to take on real-world projects like this fundraiser,” says Benjamin.

Over several rounds of meetings and visits to TWC2, the team discussed and evaluated ideas, such as the short film, to see what they could execute—the group had only 1.5 months to conceptualise and execute their volunteering initiative—and quickly got down to work.

Caption: The group’s efforts translated to reality, for the more visual folks! As the team spent time on their volunteering efforts, they also gained insights which enriched what they learnt in the classroom. Marvella Josevine Gunawan, who studies Hospitality & Tourism Management, shared how the fundraiser opened her eyes to how Little India was not just a place of interest and cultural value, but also an area housing many in need.  

It all adds up

For these youths, their time spent showed them how every little effort went towards creating something greater than the sum of its parts. With the combined efforts of many, TWC2 managed to raise a total of close to SGD20,000 in 2018, and the group saw first-hand how their various expertise could be applied to real-world scenarios.

Most of all, their project reminded them that everyone has the capacity to do good.

“We tend to associate helping charities with donations,” Benjamin reflects, “but there are many ways to use our passion and skillsets to make a difference.”

In fact, it was being able to spend his time volunteering through simple ways, such as distributing food to the migrant workers, that was especially memorable for Benjamin.

As Jazliyana shares, “You are never too small to make a difference. Rally your friends, start with something manageable and all of you can have a great time together while doing good!”

So if you’ve been feeling like you’re not making any impact, remember these words. Don’t lose heart and continue soldiering on!


This article was sponsored by Kaplan Singapore.


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