I want to encourage kids to grow up to be respectful. And I hope to inspire adults to be kinder. That was the goal of The Get Well Card Project that I founded in January, after reading articles of landlords evicting their tenants who were Chinese nationals returning from China.
As a society, I feel that xenophobia isn’t the way to go. We need to respond with care and empathy. I created the programme with a grant offered by Our SG Fund to target the most impressionable group of people – kids. I wanted to capture their innocence and authenticity on how they viewed the world.
I contacted about 20 schools and a total of seven schools, including Dunearn Secondary School and Yio Chu Kang Primary School, with students aged between nine and 14 taking part. I provided a guide for teachers to explain the project’s objectives, time frame, notes for in-class discussion, and a brief on designing the cards, to prep the students.
The children made the cards for foreign workers, police officers, cleaners, doctors, teachers and patients. I was so touched when I saw all the cards. The children know that they have a part to play, whether the kids are Singaporeans or foreigners living here. Some cards were really creative like this one: “To all doctors: You know that you’re the only people who care for the patients who are infected… You have sacrificed so much for these kinds of moments, The Virus”. The project opened up topics like self-care, hygiene, empathy for others and economic loss, to help the kids understand the issues.
In two months, we met the target of 1,000 handwritten cards. I was stressed with the mad rush to collect the cards before the schools closed during the Circuit Breaker. The images of the cards have been uploaded to the website Getwellcard.sg. I’m planning to distribute the cards to the hospitals, clinics and folks like bus drivers, taxi drivers, teachers and patients, post-Circuit Breaker.
This article was first published in Her World’s July issue. Grab a copy today!