When I heard from my friends how the elderly who were living alone were isolated and cut-off from the “outside” world because of the pandemic, I told myself that I could do my part to help them. That was how Project Audible Cheer was born.
I have elderly parents who turn to music for comfort, so I figured that the seniors who live alone could use a device like an MP3 player packed with a stream of useful content in various mother tongues like Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and Chinese dialects.
With an MP3 player, they can stay entertained and be better informed of the Covid-19 situation. I went on crowd-funding platform Give.asia to create more awareness so the public can donate to the cause.
Next, my friends and I sourced for MP3 players online. After research, we paid for the first 100 sets using the initial funds collected through Give.asia. It’s been nearly two months, and the project raised over $10,000! It was encouraging to see many kind-hearted Singaporeans coming forward to help.
Through word of mouth, the Lion Befrienders Services (LBS) got to know about it. They helped to reach out to the elderly residents, conducting surveys to ask them if they would like to receive the radio sets. The response was overwhelming!
The LBS assists about 6,000 seniors living in one or two-room Housing and Development Board rented flats. We aim to reach out to more than 2,000 elderly folks. So far, we have paid for 700 radio sets. Each set includes a portable MP3 radio, a USB head and two memory cards, with content created by non-profit arts company 3Pumpkins.
The entertainment content includes retro music playlists and storytelling. There’s also useful information like how to protect themselves against the coronavirus, such as washing their hands with soap, and social distancing rules. When the radio sets were distributed, I saw how happy the elderly were. I’m glad that the radio sets can bring these nostalgic sounds to seniors, and support their well-being.
This article was first published in Her World’s July issue. Grab a copy today!