22 July 2020
“Thank you for your hard work during this period. Thank you for everything!”
The statement enthusiastically sums up a three-minute thank-you video from the NUS Community to the Conferences & Events Management Unit (CEU), and its 200-strong team who were managing the call centre, rations, medical, housekeeping and communication efforts to migrant workers.
To many, the video is simply a posture of gratefulness. For the community at the College of Alice & Peter Tan (CAPT), this is another proof of the “Heart” they put into their role as student coordinators for the Community Recovery Facility (CRF) @ NUS operation. It was a conclusion of two months of hard work in which they strived to create a homely and exciting environment for the ‘guest students’ arriving and staying at the CRF.
With the guidance of Director for Outreach & Community Engagement at CAPT A/P Tan Lai Yong, the coordinating team, which included three CAPTains Donovan Liew, Grace Cheong and Mohamed Farouq came together and architected a sophisticated operation in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs.
With “Engagement” as the focus of the programme, the operation employed a two-pronged approach: engagement through information and activities. To inform the ‘guest students’ of the latest initiatives or updates, the team in CAPT launched a website, with online programmes created and curated by various student groups on topics such as dental care & hygiene, prevention of phone scams, together with some contests, entertainment and exercise programmes. Along with the lean team of three, in-house content curators were tasked to refine and translate content, and schedule content uploads.
Homepage of the CRF@NUS website which CAPT students created for the guest students.
Programmes were developed with the guest students in mind. Activities were translated from English Language to seven other different languages.
On the other hands, with the help of voluntary student coordinators, the team liaised with various student groups and coordinated different activities such as e-Lessons, exercise initiatives, contests and other entertainment programmes. In the website, it is easy to find a myriad of videos, from Conversational English programmes, to Financial Literacy lessons and cheerful song covers by students groups from different CCAs and communities. In whatever they do, the comfort and needs of the guest students were a top priority.
Of course, coordinating such a diverse and comprehensive programme was not an easy task. Mohammed Farouq, a year-3 Nursing student said: “The coordination was no doubt a challenge with the intense time pressure, but what egged us on what knowing that what we did had a real, valuable and meaningful impact.”
The team also attributed the smooth operation of the programme to the volunteers and student groups, whose help was indispensable.
“Every person who took the effort to step forward and volunteer their time and energy is a valuable asset that can be tapped upon, with ideas and a willingness that will bring the project far beyond what we first expected when we recruited volunteers. We are very grateful!” emphasised Grace Cheong, a year-2 English Language major.
To the team, it is heartwarming that the community came together to show love, care and support through their meaningful actions.
Donovan Liew, a year-4 Geography major, commented: “In this pressing time, the way the students have come together has really been inspiring, with each individual & team offering what they could, building something together that no one could achieve alone”