WCA Hangout - Wet and Wild

Once a month, our WCA Community meets up for fun experiences or opportunities for self development and growth.  It's a great way to connect with one another outside the responsibilities of mentoring and working alongside under-resourced children and youth and we love seeing so many friendships blossom and bloom from these sessions!  If you've served through our program as a WorldChangeAgent before or are currently serving, please look out for upcoming WCA Hangouts by CLICKING HERE.

WCA Words by Adam Gollifer

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It was an early start on Saturday morning, meeting at the Marina. Always great to see these awesome people out of the volunteering context where we have little chance to really connect when we're chasing around younger kids! Spirits were high as we loaded up the boat. We took a short ride out to sea near some near by Islands, with Mr Wizza bringing up the rear on a jet ski (Very cool!). 

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Upon anchoring the boat we inflated the raft and a few inflatable rings. This was a challenge in itself with a hand pump! Because the electrical pumps were having some problems! Everyone handled it with a giggle and we were done in no time. 

It was now time for the rides to begin! 2 by 2 we jumped on the inflatable and were  dragged relentlessly behind Wizza on his jet ski. So much fun!! Ai (Kristin's friend) overcame her fear of the sea and had the ride of her life. She even jumped on the jet ski for a while! 

Between the rides a few of us were laying out on the raft relaxing and getting very sun burnt. Overcast does not mean no need for sun screen!! 

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After the rides we settled into the boat for a few drinks, some food and a couple games. Sharing stories about our experiences and challenges in the program. 

All in all it was such a great day and super fun to catch up with the crew outside of the space. We always come away from these gatherings closer as a group, recharged with passion and ready for anything the kids have to throw at us! 

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Interested to volunteer? https://www.giving.sg/manage-volunteers?orgId=3179208

Join our community of WorldChangeAgents serving through our Beyond Awesome program *click*

 

Thank you to Water Rampage Asia for providing jet-skis, boat and raft equipment!  We couldn't have had so much fun on the water without you.

Blessings Drop: Taroka, Batam Island

Thanks to your generous support in dropping off items, we are able to continue resourcing other social impact, community initiatives and ground-up teams working in Singapore or across the region.

If you're interested to see what items we are currently resourcing/collecting, please CLICK HERE.

At the end of 2017, more than 100 children received a Blessing Bag Pack stocked full of resources and supplies which were passed to a Singapore-led team.

Contributions from our centre consisted of:

  •  6 colouring books 
  • 10 colouring sets
  • 2 craft sets
  • 9 oil pastels sets
  • 5 oil pastels
  • 11 stationery sets
  • 4 pencil cases
  • 36 sticker books
  • 7 crayon sets
  • 34 boxes of crayon
  •  13 tube boxes of colour pencils 
  • 46 boxes of colour pencils
  • 58 notebooks
  • 30 medium boxes of crayons
  • 3 big crayon sets

Here are some photos shared with us from their team.

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Blessings Drop: Yogjakarta, Indonesia

A few weeks ago, we were contacted by Nur Huda from Spectra Secondary School who shared that some of her students would be embarking on a trip to Yogjakarta and wanted to bring much needed resources and supplies during their time there.

We had some resources from our library that we could share with Nur Huda who would contribute them to the Ponpes Miftahunnajah Banguntaoan Orphanage.

While our community receives donations-in-kind to support our Beyond Awesome program that outreaches to under-served children, youth and families in Singapore, whatever excess we have we gladly share with our friends either in other social service organisations, social workers or to groups who are part of community initiatives in the region.  To see a full list of items we need (please note that this list gets updated almost on a weekly basis) along with the drop-off timings and locations, please CLICK HERE.

Here are some photos that were shared with us.

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Interested in volunteering to sort + prep items as well as support our Beyond Awesome classroom?  Check out upcoming opportunities by CLICKING HERE.

Interested in following our adventures?  CLICK HERE.

Are you curious to know what items we need?  CLICK HERE.

Are you a group that's in need of resources for a community in Singapore or abroad?  FILL UP THIS FORM.

 

Blessings Drop: 'Impact Migrants' in France

We're excited to share some images with you of donations-in-kind contributed by the Singaporean community, supporting a French-based organisation called, IMPACT MIGRANTS, which builds skills among migrants, connecting them with freelance opportunities and facilitating their employment by businesses to enable them to pull their own weight and add value to society.

With children and youth from migrant families, they are equipped with French language lessons and curated cultural workshops such as tap-dancing and art!  This particular shelter is home to a mix of residents who are homeless or seeking refuge for a number of reasons.

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Thank you to Robin Low for personally carrying school back packs, school supplies and children's books.  Robin is the co-founder of the Civil Innovation Lab, promoting Social impact through civil action and local innovation. He works in collaboration with various universities including Stanford University to enhance efficiency and impact on social initiatives. He also runs workshops to inspire behaviour change and innovate business and social impact.  Robin co-founded Relief 2.0 (www.relief20.com) which promotes sustainable disaster recovery, by engaging, empowering, enabling and connecting survivors to the support they need. 

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Most of the donations-in-kind that you contribute will go towards our Singapore-based Beyond Awesome program which benefits under-served children and youth and we also work closely with the Ministry of Social and Family development, other social service organisations and ground-up initiatives in need of resources.  Whatever we have to spare, we share with individuals who are in need of resources for groups outside of Singapore, specifically the Asia region and so this is the first time our items (contributed by our generous givers - you!) have ended up in Europe.

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We wanted to share this with you to say that this is one of the reasons why we update our wish-lists on a regular basis and encourage you to be thoughtful about the items you're passing on.  If it's items that you would be happy to gift-wrap and give to a family member or a friend, then we'll be glad to have them because we want to encourage the concept of 'giving with dignity'.

SEE WHAT ITEMS WE ARE CURRENTLY COLLECTING *CLICK HERE*

Leadership Beyond Authority: American Express Leadership Academy - WCA Words by Kate Johnston

WCA Words by Kate Johnston

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At the end of last year a member of the Beyond Awesome leadership team, Kate, was lucky enough to be selected for the American Express Leadership Academy run by Common Purpose. 

The focus of the weeklong workshop was “Leadership Beyond Authority” in the not-for-profit sector, and it brought together people from various organisations across Southeast Asia. Throughout the week participants engaged in a diverse range of activities from hands-on group work, to keynote speeches by leaders in various fields. 

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This is what Kate had to say about her experience: 

“The American Express workshop was really eye-opening in that it helped me reflect upon and challenge a lot of my (quite archaic) notions of leadership – and what it means for me to be a leader in particular. 

I’ve always questioned my leadership capabilities and never really seen myself as a traditional “leader” at the front of the pack showing people the way. I’ve always been far more reserved and quiet – someone who watches, listens and reflects. But after my experiences throughout the week, and being challenged in my thinking, it’s becoming clearer to me that though I don’t have a traditional leadership style, I can still lead and make valid contributions to the group I’m working with. It’s helped me re-frame the way I see leadership: A leader isn’t the person charging the way at the front of the group, but rather the glue that holds the group together, ensuring everyone is effectively moving towards the same end goal. 

Additionally it was a good reminder to push myself out of my comfort-zone. Even though I’m someone whose comfort-zone is relatively large, there are definitely still things that get my heart rate rising! One of the activities that made me nervous was the “CoLab” – a group collaboration project in which we represented real-world companies that needed to strike deals together. In situations like this my insecurities tend to kick-in and I think “I’ll let the “smarter” people in the group handle this and I’ll take a back seat and observe”. But this time I was determined not to let that get in the way of my participation, so I swallowed the nerves, raised my hand, spoke up, and contributed as much as I could – and to be honest it really wasn’t that scary (thanks in huge part to the incredibly supportive environment set up by Common Purpose). 

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The leadership academy has definitely helped bolster my self-confidence as a leader, and I look forward to being able to contribute further to the Beyond Awesome Program as it continues to grow.” 

Find out more about Common Purpose:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commonpurposeasiapacific/
Web: http://commonpurpose.org/singapore/
Twitter:  @CommonPurpose

 

How can I contribute meaningfully if I'm too busy?

We hear you.  From the minute that alarm on your phone buzzes and it's been the fifth time you've pressed 'snooze', you're already on the go.  When you're on the way to school or the office, your mind is filled with what lays ahead of you, what to eat for brekkie (if you snoozed for too long) and how on earth you'll get all the items on your to-do-list checked off.

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One of our programs, Beyond Awesome, reaches out to under-served children and youth on a weekly basis.  We receive many messages, pings and social media DMs asking how to help if you're strapped for time (because the minimum commitment time to have direct interaction with our student community is six months).  

The answer?  Support our micro-fundraising drives.  We've shared where our areas of need are and the best thing is that 100% of your giving will directly impact what happens for the specific month that's been listed up.  For instance, if you've supported our 'Beyond Awesome Food' drive for May, it means that for that entire month, your contribution has meant that all of the children and youth who walk into our space have access to nutritious food and healthy snacks.  This also means that they will leave with not just hearts and minds full to the brim with love and learning but will leave with full bellies, too.

So what can you support?  You can check in regularly to our program website (updated monthly) to see what micro-fundraising drives are open to your generous support or scroll through the list below.  (Pro tip:  We list these up regularly on our Facebook Page, too!)

Have a look and see what you'd love to contribute to - the great thing is, everybody can give because you can even contribute $2 to each drive - so it doesn't matter how old you are, whether you're in school or you're a working professional, it also doesn't matter if you're reading this from the other side of the world.  We thank you in advance for your heart for our work and we can't wait to share the love with our community soon!

 

APRIL 2018

Give to ensure our Beyond Awesome Student community has access to sport, well-being and healthy snacks:  Beyond Awesome Sport *click here* 

 

MAY 2018

Give to ensure our Beyond Awesome classroom is supported through much-needed resources and supplies: Beyond Awesome Classroom (May 2018) *click here*

Give to ensure our WCA Community are nurtured, celebrated and empowered:  Beyond Awesome Volunteers (May 2018) *click here*

 

JUNE 2018

Give to ensure our WCA Community are nurtured, celebrated and empowered:  Beyond Awesome Volunteers (June 2018) *click here*

 

JULY 2018

Give to ensure that every child walking through our doors has access to quality food: Beyond Awesome Food (July 2018) *click here*

Give to ensure our WCA Community are nurtured, celebrated and empowered:  Beyond Awesome Volunteers (July 2018) *click here*

 

AUGUST 2018

Give to ensure that every child walking through our doors has access to quality food: Beyond Awesome Food (August 2018) *click here*

 

SEPTEMBER 2018

Give to ensure that every child walking through our doors has access to quality food: Beyond Awesome Food (September 2018) *click here*

 

OTHER CAMPAIGNS

Give to ensure our Beyond Awesome Student community has access to inspiring excursions and field trips: Beyond Awesome Buses (Whole 2018) *click here*

We're really excited to know that we are not alone in this work thanks to your support and championing of some of the micro-drives we've listed here.

Follow our adventures and see how your giving contributes to our work:

Beyond Awesome Instagram and Facebook.

Blessings in a Bag Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

We're headed to New York City this Summer!

We've been tip-toeing in expectation and excitement as we count down the days until our Chief of Awesome, Emily Teng, flies to New York City to represent our work at the Starting Bloc Institute for Social Innovation. Starting Bloc is a Fellowship of leaders the future needs. They convene, support, and grow leaders from high-potential to high-impact. As a result of StartingBloc, Fellows report growth in their professional networks, greater clarity of purpose, and transitioning into leadership positions.  It envisions a just and thriving world that works for all beings, stewarded by leadership that is purpose-driven, inclusive, whole, and collaborative. StartingBloc exists to convene and grow one million conscious leaders.

One hundred candidates have been selected from around the World, joining a global ecosystem of more than 2500 fellows! After earlier trips to Australia + San Francisco, this will be Emily's third opportunity of the year representing our values, culture + community to a global audience - and our tiny red dot, Singapore!

Follow her personal adventures via her instagram: @emilywjteng

Beyond Awesome Food Mini-Fundraiser [September 2017]

Thanks to generous givers (you!), we successfully fund-raised to provide healthy food for our Beyond Awesome student community for August.  

We welcome students through our doors at least twice every week and run almost 52 weeks consecutively, without a break.  Many of the youth who regularly join our program do not have proper or regular meals during the week and most come into class extremely hungry, unable to focus or interact well with their peers.  

With your support, we can make sure that every student has access to wholesome, nutritious food at our Beyond Awesome HQ.  Some examples of items we make available in abundance to each and every student:  peanut butter sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, oatmeal biscuits, wholemeal bread, raisins and fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, grapes, watermelons.  Each student does not just receive one sandwich.  He/she is able to take as many sandwiches they would like on the condition that they finish everything and do not waste.  For some students, this means eating 5-7 sandwiches in one sitting.  For others, it's eating as many bananas as they love!

 

Our goal is to fundraise $350 for the month of September* which will provide quality, healthy and nutritious food + snacks that will enable us not only to keep hunger out the door but to guide students towards healthier food choices.

Every dollar means a lot, even if it's just a few dollars.  Collectively, we're excited that we can all come together to raise $350 (Singapore Dollars) to ensure our students leave our classrooms not only with full hearts, but happy bellies!

WCA Words: Summer Clean, success!

We came, we sorted and we made like Mary Poppins!  

THANK YOU to all #WorldChangeAgents who dropped by to lend a helping hand for a phenomenal day of 'summer cleaning' and Marie-Kondo-like magic making! We've sorted out our headquarters + learning space along with tons of donations that were dropped off by generous members of the public and this would not have been possible without your help. Your efforts are definitely going to make a meaningful difference through our Beyond Awesome program.

Take a look at some of the photos + videos below to see the action!

 Our WCA Leader + Community Captain, Yi Han, giving a warm welcome and briefing some of our first-time #WorldChangeAgents with the task they're about to get stuck into!

Our WCA Leader + Community Captain, Yi Han, giving a warm welcome and briefing some of our first-time #WorldChangeAgents with the task they're about to get stuck into!

 The Dream Team!

The Dream Team!

 Snowed under in our #BeyondAwesome play area!

Snowed under in our #BeyondAwesome play area!

We also hosted plenty of visitors - from other social organizations in Singapore and ASEAN to big-hearted givers who responded to our call for donations-in-kind!  

 We were visited by #WorldChangeAgent, Sera, and her friends who will be bringing excess supplies we had in our space to communities in Batam, Vietnam and other communities in the ASEAN region.

We were visited by #WorldChangeAgent, Sera, and her friends who will be bringing excess supplies we had in our space to communities in Batam, Vietnam and other communities in the ASEAN region.

 We were visited by a PSLE student, Alex, and his mother who dropped by with some awesome donations-in-kind that he had collected as part of his scouts program.  

We were visited by a PSLE student, Alex, and his mother who dropped by with some awesome donations-in-kind that he had collected as part of his scouts program.  

 HealthServe (a Singapore based organization that provides support for migrant workers) reps dropped in to take some board games that will be used during community activities as well as provide something meaningful for injured workers who are on the mend. 

HealthServe (a Singapore based organization that provides support for migrant workers) reps dropped in to take some board games that will be used during community activities as well as provide something meaningful for injured workers who are on the mend. 

And this is the final result of all the hard work + effort provided by everyone who came to pitch in!

And that's a wrap and we're incredibly excited to welcome our #BeyondAwesome students next week.   

We would love to invite you to join our #WCA community on Facebook - a wonderful group of people who change the world through volunteerism, spreading awesome and engaging in radical acts of kindness.  Should you be interested in continuing to #ServeWithJoy with us on an ad-hoc basis, we regularly post up opportunities on social media, or on our giving.sg page.

We can't wait to welcome you!

 

With love and awesomeness,

Yi Han + Emily.

Chief of Awesome, Emily Teng, represents Singapore as Emerging Leader Fellow in San Francisco!

Just when we thought that the year couldn't get any better than Emily being selected to represent the work that we do every single week, we can now share that she will represent our cause + our nation for the second time this year in San Francisco with the UNSCHOOL Emerging Leaders Fellowship!

Our very own 'Chief of Awesome' has been selected as one of only 20 social entrepreneurs from the entire world (!!!) and is the first and only Singaporean representative for the entire program! 

The San Francisco Fellowship Program will take a cohort of 20 change agents and purpose-driven creative rebels on a week-long brain-activating adventure that explores social change, systems thinking, creative interventions and all things sustainability. With a curated lineup of mentors for this program, including one who works underwater, one who works in outer space, and one who was just named Champion of the Earth!

 

For this program, we've had to crowd-fund to support Emily's way over to attending!  If you'd like to support, please head over to our GIVE ASIA crowd-funding page.  Any surplus from the campaign will go towards our Beyond Awesome program!  The best part is that any amount you give, will be matched by a local business in Singapore.