Student Leadership Week: GLIDE Poverty in SG

Written by GLIDE Poverty in SG – Colin Chiang (19-O3) and Teo Ming Fu (19-O4) 

The second part of this Student Leadership Week Feature series will star Poverty in SG, a Growing Leaders with Initiative, Dedication and Empathy (GLIDE) social change project that aims to improve awareness of poverty-related issues in Singapore. The project is currently helmed by Colin Chiang (19-O3) and Teo Ming Fu (19-O4). 

You might have seen their emails, and got a better understanding of legislation and regulation (Destitute Persons Act of 1989), state support and social mobility – issues much more relevant in the context of today’s COVID-19 pandemic. 

We interviewed them to understand more about their motivations and mechanics of their project.

Interview

  1. Why did you choose poverty as your area of focus?

Answer: The initial spark of the project was one of our Eunoia Go trips, which really helped us reflect on the issue of poverty, both global and local. However, upon looking into the issue in Singapore, we realised a much bigger issue is the lack of awareness of, or at least underestimation of,  poverty in Singapore, so we decided to advocate for this cause in school.

  1. What are some takeaways from this project?

Answer: Being new to advocacy, both of us learnt the process and details of advocacy work and the challenges of raising awareness and getting people to care about an issue we find important to us. We also learnt about why poverty persists in Singapore and what is currently done about it, which has given us deeper insight into the issue.

3. What were some challenges you faced during the planning and/ or implementation phase?

Answer: One challenge we faced was time management, because we had to juggle advocacy work while studying for MCTs at the same time. Another was the  barrier of preconceived notions, especially in a society like Singapore which emphasises heavily on meritocracy. In this context, more people would think that the issue of poverty could be attributed to personal reasons rather than structural flaws, which would dampen the efficacy of our campaign message.

What You Can Do To Help

Help however you can! If you are able to, consider donating to support charitable organisations, some of which are linked below:

Project Stable Staples – Set up by Mr David Hoe, who used to teach in EJ! The campaign aims to raise funds for NTUC vouchers for households living in rental flats to help them through this tough time!

Alyletters – Purchase a brush lettering set and choose a charity to donate to at the same time! One of them is The Last Resort, which seeks to help low-income families during this COVID-19 period.

Giving.sg – For helping low-income families suffering from the impacts of Covid-19.

Beyond Social Services – For helping low-income families in general

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