Since moving to Jellicoe Road in the early 2000s, Jalan Besar has been a home for the union and its members. Most recently, on 21 September 2022, Young SMOU (YSMOU) organised their first ever bazaar-themed Care and Share event.
The outreach was aimed at reaching out to the lower income residents and seniors in the Jalan Besar community, helping to cushion the rising costs due to inflation. With the easing of measures, a bazaar-themed event was held for near 120 residents staying at the rental blocks, and close to 15 YSMOU members came forward to volunteer.
The beneficiaries from Jalan Besar community streamed into the venue and it was not long until the hall was bustling with chatters amongst residents. At the registration booth, they were given a redemption coupon and a tote bag – with stamp designs surrounding the maritime, and care and share theme, created by the female seafarers during the Women Seafarers Get Together event on 24 August 2022.
Before the booths were officially “open for business”, Mayor of Central Singapore District and Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC Ms Denise Phua warmly welcomed the residents and appreciated SMOU’s efforts in always looking after the Jalan Besar community. She ended off by thanking the youths for making time to volunteer for this meaningful event.
SMOU General Secretary Ms Mary Liew greeted beneficiaries and expressed her thanks towards the seniors for their hard work in playing an integral part to building up the nation. She closed by saying she hopes that the daily necessities that were prepared for them would help to cushion some of their expenses and wished them well.
Each stall offered different products to the seniors, ranging from instant food and drinks, to canned food and household items. Beneficiaries were delighted by the ‘kampong-styled’ booths, which brought back memories of their younger days. They queued up excitedly at the various stalls to pick the items which they needed, and at the same time chatting up with other residents.
In the same spirit of Caring and Sharing, less mobile residents were not forgotten. Ms Denise Phua, together with SMOU and King George’s Avenue Senior Activity Centre (KGA SAC) officials, brought the bazaar to the homes of residents who had mobility difficulties. During the home visit, the officials took the chance to speak with the elderly and check-in on their well-being.
Mr Asiappan(in blue checkered shirt), who is one of the residents at Jalan Besar, exclaimed how surprised he was with the visit and thanked SMOU for making the trip down.
After the home visits, officials returned to the Bazaar to help out together with the youth volunteers, in continuing to distribute the necessities to the beneficiaries. Also present at the distribution were SMOU President Mr Rahim Jaffar, Emeritus General Secretary Mr Thomas Tay, and Assistant Treasurer Mr Tan Geh Ting – who were there to support and reach out to the seniors.
One of the residents, Ms Mariam said this was her first in-person event since the pandemic and got to meet her friend at the same event. She said “The items I collected were all very helpful. Thank you SMOU for organising this bazaar!”
Beneficiaries left with a smile on their faces, contented with their items collected for the day and are looking forward to the next bazaar.
Ms Kamala, KGA SAC Member and Resident of the Jalan Besar community
“The bazaar looked so special and the event was structured and easy to navigate. The volunteers were very helpful and the bazaar had very useful items. I drink coffee twice a day, and I was really happy when I saw that they were giving out my favourite coffee!”
Mr Pek, KGA SAC Member and Resident of the Jalan Besar community
“The event was very beneficial for me as the items that were given out during the bazaar are the ones I that I will use. Thank you for organising this event, it was very heartwarming for me and I really appreciate it.”