TL;DR – Shopping for free?
Young NTUC (YNTUC) and Yio Chu Kang grassroots have rallied 20 NTUC-affiliated unions and NTUC Income to raise near $80,000 worth of funds and food supplies to help 1,700 under-privileged families and seniors at the Yio Chu Kang estate.
For the first time, Young NTUC U Heart (U Heart), in collaboration with OrangeAid, NTUC Income’s community development and involvement arm, organised “Pasar Fiesta”, a pop-up supermarket, that is aimed at reaching out to and helping under-privileged Yio Chu Kang residents offset their monthly expenditure. This initiative also serves to bring cheer to residents amidst the festive season. So a lot of these Ah-gongs and Ah-mas were really happy to get some help! Just look at them.
Approximately 250 volunteers from the unions, grassroots and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) participated in this initiative serving a variety of functions, these include helping to man stalls and serving as befrienders to the residents. It’s really heartwarming to see people from all walks of life coming together to help others especially during such festive seasons. Love was in the air!
Beneficiaries from each household were provided a trolley bag to “shop” at Pasar Fiesta that were held across five distribution sites within Yio Chu Kang (Block 644 hard court; Block 624 near RC centre; Block 212 near RC centre; Block 225 near RC centre; and Block 121 near RC Centre). They received some standard items such as a tin of Milo, a can of Tulip Chicken Luncheon Meat, a packet of Myojo Chicken Abalone Bowl Noodles and a tin of Julie’s Assorted Biscuits. On top of these items, they also got to “shop” for other canned foods, beverages and snacks.
Dr Koh Poh Koon, Advisor to Yio Chu Kang Grassroots Organisations (GRO) and Deputy Secretary-General of NTUC, said, “It is heartening to see the Labour Movement network coming together and joining forces with community partners to make a difference in the lives of under-privileged residents. We are grateful to our volunteers from the unions and grassroots, who have volunteered their time and actively contributed towards raising funds for the purchase of daily necessities. Young NTUC’s learning partners – NTUC health, FindJobs, NTUC LearningHub, NTUC Membership and Growthbeans – were also present to engage residents and help them understand how they can improve their employability as well as source for new employment should they wish to do so.”
Mr Desmond Choo, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, added, “Initiatives like Pasar Fiesta enable our youth union leaders to rally other like-minded individuals to do good for the community. Since Young NTUC U Heart’s inception in 2016, we have provided them with the platform to inspire and attract others who believe in a common cause, and support them towards putting their plans into action. In our third year running for Pasar Fiesta, we have seen over 6,000 volunteers involved in 150 ground-up projects, making a positive difference to 24,000 beneficiaries. As we grow the community of young active citizens, Young NTUC stays committed to instill a caring and inclusive culture amongst our youths, and nurturing them to be change leaders through volunteerism.”