SHATECare Movement 2016 – Interview with Mayor Low Yen Ling
The third wave of SHATECare Movement took place on 29 August 2016 where hot dinner set meals were prepared and served to more than 200 beneficiaries spread across 17 locations within the South West District.
The Corporate Social Responsibility effort titled “Love in a Bento” was initiated by a team of SHATEC alumni, in partnership with the South West Community Development Council, JTC, TOUCH Home Care, Dorcas Home Care and Thye Hua Kwan Home Help Service West. This programme reflected the caring spirit in SHATEC’s culture statement and allowed students to apply acquired skills in culinary and hospitality to help the less fortunate within the community.
Over 100 volunteers from SHATEC and JTC were mobilised for the day and Ms Low Yen Ling, Mayor of South West District, together with Ms Margaret Heng, Chief Executive of SHATEC, joined in the action of delivering bentos to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries.
Mayor Low, would you like to share with us some of the work that the South West CDC does?
Our work essentially involves ABC – Assist the Needy, Bond the People and Connect the Community. For example, today’s programme “Love in a bento” brings warmly prepared, home-cooked food to our vulnerable residents who may not be mobile enough to get out to buy food or prepare their own meals.
Although we may come from different walks of life, what binds us all are some common interests and passion, whether is it brisk walking or our interest in environment sustainability. Through some of these common interests and passion, [we hope to] strengthen the community spirit.
How do you think SHATEC can work closer with the South West CDC to help the people in the district?
The South West CDC sees SHATEC as a very important partner in this journey to fulfill our ABC mission. For example, two years ago, we started a project with SHATEC – the Food Connect @ South West Initiative. Today, we have strengthened our partnership with “Love in a bento” where SHATEC students personally cooked healthy meals for a few hundred of our vulnerable residents but more importantly, personally delivering these warmly prepared healthy meals to our vulnerable residents.
And if you have seen the residents’ reactions and their expressions, you can tell that the residents are very touched by the sincerity, love and dedication of the students. So I think SHATEC students can certainly put their culinary skills to good use, not just in the workplace but also to give back to the less fortunate in society.
Do you have any words of encouragement to our students at SHATEC?
In my two years of interaction with SHATEC students, I find them very energetic, very creative and innovative. And what sets them apart with other youth is that they have a lot of zest and talent for culinary. I hope that they will continue to put it to good use and explore ways to translate their culinary skills to give back to the community. Sometimes it’s also about igniting the passion in the younger Singaporeans, so that they can believe in themselves and aspire to be good chefs in the future.