Singapore

‘Vulnerable’ residents get lessons in everyday skills

More than 700 residents will be given lessons in a range of skills such as basic household repair work, financial literacy and information technology.

The monthly lessons are part of a scheme launched by the People's Association (PA) on Sunday (July 9) morning, after a trial that began in April.

The Project We Care (PWC) Enrich Lab @ RC will involve 24 of the PA's corporate and community partners, who will teach these skills to residents in six Residents' Committees (RC) - Yio Chu Kang, Rivervale Arc, Kebun Bahru View, Dakota, Marine Crescent Ville, and Taman Jurong Zone B.

The PWC committee hopes to expand the initiative to 60 partners and 60 RCs islandwide, serving 10,000 "vulnerable" residents by next year (2018).

These residents include low-income families, single mothers and people with disabilities.

At the launch event in Yio Chu Kang Zone 9 RC on Sunday, there were several sharing sessions by partners from the PWC Network.

One of the partners, Tata Consultancy, taught 20 students from low-income families how to use photo-editing and Microsoft PowerPoint software. Fifteen low-income residents and youth also picked up practical household repair skills from engineering firm Bintai Kindenko.

As part of the PWC Enrich Lab @ RC initiative, young people from Yio Chu Kang will form a community support group to help elderly residents in their community with household repairs.

Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry, National Development), speaking at the event on Sunday, said: "The PWC Enrich Lab @ RC sessions not only equip our residents with practical skills, but also make them feel empowered and confident as they apply their newly acquired skills in their day-to-day activities, such as assembling furniture and repairing leaking taps, and even soft-skills like managing children with learning challenges."

Ang Mo Kio resident Catherine Chew, 61, who learnt some basic plumbing skills at a workshop conducted by Bintai Kindenko on Sunday, said: "Many of us live alone, and sometimes, we need help. For small things like plumbing, we can now help ourselves."

Project We Care chairman Wee Wei Ling said she hopes the initiative will "encourage the rise of a neighbourhood spirit". Residents who are equipped with such skills might even be able to help their neighbours, she added.

Ms Vasumathi Parthasarathy, Tata Consultancy Services' head of human resources for Singapore, was one of the volunteers at the photo-editing and powerpoint workshop.

She said: "Project We Care is about skills development for students and mature people... It's going to benefit the community at large."

People's AssociationCOMMUNITY CENTRESYio Chu Kang