Students aim to break language barriers, urge seniors to get jabbed
Students create videos teaching dialects to help grandchildren break language barriers
Concerned about the Covid-19 vaccination rate among the elderly, four Singapore Polytechnic students banded together and created videos for the younger generation to learn Chinese dialects in a bid to persuade their grandparents to get jabbed.
The videos were posted on Campfire.sg's Instagram page on Monday and caught the attention of Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who said in a Facebook post that the students "understood the need for our seniors to get vaccinated against Covid-19, and want to help".
"They also realised many people of their generation can no longer speak fluent dialects. So they created five dialect tutorials for their peers to use," Mr Ong added.
The five dialects are Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka and Hainanese.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, one of the creators, Ms Christine Lim, 21, a second-year student in media, arts and design (story and content creation), said: "We knew the vaccine take-up rate among seniors was not very good.
"So we thought a good way to help was to target the young people and get them to encourage their grandparents to get vaccinated."
Teammate Shale Lee, 18, a second-year student in the same course, added: "The elderly usually have a soft spot for their grandchildren. So if we are able to reach out to the grandchildren, they could help get the message across to the seniors."
The others in the team are 18-year-olds Zaneta Ng, also a second-year student in the course and Wong Hui Yi, a second-year student doing a diploma in media, arts and design (integrated marketing communications).
They pitched the idea last month and quickly started work on the project.
The videos feature examples of the kinds of questions a grandparent might have in relation to getting vaccinated and there would then be tutorials on how to give the answer in the specific dialect.
Mr Ong, who is co-chair of the multi-ministry task force tackling the pandemic in Singapore, said in an update last Wednesday that 71 per cent of people who are aged 70 and above have received at least one dose or have booked an appointment to do so.
The take-up rate stood at 85 per cent for those between 60 and 69.
In his Facebook post on Monday, Mr Ong shared a link to the videos and praised the students for a job well done.
"Getting our loved ones vaccinated is perhaps one strong act of love too. Remember, most infections happen at home, and it is not a matter of staying home to be safe and hence no need for vaccination," he wrote.
Ms Lim and Mr Lee were both shocked and pleased when they realised Mr Ong had shared the videos on his Facebook page.
"Hopefully with Mr Ong's post, the videos will get more exposure and end up impacting and helping more people," said Ms Lim.