Young and old bond over arts
When volunteer Muhammed Aqil Idrus, 25, met Mr Sulaiman Mohammed, 83, at a nursing home, he was surprised to learn that the senior was a fan of pop culture.
The human resource officer said: "When I first met Mr Sulaiman, it felt awkward as I didn't know what to talk about because of our age difference.
"Gradually, we bonded over our interest in pop culture after I found out Mr Sulaiman uses YouTube and is a fan of Mariah Carey."
Mr Muhammed is a Yolden (Arts) Programme volunteer and participates in painting activities such as blottography, finger and string painting with seniors at Ren Ci nursing home in Bukit Batok every Saturday.
The programme promotes bonding between the youth and the elderly through arts and crafts, and was launched in March last year by the National Arts Council, Agency for Integrated Care and Youth Corps Singapore.
To date, 81 youth volunteers and 57 nursing home residents have taken part in the programme.
Passionate about helping the elderly, Mr Muhammed signed up for the programme last August.
He said: "I believe the youth can do more to bridge the intergenerational gap, especially with our ageing population."
For Mr Sulaiman, the programme has allowed him to explore his creativity.
He said: "I enjoy painting things from the past, like a tram car from the olden days.
"I also get to share my life experiences with the youth, like Aqil, who is just like a grandson to me."- ANG TIAN TIAN