Singaporean social entrepreneur Alvin Yong dreams big. Why? Because he says, “It takes the same amount of energy to dream small. So why not dream bigger.” He believes in the power of young people to transform their communities for the better. And that is why he continues to support education-led programmes.
The humble bicycle is helping to keep hundreds of children in school, in Palghar district, western India. By completing their studies, these students are getting the education they need to lift themselves out of poverty. And the man responsible for making this happen is a dentist and avid cyclist, Dr Suwas Darvekar, and his Sangeeta Darvekar Charitable Trust.
It's a simple pleasure that we often take for granted: feeling the wind in our hair. It is precisely this pleasure that captures the essence of Cycling Without Age. The movement started in Denmark in 2012, and has since expanded to more than 20 countries. It began with one man's desire to bring the joy of cycling to people who'd lost the ability because of age. In doing so, Ole Kassow created a space for something much deeper.
Telly's human, Maureen, is trained in Animal Assisted Therapy. Together, they form Pawsibility, working with children and youth from all kinds of backgrounds, including those who have special needs, or are struggling with addictions, anger management issues, depression, stress and trauma from such triggers as divorce or bullying.
It’s been seven years, but Felicia Tan can still remember the clothes given to her by a nurse for her baby Dominic, who died minutes after being delivered early at 23 weeks. It was the smallest size for a newborn, but even so, “the smallest size was still very big”, said Felicia. An estimated one in four to six pregnancies end in a miscarriage, and sometimes, parents whose babies are premature — like Felicia — have to bury their children in clothing too big for them. To address this, a group of women formed Angel Gowns Singapore in 2016, which concerns itself with repurposing of donated wedding gowns and other bridalwear into tiny pieces of burial clothing.
For Kak Noor, a mother of seven, her living standards have improved since working at Batik Boutique. She says, “Now that I have a job, I have my own income...I am able to help the family.”
Founded in 2001, PCVC helps rebuild lives that are affected by domestic abuse through programmes that help survivors build confidence. Since 2006, they have helped 4,500 burn survivors.
IDA India is a non-profit animal protection organisation dedicated to the defence, love and care of animals. Their work includes not just the rescue and rehabilitation of abused domestic animals, but also wildlife. They're also trying to educate the public through campaigns in surrounding towns and awareness talks in schools.
The challenges that young caregivers face are unique, especially with having to cope with the struggles of adolescence, alongside competing demands of school and caregiving. Melissa is working to address this gap through Project We Forgot, a community platform she kickstarted, which offers support for young caregivers of persons with dementia.