2014: Thank you for listening Campaign

YAH! participated in the “Thank You for Listening” Movement in support for seniors. As Singapore celebrates the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP), YAH! collaborated with the National Council of Social Service, WeCare@MarineParade, and GoodLife! from Montfort Care to recognise the contributions of older persons, raise awareness and address issues that affect the lives of the seniors on 28 September 2014.

Graced by the Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, the focus of the movement is on effective communication with seniors, as it is the key to understanding one another and the basis of any meaningful relationship. 10,000 postcards were distributed members of the public throughout the month-long celebration for them to express their appreciation to seniors in their families through the postcard and seniors were also encouraged to share their thoughts with their loved ones. Seniors from YAH! and GoodLife! and students from Institute of Technical Education(ITE) College East, Nanyang Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic, participated in the movement.

Mr Eden Liew, Principal, ITE College East said, “We are happy to be part of this celebration of the IDOP in Singapore. Our students responded to the call for volunteers from NCSS as they are excited to find out more about how they can communicate more effectively with seniors, such as their parents and grandparents. As volunteers, students will also have the extra impetus to find out how to improve their relationships with the seniors and will be wonderful ambassadors for the IDOP among their peers.”

72- year-old Madam Fong Pouh Chee, who became a regular volunteer with YAH! after completing a lifelong learning certificate course said, “The students were full of drive and their energy was infectious when we paired up with them to encourage members of the public to write down their thoughts on the postcards. I am a cheerful and active person by nature and I am glad that my personality had a positive influence on the students. It was enjoyable working with them.
Through spreading the message on the importance of listening and communicating to the public, I also started paying more attention when speaking with my children. This is indeed a very meaningful project,” said Madam Fong.

Miss Jillisa Kok, second year Social Work student from Nanyang Polytechnic, shared her experience as one of the student volunteers, “The opportunity to pair up with a senior volunteer is an excellent idea. During the community outreach, I was deeply humbled by the unfaltering enthusiasm displayed by the cheerful YAH! seniors as they approached every passer-by with equal zest. I have learnt from them that ageing is a natural progress in our lives. More importantly, their resilience and willingness to continue learning are wonderful values that our society must learn from them. It was an honour working alongside the seniors.”

Mr Sim Gim Guan, Chief Executive Officer, NCSS, said, “This celebration of the IDOP is a milestone in our efforts to understand and improve the lives of our seniors in Singapore. We hope to leverage on one another’s strengths, improve the awareness of the IDOP and ensure the effective communication of key messages that would have an impact on the lives of seniors and encourage their further inclusion in the community.”

In October 2015, YAH! seniors in celebration of IDOP participated in the celebrations at Marine Parade and extend its outreach to other seniors in Taman Jurong, Bedok South, Telok Blangah and Jalan Bukit Merah.