Scoring together with those with special needs

Xian Li thought he was going to teach football to children when he signed up as a volunteer for Special Olympics Singapore.

SOSg_Logos

(Source)

Instead, he became part of a team that competed at Play Inclusive, an annual sporting competition. His capacity as a volunteer is as a “unified volunteer”, in which he plays sports together with those who have intellectual disabilities.

In doing so, Special Olympics Singapore hopes to bring people together through the shared experience of sport – fostering a spirit of understanding for one another.

The competition features 5 sporting events: badminton, basketball, floorball, football, and goalball.

Xian Li’s team managed to clinch the first runner-up spot in football.

 

Buddies

One of the intellectually disabled teammates Xian Li had was Fhairul.

Inclusive-Sports-800x600px.png

(Source)

Fhairul is one of his teammates, and outside of football, Fhairul undergoes a work attachment programme with Swensens.

Xian Li understands that it was extremely unlikely to befriend Fhairul if he did not volunteer:

Sometimes in society, there’s an assumption that people with intellectual disabilities are inferior. But when we play football, we are actually on the same level. In fact, Fhairul scored two goals for the team!

(Source)

Indeed, sports certainly did bring Xian Li and Fhairul closer as it highlighted their similarities.

 

Development

Via sport, both Xian Li and Fhairul had much to learn in terms of being a team player.

Xian Li himself, found that he had much to improve on due to his hot-headed nature. Through understanding his teammates, he better understands that it is essential to manage his temper.

The Programme teaches all of us to be patient.

(Source)

As for Fhairul, he has greatly developed his self-esteem through weekly interaction with his teammates and with the sport. He has also learnt to become more adaptable an individual. And like Xian Li, he has learnt to be patient whilst dealing with stressful situations such as being tackled by an opponent.

 

Focusing on play

Fhairul reflects upon his experience as a teammate:

It doesn’t matter if I’m first or second, as long as I did my best during the match.

(Source)

Their coach teases them that they would want to play yet another match if they could, and they look forward to the chance to have friendly matches with their opponents.

Regardless of one’s background, sports provides an opportunity to celebrate the gift of play. All in good fun, Xian Li and Fhairul have cultivated a wonderful friendship through play.

Hong Kong protesters pause: a moment of silence for 9/11 incident

9/11 attacks

It was September 11: the Day that never Ends.

What started as a normal, beautiful, blue sky kind of a day spiraled into a day of death and chaos that would almost feel like it would never end.

– Gédéon Naudet

2019 marks the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, as people observed a moment of silence for the fall of the World Trade Centre in New York City.

 

Hong Kong: the situation

For months, Hong Kong faced great political unrest. The ongoing series of demonstrations are centered on gaining more democratic freedom due to their current status as a semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Closer to September 11, a Chinese-owned tabloid accused the Hong Kong protesters of planning “massive terror attacks” on 9/11.

11503530-3x4-700x933.jpg

(Source)

The Hong Kong edition of China Daily wrote on Facebook attached with the above image:

Anti-government fanatics are planning massive terror attacks, including blowing up gas pipes, in Hong Kong on September 11.

(Source)

They later followed:

The 9/11 terror plot also encourages indiscriminate attacks on non-native speakers of Cantonese and starting mountain fires

(Source)

According to ABC News, the information came from a leaked message on a Telegram group.

 

Calling off the protests

As a result, the protesters declared to put a pause on the ongoing protests:

In solidarity against terrorism, all forms of protest in Hong Kong will be suspended on Sept 11, apart from potential singing and chanting

(Source)

One poster reads:

We honour those who died in the attacks, and all those sacrificed in the fight against all forms of terrorism.

(Source)

POWERPNT_2019-09-11_19-04-45.jpg

(Source)

POWERPNT_2019-09-11_19-05-39.jpg

(Source)

 

#NeverForget911

In remembrance of the 9/11 attacks, many people in Hong Kong have responded as they honour those who have died in the attacks 18 years ago.

Some protestors can be seen attending a protest at New Town Plaza in Hong Kong:

20190830_uncle-junction-8-nurse_Stomp.jpg

(Source)

 

 

Being able to halt the Hong Kong protests showcases a sense of respect for the unforgettable 9/11 incident from years ago.

As they stand together in silence and in solidarity, may we also remember the incident and #NeverForget911.

Former Nurse springs into action and takes care of uncle who fainted until an ambulance arrives

A former nurse, Ms. Michelle Kwok, sprung into action and helped an uncle who fainted and injured his head, and also stayed with him until an ambulance arrived.

The incident occurred at Junction 8 on August 22 at around 8PM.

An onlooker, Mr. Li, told Shin Min Daily News:

我上前去看,发现一名阿叔倒在地上,后脑勺在流血,手上也都是血,身旁有3名公众在帮忙。

Upon looking, I noticed that an uncle fell to the ground, his head was bleeding and his hands were soaked with blood, there were 3 people were helping by his side.

 

The Fall

According to an employee working at a nearby store, the man fainted and hit his head upon the impact of the collapse.

Ms. Kwok, one of the 3 responders, happened to be a nurse who previously worked in the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department.

20190830_uncle-junction-8-nurse_Stomp.jpg

(Source)

Now a financial consultant, Ms. Kwok shared:

我当时听说有人晕倒,立刻上前查看,发现他的头部有两处伤口,一直在流血。

I heard that someone fainted, and immediately went forward to see that the man was bleeding profusely and had two wounds on his head.

(Source)

She took the reigns and ensured that no one touched the man initially to check if he could move his hands and legs.

She later took his pulse and checked his breathing. He was unresponsive for about 3 – 5 minutes, and had immense breathing difficulties.

 

The Response

He later gained responsiveness but only remembered his name.

Ms. Kwok asked if he had diabetes, which could be a possible reason for the fall, though the man denied it so.

20190830_uncle-junction-8-nurse_Stomp.jpg

(Source)

Another person used the man’s phone to inform his wife of the incident.

And yet another called the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and passed the phone to Ms. Kwok for her to relay the information.

 

To the Hospital

tan-tock-seng-660x330.jpg

(Source)

Since then, the man was brought to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for treatment, and Ms. Kwok stayed with him until the ambulance arrived.

While the man’s condition is uncertain, the quick thinking and initiative displayed by Ms. Kwok and other members of the public was well-received.

Their willingness to help out promptly could be the very vital seconds that the man requires.

The efforts of the responsive community have certainly helped the man get better, and we wish him a speedy recovery!

 


For any medical-related emergencies, do call ambulance 995 promptly.

Chinese family eventually accepts son’s African partner

Clarence Tan shares his wonderful story of how love conquers all on popular Facebook Group Subtle Asian Traits.

 

The couple

Clarence is Chinese. His newly-wedded wife, Edna Sophia, is from Ghana, West Africa.

69595273_10162168681770055_2390699111872462848_n.jpg

(Source)

Having dated for 3 years, they managed to tie the knot with Clarence’s father’s full blessings.

 

Trials and tribulations

Perhaps almost naturally, Clarence’s family reacted with resistance, especially from his father.

While it was easy to simply brush off his family’s disapproval and married Edna anyway, Clarence refused to due to having fostered a close relationship with his dad. Clarence was adamant about gaining the approval of his parents.

Clarence’s father commonly raised comments to do with the distinct cultures and backgrounds the two came from, and that he might potentially face challenges in the future as a businessman.

“Hurtful” comments have been passed:

Clarence, this is your choice so you can do whatever you want. But don’t expect my blessing. I may or may not show up at the wedding if you marry her.

(Source)

Undoubtedly a demoralizing comment, but Clarence saw hope that his father did not outright declare that he would ultimately not show up at the wedding.

 

The plan

Clarence decided to bring her home on a weekly basis to get to know his parents.

The beginnings were especially rough, for the tension was palpable. His father often puts on a look that conveyed a mix of disapproval and wanting to maintain his composure. Edna too, had to struggle since she was hyperaware that she was unwelcome.

Edna and Clarence often got into arguments as the latter often pushed her into visiting his family. At one point, Clarence even had to lie that she was personally invited for dinner.

 

I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face

Slowly but surely, his family eventually warmed-up to Edna. They’ve come to learn of Edna’s wonderful attributes, as detailed by Clarence:

She’s intelligent, kind, extremely caring & considerate, and polite. They learned about her spending most of her free time working on building my company (now our company, obviously), as well as her financially supporting me at times. I had purposely kept it silent as it was embarrassing— but they eventually found out that it was their son who lucked out. After enough invites and conversations, they realized that this is for real and they started opening up to her.

(Source)

69512085_10162168683175055_511867841490714624_n.jpg

(Source)

After 3 years of hard work, Clarence and Edna were finally able to tie the knot.

69354146_10162168682125055_6558172549958598656_o.jpg

(Source)

His family, too, had a change of heart, and his dad was the couple’s biggest supporter.

69347385_10162168683255055_8501984210217598976_n.jpg

(Source)

70181966_10162168682480055_7348340575579406336_o.jpg

(Source)

It was difficult but 100% worth— since she’s the one.

(Source)

Clarence understood the importance of filial piety, and wanted to ensure both Edna and his family could live harmoniously in the long-run.

Having also shared this on the Subtle Asian Traits group, Clarence hopes to spread a message of never giving up and letting their love inspire.

Clarence and Edna’s tenacity and determination allowed them to start their marriage on a right foot, and we hope nothing but the best for the couple.

Run4Love: Conquering 160km to raise funds for underprivileged children

The Runner

Meet Dr. Tan Eng Han, founder of Overseas SG (OSG) wanted to do more in his capacity as a volunteer.

OSG is an non-profit organization centered on building a culture of sharing with ASEAN Youths overseas and at home.

Dr. Tan and OSG volunteers have held various events over the years: mentorship sessions, forum discussions, and several business case competitions.

Yet Dr. Tan wanted to give more:

I constantly questioned myself – what can OSG do on a meaningful and sustainable basis?

(Source)

It was then Dr. Tan come across a non-profit organization for underprivileged children, Shanghai Baby’s Home. It is meant to support children who may have been abandoned and have urgent medical needs. Given costly medical fees, the organization constantly requires funds.

And thus, Run4Love was born. A partnership with Bridge+, an organization that owns several flexi-spaces throughout Singapore and China. Both organizations collaborated in spearheading a fundraising activity meant to support Shanghai Baby’s Home.

Even as he organized the run, Dr. Tan himself partook in the run: a 200km run across Shanghai.

 

The Run

Lasting for about 35 hours, the run began at one of Bridge+’s spaces on 9 August 2019 to 100AM Mall Shanghai the next evening.

While the run was not smooth sailing due to Typhoon Lekima, the planned distance of 200km, unfortunately, had to be cut short.

Dr. Tan was all smiles as he crossed the finish line.

67781825_2334200143300751_4738787144531705856_n.jpg

(Source)

68486689_2334200229967409_418152406711271424_n.jpg

(Source)

They later celebrated by presenting a cheque of an astonishing RMB 200k raised from the run.

Fellow volunteers celebrated him as he championed the run and finished strong.

Impact

Dr. Tan reflects:

This journey brought Singaporeans in China together, Singaporeans and the local community together, colleagues and friends together, and more importantly, it helped everyone one involved fulfilled a little of their internal aspirations.

(Source)

The funds raised from the charity run will continue to fund orphans who are in need of medical attention. It is in their hopes that the children under their care can end up living normal lives as well as being adopted locally or overseas.

Overall, Dr. Tan hopes to build a strong Singaporean community in China, where he resides.

In doing so, one can build strong communities within the overseas Singaporeans, and create an environment of love and care for various communities.

No bystander: passerby helps police officers take down man

The incident

Over at Woodlands is the story of how a passerby turned hero.

When an incident happens, it is always more likely that one stands in shock of what to do, or instinctively whip out their phones to record the incident that plays out.

Yet, here lies a man who became an active passerby, rather than a bystander.

ezgif.com-crop.gif

(Source)

The incident first starts out with another man warding off two police offers.

ezgif.com-crop (1).gif

(Source)

The man gave the police officers a tough time through his rowdy behaviour, and was extremely difficult to subdue.

He gradually became more aggressive, shouting loudly “我现在要去厕所” simply declaring that he wanted to go to the toilet in attempts to escape.

ezgif.com-video-to-gif.gif

(Source)

Meanwhile, extra reinforcements appear, along with the passerby.

 

Taking action

ezgif.com-video-to-gif (1).gif

(Source)

The passerby acted immediately and was quick in taking the man down.

ezgif.com-video-to-gif (2).gif

(Source)

He took the suspect to the floor, and shouting at the other police officers “get him!” repeatedly.

He declared that the man was causing “too much of a disturbance”.

His quick thinking allowed for the police officers to finally be able to handcuff him instead of posing as a danger to other residents.

 

Reactions

Untitled.png

(Source)

The man’s actions was generally met with positive reactions.

Others pondered on the effectiveness of the police on restrictions related to arrest.

Untitled.png

(Source)

 

Taking initiative

The usual: watch as the incident happens, or take out your phones and film the incident occurring.

The man, on the other hand, sprung into action and coordinated the take-down following arrest of the suspect.

His initiative truly makes him the hero of the day. His choice to get down and dirty in facilitating the suspect’s take-down is worth applauding and thinking about.

May he inspire us all to no longer be passive bystanders. In any situation, there will always be a range of appropriate actions to take, and we can all become more active participants of society.

You can watch the video here.

Awfully tired, but well enough to care

The last train

The last train: late at night, grey colours, the night is weary. It is perhaps the last place to spot an act of kindness.

Yet, the light truly shines brightest amidst the darkness.

While one worker decidedly slept on the floor, another worker saw this and went over to him.

Eventually one of his buddies woke up, noticed, and got up, seemingly to wake him up so he wouldn’t lie on the floor. But instead he just sat down right next to him, and propped his head up on his leg without question.

(Source)

Quietly, the worker wearing the cap simply allowed his friend to rest on his lap instead of letting him lie on the ground.

 

Redditors respond

Spotted on the North-South MRT line and shared on Reddit, was an incident that sparked positive reactions from fellow Netizens.

Some made speculations of why the workers had to sleep on the floor even when the train ought to be vacant, given the late hours:

It’s sadder that they didn’t go to the cabin with seats and doze off while seated. Probably been told off by some “privileged” people before.

(Source)

Others focused on the positivity of the photograph, and highlighted the kind actions of the worker in the cap:

Truly brothers in arms.

(Source)

As of date, the post is one of r/Singapore sub-reddit’s most popular posts, amounting to around 1.6k upvotes. It is evident that the man in the cap has displayed kindness like no other.

 

Never too tired

Even in moments of sleeplessness, the simple interaction showcased great empathy and a loving spirit for one another.

Caring for a friend, no matter how tired one is, can always manifest itself in beautiful ways.

Leaving banking job in NY to making organic clothes in India

“Thousands will kill for your job” – Prateek Kayan had that kind of job. A banking job in New York meant a lifestyle of glamour and comfort.

Except it wasn’t the case for Prateek.

I knew that my heart lay in fashion. Each day, in New York, reminded me of that. Yet leaving a cushy banking job wasn’t easy, but I’m lucky that I was able to gather the courage, move back home to Kolkata and begin working on my dream.

(Source)

Prateek uprooted his entire life and moved back to his hometown, Kolkata, to chase his dreams.

Hence, Brown Boy was born. Prateek calls it the “World’s Healthiest & Happiest clothing brand”, and it’s easy to see why.

 

The Healthiest

Launched in 2014, Prateek was careful not to fall in the trap of venturing into the more profitable unsustainable fast fashion market.

It was learning at every step and it still continues. It was at that point that I saw the dark reality of the trade. Among other things, it was the trend of unsustainable fast fashion encouraging modern-day slavery that pushed me to start a new discourse. I chose to not follow the herd into an unethical supply chain, breeding insatiable greed, and instead started a brand which redefines fashion in a sustainable way.

(Source)

Untitled

(Source)

The problem of current cotton usage has also been taken note of:

Cotton covers 2.5 per cent of the world’s cultivated land, yet it accounts for 25 per cent of the world’s insecticide market and 10 per cent of global pesticide sales, making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet

(Source)

The use of pesticides are truly detrimental in the long-run, as they get washed away into water bodies. Pesticide residue can lead to truly devastating effects due to their carcinogenic properties and various other health issues.

In turn, Brown Boy takes up the responsibility of ensuring that their clothes are made up of 100% organic cotton.

Brown Boy clothes are completely organic, cruelty-free, chemical-free and sustainable, making them truly the healthiest clothing brand out there.

 

The Happiest

brown-1-4.jpg

(Source)

Prateek ensures that his team works under proper, fair, and non-hazardous working conditions with his mission to end ‘modern-day slavery’ that is unfortunately prominent in the fast fashion industry.

They are not just my team, but my family and its important to take care of your family. And, that’s why even the colour dyes used are not made of hazardous materials like pesticides, nickel, lead or other heavy metals, that can harm them while working.

(Source)

Instead of exploiting workers, Prateek ensures that he treats his team members as fellow human beings.

In fact, Brown Boy has also been aptly awarded the title of “The World’s Healthiest and Happiest Apparel Brand” for their efforts in fair compensation and the belief that “happy people make ‘happy clothes’.”

 

The Payoff

With much uncertainty and going into the unpredictable fashion industry, Prateek knowingly went into an uphill challenge.

Owing to crowdfunding efforts, Prateek was able to raise enough funds to kick-start his business.

Today, it has catapulted into the spotlight, where his clothes have been donned on by various Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities such as Robert Downey, Jr. and Hrithik Roshan:

16_9 for tele (1).png

(Source)

It would have been much easier for Prateek to simply turn to fast fashion: employees are cheaper, losses can be made up more quickly, and there was generally much more time for trial and error.

Yet it is Prateek’s consistency in his sustainable efforts that have led him to create such a meaningful brand. The success of his clothing signifies the appreciation of his efforts and that many others resonate with his brand.

“One of the best days of my life” says MLB star Yasiel Puig visiting a Jewish camp for terminally ill

MLB: SEP 01 Indians at Rays

(Source)

MLB player Yasiel Puig from the Cleveland Indians recently visited Camp Simcha, a Jewish summer camp for children with terminal illnesses. While Puig wanted to brighten the lives of the children, he recounts that he has gained so much more.

Beginning with a favour from his friend, Irv Bauman, whose grandson helps out at Camp Simcha.

My grandson actually asked me if it would be possible if Yasiel would possibly make a visit to the camp, and the kids would just go crazy if they saw him.

(Source)

Puig responds with great enthusiasm:

Of course, I’ll do it.

(Source)

With that, Puig took his chance on his off-day against the New York Mets to rent a helicopter and flew straight to Camp Simcha.

Learning about Jewish heritage

Being Cuban, Puig spent time with Bauman in learning about kosher, religion, and various songs to better assimilate himself into Jewish culture.

He was so into it, it was amazing. It’s hard to describe how into it he was.

(Source)

Despite his star status, Puig was able to humble himself and give it his all to be respectful to the children he ended up visiting.

The visit

Hiding his bright-red hair, Puig put on a fake tiger head to hide his identity.

https://twitter.com/OriginalYoni/status/1163541019453009922

The crowd was undoubtedly excited by his presence.

But Puig soon got to work and focused on the children he wanted to visit. He went around and participated in various camp activities. He made candles, and of course played a game of catch.

photo_2019-09-10_11-44-03.jpg

(Source)

photo_2019-09-10_11-44-05.jpg

(Source)

photo_2019-09-10_11-44-08.jpg

(Source)

Reflecting on his personal experience, Puig mentions:

That’s pretty amazing because when I was a little kid, I dreamed that somebody famous or somebody from any sport would come to me and say hi or pass time with me and show me around any sport and share moments with me.

(Source)

Puig even paid a visit to the infirmary to spend time with a child who was too sick to participate in group activities. They spent quality time in Finding Waldo.

photo_2019-09-10_11-15-32.jpg

(Source)

Wanting to return

Puig’s enthusiasm hasn’t died down after his visit. In fact, he asked how soon he could return the moment he left the camp.

A mother writes to Bauman for making Puig’s visit possible:

Mr. Bauman, I have to thank you. I have not seen my son smile like that since he was born.

(Source)

His impact has been felt all over the world, and has touched the hearts of many. May Puig’s actions inspire others to brighten someone’s day!