R.I.C.E and Shine!

If you think the most rice you’ll ever see stacked up in a single place is at your neighbourhood NTUC, think again.

5414.557 KG OF RICE

looks every bit as astounding as this:

WhatsApp Image 2017-04-20 at 16.30.54(so much rice we needed to do a panorama!!!!)

Thank you very much for all the support for Project R.I.C.E – the result would have been completely inconceivable if not for the dedication and hard work of all our bullboys and bullgirls! This year’s faculty CIP saw Apollo coming together in partnership with our beneficiaries, Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled, Hougang Sheng Hong Family Service Centre, and the PERTAPIS Children’s Home. Despite the back-breaking work of shifting rice and sifting out those evil weevils in the hot sun (the irony), our C1s have displayed remarkable spirit and verve and we are incredibly proud of everything that you have helped to achieve.

PART 1: PUBLICITY DAY| 21.03.2017 |

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infographic design for Project R.I.C.E

Every Founders Day, Hwa Chong remembers to give back to the community. Eager to practice the school values of 饮水思源, C1 Apollo students headed down to HDB estates in Bishan area to begin Stage 1 of  Project R.I.C.E. The gargantuan task of knocking on thousands of flats (literally), telling residents more about Project R.I.C.E. (in both English and Chinese!!), and leaving flyers in their wake was met with equal measures of daring and drive as our sunny ambassadors went about their work undaunted.

PART 2: COLLECTION DAY | 15.04.2017

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Once the residents in Bishan had an idea of who we were and what we were doing, Apollo C1s, accompanied by some enthusiastic C2 volunteers, headed down to Bishan for some serious leg (and arm?) day.

DSC_0381back-breaking stuff

Many residents heartened us with their generous donations, with pre-packaged rice and bowls of rice and little plastic bags of rice. It was delightful to find neatly packed bags that the residents had placed outside of their doors for collection, with our flyer stapled neatly onto the handles, showing just how much thought and effort went to ensuring they could contribute to our drive.

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Others made special trips down to the supermarket upon seeing our collection points at the void deck, before hurriedly running back to us with lots of NTUC Fairprice plastic bags stretched tight with the weight of rice. It was certainly heartening to see so many Singaporeans reaching out in their little ways to try and make a difference in the lives of others. 

“My heartstrings were strongly tugged by the residents who donated thousands of grams of rice, by those who gave us the last handful of rice in their house” — Cui Zizai, 17A14

WhatsApp Image 2017-04-16 at 20.03.23hard at work – sorting rice

It was a long day, but Apollo Faculty managed to achieve fantastic results! We collected a total of  5414.557 KG of rice, more than doubling last year’s amount, and a sum more than double our target for this year. This is a phenomenal feat only accomplished by the diligent work of your hard work! Kudos are in order!

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look at those smiles!

DSC_3326bishan residents rice-ing to the challenge 

DSC_0432the haul

DSC_0439taking a well-deserved break

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PART 3: INTERACTION DAY | 20.04.2017

WhatsApp Image 2017-04-20 at 19.44.15 (1)The residents and volunteers were all smiles by the end of the session at Bishan Home!

No project is complete without meeting and understanding the beneficiaries we work with. Project R.I.C.E. proceeded to its final stage, Stage 3, where our sunny Apollo volunteers organised activities to bring joy and laughter to the residents of Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled.

interaction 2.jpglearning to fold origami!

It was an eye-opening experience for our own students, who learned and gained much from their interaction with the cheerful and enthusiastic residents. Residents and student volunteers alike had a good time doing a range of activities, from doing origami, to having a mini Karaoke session, and even a dance session. Interaction Day is best summed up in the thoughts of a few of our volunteers:

“I found the experience to be very meaningful as it gave me an insight into the lives of the less abled in our society. I learnt that while these people are affected by various issues, that does not make them any less human than ourselves, and we should try to treat them as equals, communicating on their level and empathising with them instead of just sympathising. Overall, it was a very valuable experience and I am glad I was able to go.” – Ho Choong Kai

interaction 4.jpgforging friendships

“Faculty CIP in my opinion was one of the more interesting events I got to be a part of this year. Initially having entered with a bit of apprehension, I left Bishan Home feeling enriched and touched by the experience. I’m glad that students are given the opportunity to gain insight into the lives of a community many of us do not truly understand, and I hope that it will continue in the years ahead!” – Roy Xiao, 16A14

interaction.jpg

“The interaction session was helpful as I got to understand and communicate with someone of the intellectually disabled community and understand just how similar and human they are. I recognised that there is a spectrum of intellectually disabled individuals, some more higher functioning than others but what is crucial is that we do not stereotype them but appreciate them for who they are. While we may not have had the longest of bonds, my biggest takeaway was to share my newfound knowledge and experience to others around me so more people are aware of the intellectually disabled community that exists in our country.” — Lee Jit Ping, 17A15

Aaaand that’s it for this post! Once again, thanks so much for the hard work of every Apollo student volunteer, and we hope you can see that your small actions have contributed to something bigger (5414.557 KG like whaaaaaaaat!) Shoutout also to our CIP committee who have worked super hard to make the impossible possible and for planning and executing everything impeccably; thank you for inspiring Apollo to make a difference. So keep the passion to serve blazing, and till then, live loud live proud!

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WhatsApp Image 2017-04-15 at 19.16.27.jpeg cheers!

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