Project Link is an Elderly Outreach initiated by NUSMS to foster meaningful relationships between the elderly and youth. Our programmes are designed to inculcate a sense of appreciation and concern towards our elderly. As the elderly make up the vulnerable population, we feel that each individual in the community plays a significant role in ensuring that the physical and emotional needs of the elderly are looked after. Our 2021 direction is "Where the Young and Old Connect". This year, our events seek to bridge the gap between the elderly and youths today, raise awareness of the plight of the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic, provide the elderly a voice to showcase their experiences, and highlight the need for an elderly influence in the Islamic world.
elders of nus
Our committee enlisted the help of volunteers to distribute goodie bags to elderly staff around NUS, as a token of appreciation for their indispensable work. Through this initiative, we hoped to spread the act of giving in ways that evoke a sense of appreciation towards the elders within the university compounds.
Ren ci Nursing Home
With the help of volunteers, our team interacted with the elderly residents. We interacted with them, showed them appreciation, and they even taught us a thing or two!
silver to gold carnival
In this carnival, the elderly Zakat recipients sold the craft items they made in our Craft Workshop, such as tie-dye tote bags, pouches, and brooches. Moreover, we held free health check-ups, a Zumba class, and a Health and Spiritual talk.
Forgotten Blessings I: The Reminder was a talk consisting of important and meaningful sharing by Ustaz Nuzhan on our duties towards our parents and elders.
Forgotten Blessings II: The Departure was a programme through which we hoped to impart crucial knowledge on the adab and our responsibilities towards the deceased.
A collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Singapore (a non-profit organisation), this was an intensive home-cleaning programme, with the aim of giving elderly and persons with disabilities a safe and sanitary home.
Participants made up of both committee members and volunteers helped clean up and paint the homes of 6 elderlies. Through this experience, we hoped that participants could reflect and feel grateful for their blessings in life, and learn to be more compassionate towards those who are less fortunate than them.
A booth which allowed students to experience the physical challenges faced by the elders, and thus gains further empathy for them, by literally stepping into their shoes.
Participants engaged in daily activities that the elderly face difficulty in. These included tasks that require the use of their motor skills, balance and coordination, as well as drinking and swallowing.
Aimed at understanding unseen issues such as mental health, dementia, social isolation and suicidal ideation faced by the elderly population in Singapore. The forum focused on educating, bringing about exposure and awareness of these unseen issues mainly to the youths and student population.
In view of the discussion, Project Link collaborated with external organisations such as Habitat for Humanity, ClubHeal and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA).
Connect with the Elderly focused on the needs and wants of the elderly, as well as any misconceptions or perceived notions that we tend to have towards this issue. In this episode, we talk about the social issue facing the elderly in Singapore, including ageing well in Singapore, mental health issues, age discrimination in the workplace and much more.
Caring for the Elderly, discussed how we as individuals can better support and take care of the elderly. In this episode, we talk about health issues facing the elderly, and how we as caregivers can provide them with better care. This includes maintaining both physical and mental health, by keeping the mind active as well as changing diet and physical habits.
Understanding the Elderly helped us gain a deeper insight as to how the elderly are viewed in Islam, and how we as individuals, attain a religious responsibility towards the elderly in our households and beyond.
Our first event, the Gallery Walk, was aimed at being a precursor to the documentary series. The photos included in the Gallery Walk showcased the daily activities of the elderly during the pandemic to the public. The Gallery Walk was created with the intention of evoking empathy for the elderly and encouraged participants to write personal reflections.
Our Podcast Series consisted of three episodes, that discussed the challenges faced by different groups of elderly from the perspective of relevant experts.
Episode 1: Physically Disabled Elderly, with guest speaker Ms Yong Li Min, Senior Principal Physiotherapist at Methodist Welfare Services, touched on how youths can help the elderly who face physical disabilities.
Episode 2: Elderly Living Independently, with Ms Nur 'Atiqah, a case manager from Club HEAL, addressed the plight of elderly living alone and ways youths can help them.
Episode 3: Cancer in Older Persons, with Dr Nydia Camelia, sheds light on the various cancer treatments, the importance of a strong support circle, and the misconceptions among youths towards cancer.
Our Bridging Generations Documentary Series sought to share stories and experiences of the elderly and highlight their significance in society. This documentary series consists of three episodes, touching on elderly folks from different walks of life.
In Episode 1: A Love for Giving, Mr Linus Li shares many moving experiences from his years of volunteering. Now in his 60s, Mr Li continues to actively volunteer with the older population in palliative care. You can check out the episode on IGTV here.
In Episode 2: Elderly Living Alone, 72-year-old Mr Sanusi shares about how he continues to actively pursue his passion in gardening. You can check out the episode on IGTV here.
In Episode 3: Elderly Living with Diseases, Mdm Aminah, who is over 70 years old, lives with hypertension, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, but still continues to work and exercise regularly. You can check out the episode on IGTV here.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGES
Our social media challenges aimed to engage NUS students through fun online challenges that they could complete with elderly family members and share videos of them doing these challenges on Instagram. These challenges served to garner support for our cause in helping the elderly and raising awareness of their plight.
Some of these social media challenges included making TikTok videos, cooking videos, and exercise videos with one's grandparents.
As university students, we are at a time in our lives where we are pushed to focus on ourselves, our studies, our careers above all. Although taking care of yourself is vital, having compassion for those around us is too. With Project Link, you can make a difference in the lives of the elderly around us. You will learn more about the older generations' joys, struggles, and perspectives, which we can learn a lot from. Besides, you'll be able to use the experience gained for future opportunities.
As a Project Link member, you can expect to plan and execute a year-long project with your peers and gain satisfaction from seeing it blossom into a successful endeavor. But, more importantly, you will gain more Muslim friends studying in NUS and become part of our little community. You will also acquire and develop both new and existing skills and strengths. And, of course, you will get to see the very smiles on our beloved elders we have created Project Link for.