EXCITE! - Social Enterprise Program

30 Students from ITE, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic participated in this program. "Excite!" it is a full day flagship event that engage youth in Singapore in a unique series of events at Ground up Initiative like volunteerism empowerment, entrepreneurship and various activity such as farming, cooking etc. The programme also aims to reduce youth unemployment by redefining education and exploring social entrepreneurship.

Session 1, Exposure - 1 June 2013 

The first impression I had about this place when I first stepped in was WOW"There is actually a kampung located in the city of Singapore and they really put good use onto this piece of land.

Tay Lai Hock, Kampung Cheif aka founder of Ground-Up Initiative

Timeline of each individual from 1990 - 2015

Around afternoon we went farming, we are being taught on how to farm

Ploughing ground

My first time farming! Plucking out the weeds

They are also plucking out the weeks

When bringing the weed to the compose area I receive a lot of mosquito bite

Smaller tool used to plough the ground to break up the soil in preparation for sowing

I like this part of today the most, at this floating platform we were asked to sit in a circle for a small talk and close our eyes to enjoy the breeze and sounds of nature, kind of relax for me

Looking sweaty and messy here after farming, great experience thou

After awhile we wrapped up and head back indoor because it is starting to rain soon

This is so EWWW, but fun! haha kind of slippery thou, I almost slip and fall

A peace for everyone who crossed the muddy path

It is nice seeing people helping each other too

We were given cut-out cardboard in different sizes to use our imagination and create a structure

Today was a very motivated day for me and sorry I don't believe that if I work very hard in life and get a university degree everything will eventually fall into place, people can still survive without a university degree it just depend on how they do it, people can also be successful without it.

Some people need to try very hard to be good, some are not but try to do that.
I am not trying hard but am already good, if I try I will be even better. If only I am not that lazy.

Session 2, Experience - 8 June 2013

This day we are separated into 8 groups and will get up close to one of the three social enterprises:

My team choose to do Sustainable living lab

In sustainable lab they design and make things that shape a sustainable future

Isn't this cool?

This portrait is engraved by a engraving machine

A tool where you can find in every workshop, hmm what will happen when it gets into the hand of children

REKA Make-A-Chair - A furniture design by sustainable lab which require no nail and no screw

Another day farming day! :D

Decomposing the water apple, it is so sweet that I can smell it from a distance

Unsure of what is this but I heard it is high in Vitamin C, I ate it and it taste so sour

I tried the leaves on the kedong dong tree too, it taste almost the same as kedong dong(sweet and sour)

This caterpillar makes my hair stand, so ewww! Too bad I did not capture it clearly

After going back to indoor we were assign to different group and had different task to do, the group I am in will be slicing and dicing vegetable.

Facilitator teaching us how to slice a vegetable

My first attempt, pardon me if it look bad cause I don't cook at home

Students that have the same scope as me

Good way to re-use, thumbs up GUI!

The scope of another group is to convert plain flour into self-raising flour

Chef who cooked for us, thank him for the food

Good way to save water by washing and cleaning up dishes pail by pail

This group is making herbal tea for us

Awesome people from different school whom I met in this program

Spot a face reaction here

Me acting to fan the charcoal for the herbal tea hehehe

These leaves will be the topping for our white rice

Lai Hock asked us about 3 things about this place that we think is successful

You should visit SL Kampung if you want to know our answer for this question ;)

Time for some theory lesson about how to build rapport and close a deal

6 of us volunteered to do a role play

Acting as the negatives people whom you will meet when you enter the lift in your HDB

I rush out when the role play for my group have not even started, so funny and embarrassing but is ok haha

They are they funny guys that made the role play so funny and every one laughed

After the lesson now it is time for us to bring the lab to the public, it was a amaze that our station attracted quite a numbers of children.

With this portable workshop table children can have a idea on Design and Technology

Remember this cut-out cardboard? We have bought this out for the children to play and they have build something out from their imagination

Children can even have fun with REKA Make-A-Chair, no nails no screw so safe

When heading back to SL Kampung we saw a tree that look like it will collapse any time so we decided to put it down in-case it fall and injure someone

Remember the flour and olive oil picture above? Thanks to the team and it was used to bake this cinnamon bun, yummy!

Today was a very productive day, I have done a lot in a day. I have learned about sustainable lab does, done farming, tried wild fruits, helped out in cooking, dish washing, reflection time, role play, engage people in public, these are the things I won't do on a daily basis.

Session 3, Experience - 15 June 2013

This day we are challenged to come up with a pitch for our own social enterprise. Mentors are assign to us who will help us to develop and refine a proposal for social change project.

Each team were given 3 minute to do a pitch, this day we learned how to do a pitch. Trying to sell your idea in 3 minute was not easy!

This day passes so quickly and ended with a campfire

Love the fire here, whooo~

Had our dinner here as well

And a mini game session

Three day later we had another meeting on how to improve our pitch, it was one nervous and stress day for some of us.

Session 4, Engage - 21 June 2013

In around 1 week we came out with our project proposal and today is the big day for us to pitch our idea on "How can youth create jobs for the future?" to the public in a TEDx style Kampung Cakap. Guess what? Haze hit Singapore at this period and we are already prepared for this day, no matter what this have to be continue!

Dress code for the day is Ethnic/Traditional

Peace for all~ ^^V

Me with Amirul in our costume

Glad that there are trees and lake in our surrounding hence making the haze lower

Zuhaffeq, my partner for this project

Yhi Siang blissful look

Happy moments captured

Love this picture so much it made me laugh every time I see them, hahaha!

Finally one good picture taken by Yhi Siang just that the lighting is bad


Pretty candid shot taken by Miss Lucy

(In the meantime we were so nervous when waiting for our turn to pitch, I just can't stop myself from walking around)
(And finally all of us have finish pitching our ideas)

Guest of honour Minister K Shanmugam doing his speech

Feature eminent speakers from Europe as well as Singapore as they discuss the important topic of social entrepreneurship and redefining education

Teacher and Students from ITE College Central with Mr Tay Lai Hock and Minister K Shanmugam

(Meanwhile while waiting for result to be out)

Haha what an epic face of us, taken by Yhi Siang. He always like to play-a-ful, arghhh

When the result was out I am so grateful that my team won the 1st prize

I want to thanks for following for giving me the opportunity to participate in this program:
ITE College Central Student Development (for sending me to this program)
Ground Up Initiative (Organiser)
CEEMAN (Partner)
DBS (Sponsor)
and also thanks to all the facilitator and mentors

I signed up for this program just because I want to experience kampung life, everything just happen so quickly and I never thought that I will be on stage pitching my idea out. At first when I join I don't even know anything about Social Enterprise until today, thanks for all the guidance and training it did change me a little. I really gain a lot of experience and exposure from this program. I ever thought of myself being a entrepreneur but not a social entrepreneur, who knows after this I might be a social entrepreneur in future?

P.S Anyone can register for Balik Kampung(Going back home in Malay) It is a time for participating in the act of community building. Join their Kampung community as they engage in farming, building and meal preparation.
This program is the flagship volunteer program of Ground-Up Initiative (GUI), a volunteer non-profit organization. Click on this link to register!

Bottle Tree Park, Yishun, 81 Lorong Chencharu
Yishun, Singapore 769198

Email: info@groundupinitiative.org
Website: http://www.groundupinitiative.org/
Blog: http://kampungspirit.blogspot.com/