Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Meet Jo-Anne (the sweet lady in the middle of the photo above). She, and a few school mates, headed a project called Project Synthesis which is pretty darn phenomenal.
Stella (the just-as-sweet-as-Jo-Anne lady on the far left) is an ex-schoolmate of both Jo-Anne’s and mine. We attended AC together. 🙂
Project Synthesis aims to reduce the stigma often associated with Bangladeshi migrant workers in Singapore by synthesising their community with ours.
They figured that the problem with documenting migrant workers is that it’s always someone else documenting them – not by themselves. So they wondered… What would happen if they allowed the workers to talk for themselves? They decided that one way in which we could do that was by giving them cameras.
They raised a bunch of funds, bought 50 disposable cameras, and gave them to workers who attended a day of appreciation Project Synthesis planned for them, where we played sports and had a photography workshop. The migrant workers were tasked to take pictures of anything they wanted.
The results were amazing.
They documented their premises, the way they lived, and there were many scenes of brotherly camaraderie and friendship.
Jo-Anne took my Mum (Yes! My Mum accompanied me to this exhibition!) and I through a few of the exhibits and one which caught my eye was one of a rusty, toppled over metal table in an old, dusty, dilapidated room. Jo-Anne shared with us that the reason the worker took that photo was because the state of the table was how he feels he would be regarded one day when he wouldn’t be able to work anymore/ be of any ‘use’.
My heart broke.
My heart ached more and more as we continued walking through the exhibition.
I felt so deeply for these workers. They deserve better treatment in Singapore, especially with all they have left behind and all they’re doing to better the quality of life in Singapore. They deserve to be thanked.
And I thought this event did just that. 🙂
A man, presumably also a member of Project Synthesis, walked up to my Mum and I after we finished perusing the exhibits and told us that some of the workers were here that day — sharing Bangladeshi poetry and singing tunes from their hometowns.
My eyes lit up — I was overjoyed at the thought of being able to meet some of the people behind the masterpieces. I loved how they were the centre of attention that day — even if it was for just one day. :’)
Mum and I walked around the premises a little more…
… reading the inspirational quotes,…
… enjoying the bubbly atmosphere and…
… watching visitors learn sign language among other things such as soap-making before we stopped by Pong. We were at *SCAPE! It would’ve been a sin not to have stopped by Pong!
P.s. I got my Mum hooked on Pong. Oops. 😉