Helping the Underprivileged Community
Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home is a nursing home which began operation on 2 May 2019, and takes in elderly people who are poor or have been abandoned/neglected by their families. Some of the elderly unfortunately suffer from health diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and skin disease which increases the need for heightened care (long-term medication) and attention. Unfortunately the home is not financially stable and rely solely on donations from the public, as this nursing home is free of charge.Due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the funds for the nursing home have largely decreased during this period, according to the operators of the home and regular volunteers at the home. They are finding it hard to sustain financially to afford good care services and provisions for the elderly as well as for their caregivers, and they are constantly reaching out to the public for funds to continue operations.
Overview of Issue / Background
Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home is a nursing home which began operation on 2 May 2019, and takes in elderly people who are poor or have been abandoned/neglected by their families.
Some of the elderly unfortunately suffer from health diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and skin disease which increases the need for heightened care (long-term medication) and attention. Unfortunately the home is not financially stable and rely solely on donations from the public, as this nursing home is free of charge.
Due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the funds for the nursing home have largely decreased during this period, according to the operators of the home and regular volunteers at the home. They are finding it hard to sustain financially to afford good care services and provisions for the elderly as well as for their caregivers, and they are constantly reaching out to the public for funds to continue operations.
Project Objectives (Vision & Mission)
Our vision is for Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home to receive care, support and funding to sustain and provide for the elderly and their caregivers.
Our mission is to encourage participation and initiatives from youths to volunteer consistently at the Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Homeand to raise awareness for the needs of the nursing home.
1. Increase awareness about the elderly people in Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home among the youths and the public.
2. Document the life stories and cultures of the elderly people and transfer and interpret into creative outputs that can be commercialised for profits that will be channelled back to Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home.
3. Promote the preservation of Malaysian traditional and cultural heritage through the archives and documentation of these old stories of the past.
4. Encourage participation of volunteers to provide support to Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home by organizing various activities that documents the stories and lives of the elderly people.
5. Promote empathy and compassion among the youths towards the elderly community.
Project Details (Activities and Tasks)
- Organizing various activities that documents the stories and lives of the elderly people in Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home.
- Volunteers to participate in the illustration, designing, animation and filming of Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home, which can be commercialized and sold to raise funds to donate to the home.
- Set up and create an Instagram page to raise awareness and promote this programme to the public particularly the youths to recruit youth volunteers for Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home, to post updates, raise awareness, fundraise and offer assistance at the nursing home.
- Establish a youth training programme centred around the support and maintenance of the home. Training will differ depending on which committee the volunteer chooses to be a part of. The committees focus on managing and marketing social media platforms, advertising, event planning, creatively approaching the management of the needs of nursing homes and active engagement (conversing, cleaning etc) with the people of Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home.
- Selling and showcasing of illustrations, animations and videos on the Instagram page to allow the public to get to know and gain a personal connection with the people they are contributing toward. The art forms will consists of the old folks stories + fun and interesting facts they are willing to share about themselves.
- Crafted illustration books:
- Appreciation and value of the elderly’s life stories
- Consists of exclusive 26-28 pages (1st Edition)
- Collectible series (3 editions) of crafted illustration books, not aimed at mass-production
- Emphasis on craftsmanship that consists of creative illustrations and designs, with 3D interactive features (e.g. pop up), printed on good quality paper, creative binding
- Sold on online platforms / bookstore / corporate gift (RM40-50 each)
- Target readership (families, schools/kindergartens)
Expected Project Result & Outcomes
- Increased awareness about Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home to the public through the creative outputs by volunteers that tell the stories of the elderly in the home.
- Documentation and archive of the elderly’s stories in Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home by youth volunteers as a way to preserve our traditional culture and heritage.
- Increased participation of youth volunteers by organizing activities that focus on the elderly including documenting their stories, as well as support and additional help to the home.
- Increased empathy and compassion particularly from the youths towards the elderly community
- Bridging the gap between older and younger generations (the elderly in Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home and youth volunteers)
- Producing series of crafted illustration books, animations and short videos containing the stories that the old folks are willing to share about themselves, which will be sold at an e-commerce platform and all proceeds will go to the home.
0% of RM1.00 Goal
|University name||:||Sunway University|
|Project leader name||:||Claudia Chang Shan Yue, Jaimie Chan Jie Yi|
|Location of project held||:||Sunway University|
|Beneficiary||:||Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home|
|Number of beneficiaries||:||9|
a. A two-sentence summary of the project goals.
Our vision is for Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home to receive care, support and funding to sustain and provide for the elderly and their caregivers through our community service project.
Our mission is to encourage participation and initiatives by creative youths to raise funds for
the Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home through the documentation and preservation of their life stories that will be transformed into interactive illustration books to be sold, wherein proceeds will go directly to the old folks home.
b. Did other fund-raising efforts contribute to your projects? What were they?
Crowdfunding. We were able to raise a total of RM900 among fellow students of the University.
c. Provide details about how your project actually worked.
I. Were there unanticipated difficulties? Budget constraints?
The exponential rise in Covid-19 cases contributed significantly to the multiple unanticipated difficulties that we faced throughout the project such as the inability to visit the people of the Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home in person (alongside conducting interviews, we planned for other activities to be carried out with the old folks such as get-to-know, ice breaker, potluck meal sessions etc which unfortunately had to be cancelled), the inability to meet up physically for discussions with team members which prolonged certain processes that would have been more easily conducted in person (such as brainstorming / design sessions for the illustrations / book prototype etc) as well as limited in what we were able to execute in terms of the interactive features in the illustration books, and the inability to hold physical events / booths at our university to promote the book as planned. Aside from the impacts of Covid-19, the illustration process also unexpectedly took longer than anticipated due to numerous revisions and improvements that we had to carry out to perfect our illustrations after every session with our supervisors that spanned across roughly 8 -10 weeks. Due to time constraints, we were also unfortunately unable to include physical interactive features in the illustration books, hence we incorporated the use of augmented reality (Zappar) and included animations instead (readers can see some pages come to life by scanning a Zappar code).
There were no budget constraints in this project as all necessary expenses for the printing of the illustration books have been anticipated and forecast during the project’s proposal stage and approved.
II. Language or cultural barriers?
Despite our team comprising of both local and international students, we did not face any language or cultural barriers during meetings / discussions. Everyone was able to work together soundly throughout the course of the entire project. However, the medium used during the interviews was mainly the Chinese language (Mandarin / Cantonese) as the old folks were most confident with conversing in those languages, therefore some non-Chinese-speaking members were unable to have immediate understanding of the interviews that were supervised by our advisors as well. However, we had team members who promptly translated the conversations on the spot as fast as they could so we were able to keep up with the interviews. Our story team members transcribed the interviews into English text which enabled all members to follow through and understand the interviewed contents.
Although there is slight language barriers, we believe that there is NO cultural barrier among us as we live in a multiracial and multicultural society, with knowledge and technological advancement that brings us even closer globally, our hearts and intentions to help the needy / deprived or contribute back to the community are not easily deterred by language or cultural barriers.
III. What worked well? What didn’t work well?
There were multiple instances where things worked well and vice versa.
Although challenging, the online interview sessions with the old folks, alongside assistance from the home’s caregiver, went very smoothly and the old folks were very enthusiastic and excited to share their stories with us. We were also able to screen record the interviews and our media team edited and produced a teaser video for the illustration books using snippets of those interviews. Also, since all of the stages of our illustration books’ production was carried out online, we also frequently collaborated on the google drive platform using google docs, etc which eased the process of online brainstorming / discussions. However, there was significant room for improvement in terms of some aspects of our project such as our social media accounts which could have been more active and engaging (we struggled with gathering content for our project as most of our content were planned to rely on physical activities carried out with the old folks for example, however this taught us the importance of versatility, adaptability and time management).
The teamwork and cooperation among all 37 members to execute on various aspects of the project were overall positive and encouraging throughout the project duration. Our two supervisors have also been very supportive and provided sound advice and online guidance to our team. We have learned to work well with each other and benefited from this project the values of patience, endurance, tolerance, commitment, hard work and helpfulness. Although there were moments of disagreement in opinions, mis-communications or different methods of execution, all in all our team still came together and managed to complete and achieve our set targets at various stages of the project in collaborative effort and in unison.
IV. How many people benefited or will benefit from your project? Who are these people?
1. The elderly folks of the home:
Additional attention and support was given to the elderly folks through this project. A chance for them to speak and share their life stories with the public. The profits gained from the sales of the illustration book were channelled back to the home as a source of funds.
2. The home caregivers:
They will also be featured in a page in the illustration book and tribute for their commitment and efforts in caring for the elderly folks of the home.
3. The youths/students:
This project was aimed to offer a platform for design students of our University to express their creativity in the illustration books to illustrate and tell the life stories of the elderly folks, while giving back to the community. This also gave them the chance to play a key role in the preservation of our country’s oral tradition, culture and heritage.
4. The public:
This project was aimed to inform and increase awareness among the public about elderly folks in Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home through this illustration book.
V. What is the long-term impact and sustainability of this project? Is there a future for your project?
Our long-term impact for this project is to provide an additional source of income for old folks homes aside from the donations they receive which are not always 100% reliable and consistent. Aside from that, we also aim for this project to be able to educate readers about cultural heritage and history whilst simultaneously preserving the stories of the elderly in our community. This project also provides an opportunity and platform for creative youths interested / passionate in illustration and animation to put their design skills and talents to good use and for a good cause.
After the release of the current illustration book, the project is planned to be continually carried out by our predecessors in creating more editions of the illustration story books, as this is the first one. Our goal is ultimately to reach out to and support as many old folks homes as possible, as Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home is only the first beneficiary old folks home for this project.
a. In several paragraphs, address each of the following questions:
How does or will your project contribute to happiness? Short-term? Long-term?
Happiness can be defined as positive energy that has the power to brighten, enlighten and offer a sense of comfort to those on the receiving end. When carrying out Project Rewind, we aimed for our project’s outcome to contribute to long-term happiness among the elderly and caregivers at the Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home. In order to ensure our contribution to their long-term happiness, our project is sustainable and easy to re-implement by our upcoming successors. Our project involves three different parties of whom are all interconnected to one another through this initiative: old folks homes; we, the student illustrators / designers; and, the public / readers who purchase the illustration books. It is also through this funding initiative by Khind Starfish Foundation that enabled us students of Sunway University to collaborate efforts and jointly produce a work that not only tells of the life stories of forgotten old folks, but also contributes to preserving our local intangible cultural heritage.
In terms of contributing long-term happiness, we hope to increase awareness about the elderly people in old folks homes such as Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home among the youths and the public. We hope that this will demonstrate and emphasize the importance of respecting and appreciating the elderly within our community (Malaysia is projected to have more upcoming old folks homes due to its ageing population) whom in return would feel valued as their life stories and messages are given a platform to be voiced and shared with the public. With this, their documented life stories that comprise cultural heritage and historical moments would be archived and preserved, for people to read and learn from for many years to come. It is also to create awareness and remind our children to appreciate, love and care for our parents. The creative youths (designers/illustrators) will also be given the opportunity to work alongside the elderly and to build relationships with them.
This project would also offer a form of financial support as the book sales would act as an additional source of income for the old folks home, hence we hope that this will be able to help ease any financial difficulties that may occur if donations are not consistent especially during these challenging times of the pandemic and decreasing economy.
In hindsight, we aim to promote empathy and compassion towards the elderly community, and to bridge the gap between older and younger generations.
Has your project changed the way you think about the world? How has it changed you?
Yes, on behalf of the entire team, Project Rewind has changed the way we collectively think about the world in a positive way. We were driven to carry out this project based on the fact that the elderly are unfortunately commonly disregarded (ageism) as relevant assets to the younger generation, hence through our project, we wanted to showcase the importance of bridging the gap between older and younger generations by giving the elderly an opportunity to reclaim their dignity in society by offering them a platform to voice and share about themselves; their journeys, their stories, the roles they played in communities. Throughout the process of listening to and compiling their respective life stories, the importance of our goal being carried out became even more apparent as we learned more about the old folks of the Xiao Xin Serdang Old Folks Home. In a world that is loud and continuously bustling at a quick pace in anticipation of a bold and bright future, it is easy for people to overlook the importance of pausing and taking a look at our past; hence it is easy to neglect people of the community who are no longer directly involved/in the loop with current affairs but are instead living history archives. This project has amplified to us the importance of listening to the stories of the elderly and learning as much as we can from them of our past history and therefore appreciating the present times we are in right now, so we will join hands and work towards a better future.
b. Complete this section with a one to two sentence personal statement, suitable for use as a quotation, addressing how and why this project was valuable and what was the most important thing you learned as a result. (Indicate student’s name for quote attribution.)
“Listening to the personal stories of the elderly made me appreciate the value of an individual’s life. Although we all come from different backgrounds and eras, there is much we can learn from one another to create a richer and more compassionate society to flourish in.” – Jaimie Chan Jie Yi, BA (Hons) Design Communication student, Sunway University