On 7 August, NUS’ Computer-Based Learning Centre (CBLC) collaborated with the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association to reach out to ex-offenders and their families. The event was attended by 30 participants and 64 volunteers across NUS faculties.
Project I.R.I.S. stands for Inspire, Responsibility, Integrate, Skills. With these values in mind, the project sought to encourage the ex-offenders to take a leap of faith to reintegrate into society and to realise their aspirations by acquiring new skills to enhance their employability.
The event featured a seminar with motivational talks from guest speakers. The speakers included Mr Jimmy LER, Country Director of Logwin Logistics Singapore, Mr Abdul RAHIM, an ex-offender employed by Logwin Logistics Singapore who has successfully reintegrated into society and the working world and Ms SIM Sin Sin, former CEO of Secret Recipe and founder of social enterprises such as Laksania and Social Food Inc.
In addition, a carnival based on a mini KidZania concept, comprising 10 interactive booths with role-playing activities, was designed by students to engage the children of the ex-offenders. These games focused on the importance of allowing every child to dream and to work towards achieving their interests and goals, regardless of their family backgrounds. To promote family bonding, parents joined their children in the games after the seminar.
The students also organised fundraising activities and presented encouraging Post-It notes emphasising "second chances" and "daring to dream" to inspire the ex-offenders.
Participants found the event meaningful. Mr MUHAMMAD Riduan from the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association, said, “The ex-offenders and their families were very engaged in the activities.”
A participant said, “Project I.R.I.S. was a fun and meaningful event for my children and me.” Another said, “We were able to open up and interact with the guest speakers.”
EE Liang Ying, Year 3 Chemistry, Project I.R.I.S. Director, said, “It was a highly successful event as it achieved our aims of letting every child dream and motivating ex-offenders to take a step back to society. The children enjoyed the games booths and the event gave students insights into these families and the challenges they face.”
CHU Hui Ting, Year 3 Food Science and Technology, CBLC President, said, “Project I.R.I.S. was successful in selecting companies which promote inclusiveness in society and which are willing to help ex-offenders. I was also happy to see close interaction between the families. This was really heartening. I believe that ex-offenders should not be denied opportunities to change their lives because of social stigma.”
Reception desk with banner
Mr Jimmy LER, Country Director of Logwin Logistics Singapore with Mr ABDUL Rahim
Ms SIM Sin Sin, Former CEO of Secret Recipe and Founder of Laksania and Social Food Inc.
Participants actively engaged in the seminar
Volunteers interacting with the families
Volunteers interacting with the children
Children enjoying the Music booth
Parents trying out the games booths
CBLC President presenting token of appreciation (entitled Hope Board) to SANA representative, Mr MUHAMMAD Riduan
Project I.R.I.S Executive Committee with Mr Riduan
Executive Committee and volunteers