I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen for our field trip. It just seemed to be a rather exciting prospect, hopefully something new and different. After all, the last field trip I had gone for was during JC which was 3 years ago. What did happen though, was an extremely eye opening experience, which exposed me to something I never thought would exist in Singapore.
During the brief that Prof Mohan gave on the bus ride there, I imagined that Willing Hearts had a building of its own and would be rather prominent, because after all, it was a soup kitchen of sorts and they would definitely need all that space and facilities to house their operations right? I was rather surprised when we turned into an ulu industrial building which looked rather old and empty, except for the few people at the loading bay and the packets and packets of food, which at that moment seemed to have appeared out of nowhere as the building looked rather dead.
Imagine the surprise I felt when we took the lift up to the fourth floor, turned a corner, and came upon this bustling base of operations which was crowded with people busy running around, moving packets of food, wrapping things, passing a packet from one person to another. Upon entering Willing Hearts, I noticed that there were a large variety of people there, ranging from young children to mature adults. At the food preparation tables, they stood side by side peeling vegetables, chopping ingredients, cooking rice, it just didn’t matter who they were, everyone was there for the common purpose of giving some of their time to help out the less fortunate.
After the short tour of Willing Hearts, we proceeded to pack all the packets we were to deliver into our mini-bus, and went off to deliver the food to the beneficiaries. It definitely shocked me that so many people were food insecure in Singapore. Despite their situation, they still thanked us profusely for delivering food to them, even though the food was late, and they probably had been waiting at their void decks for a long time. I had been to similar estates before to do CIP work in school, and while I understood that there were many who were in financial difficulty, I did not imagine that for some it was so bad they couldn’t even afford to feed themselves, something I definitely took for granted in Singapore.
It struck me how many of us live in our own isolated bubbles, away from other segments of society which might live in completely different realities from us, even though we might share the same geographical area. I strongly feel that more must be done to raise this issue to the public eye, because after all how can a problem be solved if it isn’t even deemed to exist?