NUS BBA 15 September 2017

Making a difference beyond just Flag Day

As part of Academic Year 16/17, the NUS Business School Flag Committee partnered Metta Welfare Association, a charity focused on caring for the intellectually disabled community. In the past seven months the Flag Committee organised multiple events, like the Chinese New Year Dinner, Grant-A-Wish Project, Batik Painting Session, Farm Hopping Experience, Hari Raya Celebration and Picnic Session at Marina Barrage with Metta.

Here, the Flag Committee shares their experience in organising these activities, as well as raising funds for the beneficiary.

Planning activities for Metta took a lot of careful considerations due to the diverse groups ranging from the young to the elderly, the infirm to the terminally ill at Metta. We decided to curate different events specific to the different groups under Metta’s care. To better cater to their interests and special care, we spent time with the different groups, understanding their needs before mapping out activities that we felt would be more meaningful.

That included a Rag and Flag Exposure Day, prior to our June events, where we brought together NUS Business School freshmen to educate them about the difficulties of the various groups in Metta. We put together four stations aimed at raising awareness about four different types of disabilities – physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, visual disabilities and autism. Through our stations, we hoped the students would be more empathetic for subsequent meetings with the actual beneficiaries at Metta. In addition, we felt this would help inculcate a strong sense of ownership and the beneficiaries freshmen were advocating for, when they went out to raise funds on Flag Day.

These were some of the activities we organised to celebrate and have fun with the community in Metta:

Grant-A-Wish Project
Grant-A-Wish project was our first Flag event which involved raising funds and collecting items from NUS Business School students to fulfil the Chinese New Year wishlist of our beneficiaries. Besides asking for donations, our committee raised funds with the sale Krispy Kreme and with a photo booth. This annual project allowed us to continue a Bizad tradition while celebrating the spirit of giving. With the funds raised, we packed goodie bags for low-income families under Metta’s care. Every bag donated contained necessities such as shampoo and canned food.

Chinese New Year Dinner
To usher in the Chinese New Year (CNY), we held a CNY Dinner, themed ‘Reunion as One’. The dinner included a special lion dance performance by the NUS Lion Dance Club, performances by NUS Magic and music interest group RC4ME as well as chinese drum-making to immerse them in the festive celebrations.

Farm hopping
One of the four June events by the Flag Committee was bringing a group to the farms. We visited two different farms with animals ranging from goats to rabbits, and even parrots! Beneficiaries interacted with the farm animals through feeding sessions and a goat milking session. An activity booklet was specially designed to optimise the beneficiaries’ learning experience; visual guides to illustrate the young of the animals we saw and also the different dietary habits of these animals. We also held a terrarium building session where our freshmen volunteers worked intimately with individuals to build their very own “farm in a jar”. The freshmen enthusiastically guided the beneficiaries, allowing them to better understand farm animals’ behaviour and diet.

We are very proud of our entire team and the freshmen, as we not only eventually won the Flag Shield for the 17th time, we also managed to raise over $109,000 in donations for Metta. We thank everyone for their contributions and efforts. Looking forward to next year!