MAKAN WITH SENIORS

 

Our first Makan with Seniors at NVPC in May.

Food has a way of bringing people together, which is exactly what an initiative called ‘Makan with Seniors’ started by Ageless Online and FACEUP hopes to do – bring together youths with seniors over their favourite meal. The idea for ‘Makan with Seniors’ came from an initiative called ‘Feast with Strangers’ by Oxford historian Theodore Zeldin, which is being held all around the world. However, ‘Makan with Seniors’ puts the focus on seniors, and celebrates seniors’ life stories.

These conversations are helped through a menu which has a list of questions for the seniors to answer including their memories of WWII, recollecting of local events that impacted them and sharing of their growing up years. Conversations can also grow organically. The hope is that through these simple conversations, there will be more understanding between the generations. Stereotypes can be broken down and new friendships gained.

Our Makan session at NVPC.

We held our first session on May 19 at the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) co-hosted by A Good Space. The youngest was 15 years old while the oldest was 93 years young. We have held subsequent Makan sessions at Senior Savvy 2018 by Youth Corps Singapore’s Eldercare Cluster (#2), three sessions at NVPC organised by A Good Space (#3a, #3b and #3c), one session at Ulu Pandan CC organised by volunteers Le Yi and Melanie (#4), and another session at NVPC co-hosted by A Good Space (#5). There was also one as part of Camp Hiro’s YES! Festival (#6) and at NUS organised by volunteers Melanie and Le Yi (#7). So far, the oldest participant has been 93 years young while the youngest was 12, and we have had over 100 seniors and youths enjoy our Makan sessions.

Future sessions:

• #8: October 6 (Saturday) (English version) (to celebrate International Day of Older Persons) @ NVPC (organised by Eleanor Yap)
#9: November 3 (Saturday) @ NVPC  (organised by Camp Hiro as part of its YES! Festival)
• #10: November 17 (Saturday) @ NVPC  (organised by Camp Hiro as part of its YES! Festival)
• #11: November/December (organised by Dunman High School)
** possibly a Chinese one soon.

If you are a senior or a youth, and are keen to participate in future sessions, e-mail to: eleanor@agelessonline.net. We are also open to collaborate with organisations to hold a ‘Makan with Seniors’ session. Anyone who wants to organise a Makan session, please e-mail us too.

** Our Makan initiative has since been featured by MediaCorp Capital 95.8 – www.channel8news.sg/news8/latestnews/20180906-sg-makan/4122230.html – as well as Shin Min Daily.