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.

We have held subsequent Makan sessions at:
• Senior Savvy 2018 by Youth Corps Singapore’s Eldercare Cluster (#2).
• A Good Day, an event organised by A Good Space (three sessions) (#3a (#3), #3b (#4) and #3c (#5)).
• Ulu Pandan CC involving its Wellness Centre, organised by volunteers Le Yi and Melanie (#6).
• NVPC co-hosted by A Good Space (#7).
• Camp Hiro’s YES! Festival (#8), organised by Camp Hiro.
• NUS, organised by volunteers Melanie and Le Yi (#9).
• NVPC co-hosted by A Good Space to celebrate International Day of Older Persons (#10).
• Camp Hiro’s YES! Festival, organised by Camp Hiro (two sessions) (#11 and #12).
• Dunman High School involving seniors from Tung Ling Community Services, organised by students Shiqi, Tammy and Qiao Ling (two sessions) (#13 and #14).
• Camp Rec V @ Ren Ci Nursing Home (#15)
• NVPC co-hosted by A Good Space (#16).

So far, the oldest participant has been 93 years young while the youngest was 11, and we have had over 100 seniors and youths enjoy our Makan sessions. This year, there will be Makan session being organised by two VWOs bringing together the children in a children’s home and the seniors in a seniors’ home. We are also organising a few Makan session again co-hosted by A Good Space on July 20 (registration is open at – https://forms.gle/ohEskj6L3jgonNVg9, August 10, September 21 and November 9.

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.