There is a quote by Linda Lambert that says “one good conversation can shift the direction of change forever”. In Make The Change, we believe that conversations can ignite one’s passion to serve the community and create changemakers. By conducting workshops, sharing experiences, and providing advice, we spark conversations among enthusiasts and inspire them to make an impact to the community.
This is how 2 youth initiated projects, Xscape and Sondering Slate, started under Design For Good. A social enterprise arm under Make The Change that celebrates collaboration among artists, designers and communities-in-need.
Xscape began when we were conducting a social entrepreneurship workshop at Pioneer Junior College. A group of passionate boys wanted to raise awareness for the visually handicap and that aim initiated conversations and an idea was born.
They create awareness for their targeted beneficiaries by designing escape rooms in complete darkness. Participants who enter the escape rooms have to navigate their way out with a walking stick to stimulate how the blind get about their daily lives. The experience allows participants to empathise with the beneficiaries and hopefully change their perspective on the visually impaired people.
In order to provide more support to the blind community, these ambitious boys started designing T-Shirts to sell. A percentage of their profits will go to support organisations serving the visually handicapped. Till this date, they have sold more than 150 T-Shirts to give back to the community.
With this simple yet impactful idea, they went ahead to clinch 1st place in their school’s Social Entrepreneurship Challenge. They also set up booths to share their stories and sell their T-Shirts at Lot 1, Hillion Mall, and Festival For Good 2017 and 2018. What started off as a conversation has sparked a series of changes from these young changemakers and they are continuing their efforts in making the change to the visually impaired community.
The other youth initiated project Sondering Slate started when 2 interns held a conversation between the word ‘Sonder’, a word made up by The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Based on the website, sonder meant “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”. Inspired by the meaning, the 2 changemakers wanted to share moments of life with everyone, and this birthed the project Sondering Slate.
By sharing moments, it allows the community to realise that every individual is living their own lives, not only them. With that realisation, Sondering Slate aims to encourage the public to enrich their lives further, or at the very least, remind themselves that there’s more going around them. Using photography as a medium to capture moments, these youths then placed the captured pictures onto T-shirts to sell so that the profit can be ploughed back to the underserved communities to help them create their own moments.
Thus far, they have sold more than 80 shirts and held booths at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Gardens By The Bay. The profits earned were then used to conduct a digital drawing class for the children in lower income families. To some, a word may kindle interest and create conversations, however these youths took up the initiative to impact a community with their conversation of change.
Don’t underestimate the power of conversations as it can inspire others to take the first step and make the change in their community. Are you interested in becoming a changemaker too? We have a podcast called Conversation of Change! We went live on our Facebook as we chatted with SG Assist, a social enterprise in Singapore, where the founders shared their experiences and stories of starting out. Our live video is still available on our Facebook page so do visit it to catch up on the conversation we had with them!