Each year, the NUS Business School Flag Committee puts together a series of community outreach activities with partner beneficiaries as part of the lead up to the new school term’s tradition of celebrating NUS Rag & Flag. For 2019, their goal is to raise SGD$140,000 to support 19 beneficiaries under Community Chest such as Metta Welfare Association, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS, TOUCH Community Services as well as organise community engagement events through this year’s adopted charity, Metta Welfare Association. The NUS Business Flag has a long and illustrious legacy where in 2018, the Flag team achieved six out of the seven awards available, including the Flag Champion Shield, raising a record SG$202,880 (highest ever from any School).
2019 Flag Project Director, Ryan Chan said, “The NUS Business Flag is one of the Freshman Orientation Projects (FOP) organised by the NUS Business Club, in conjunction with the NUS Students’ Union (NUSSU). Through the efforts and actions of volunteers and committee members, we hope to illuminate the hearts and lives of our beneficiaries through acts of service, engagement and interaction by reaching out and establishing relationships.”
Work for Flag typically starts during the school term, while the bulk of the work is conducted during the summer vacation break. The team conducts fundraising sales and this year we focused on selling t-shirts, metal straws, etc to raise money and awareness of Flag amongst the student population. We also canvass for donations during this period in order to reach our targets. It all culminates on 10 August 2019 with the Rag and Flag Carnival.
Part of the activities is also aimed at encouraging Business School freshmen to actively participate in community outreach projects, increasing the value and profile of volunteerism. Business School seniors and committee members try to set good examples by demonstrating how we interact with beneficiaries and volunteering can be uplifting and rewarding to everyone involved.
I ran for the post of Flag Project Director 2018/2019 as I witness how meaningful and fulfilling previous years’ activities were. By leading the charge this year, I hope my committee would be able to have the same effect on the student population.
Hence, to ensure more freshmen are able to attend our activities and have a chance to be part of the giving spirit, we increased the number of summer events from five to seven.
The recent events include a picnic at Bishan with Metta Welfare Association, and even a Batik Painting Workshop conducted by Metta School alumni for our freshmen. It was a great opportunity to switch the roles of our beneficiaries to become the teachers, showing our students how beneficiaries have interesting skills and knowledge to share and teach us as well. This helped promote interaction and build confidence with the Arts @ Metta youths with special needs as our students learned how to paint unique batik paintings that are part of the youths’ livelihood.
Freshman volunteers and the Flag committee members also visited the Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly for an Art Therapy session. Activities carried out included simple origami folding and psycho-motor activities with the elderly beneficiaries.
We also held a Hari Raya celebration at the Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Intellectually Disabled. We conducted some simple games and even organised a karaoke session. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s’ faces as they sang along and danced to popular tunes. It was also an enjoyable time for the centre’s staff, coming together to have fun.
One of the exciting upcoming events will be a carnival held at Metta School, coinciding with Racial Harmony Day on 22 July. This event will involve 100 freshmen who will be interacting with our beneficiaries and bringing them around to play games as well as to try many different traditional snacks. Sign-ups for our events have been overwhelming, so that is heartening and encouraging!
Each year, there is a “Hand-over-Take-over folder” that is passed down to the succession committee. Seniors will help provide advice and render help whenever required as each new committee will always face new challenges.
So far, I feel the greatest impact of being involved in Flag is realising the importance of community engagement within our society. It also serves as a reminder that we should seek meaning in everything we do, including our careers. In the near future, I hope to be a chef with a chain of food and beverage outlets where I’d be able to recruit persons who are intellectually disabled and be a source of resource for the less privileged. I believe that this would make my career a lot more meaningful and allow me to help more people within our society.
Overall, taking on this role has truly been an unforgettable experience. I still have lots to accomplish in the upcoming months, but with the strength and help from fellow committee members, I know I’ll be able to succeed no matter the challenges.
For corporate donations and alumnae relations for NUS Business Flag 2018/2019, please contact Ryan Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Koh Wei Shan at email@example.com. Click here to find out more about this year’s Flag project.