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Transforming homes

Elderly Group

Transforming homes

Caption: STECS volunteers with the newly fitted furniture for Mdm Sarugini

When volunteers from Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co (Singapore) Pte Ltd (STECS), a leading civil engineering and construction firm, arrived at Mdm Sarugini’s two-room rental flat in Toa Payoh last month, she was sitting quietly on her mouldy sofa, staring curiously at them.

The volunteers saw grime-blackened walls; discarded items at every corner, and clothes strewn all across the room. The windows were shut and a musty odour filled the dimly lit room.

unkempt home
Caption: Mdm Sarugini’s cluttered home

The 70-year-old elderly from TOUCH Home Care (THC) lives alone at home and is estranged from her family members. She goes for dialysis three times a week and struggles to keep her home clean.

THC nurse helps to manage Mdm Sarugini’s medication and the transport team ferries her for her medical appointments. As her home became more cluttered, it was getting harder to sweep and mop the floor. THC’s volunteer management team then explored with corporate partner STECS to see how they could improve the home as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project.

The volunteers’ task: do a makeover and make Mdm Sarugini proud of her home.

“Our company has been in Singapore for over two decades. Improving the seniors' homes is our way of contributing to society here. We are encouraged by our staff’s enthusiastic efforts to make a difference to the lives of the needy. This is not just a good learning experience but a meaningful way for them to be part of the company’s efforts in doing good as we promote a caring culture amongst our staff,” said Mr Jin Aiping, STECS Chairman.

Armed with bleach, mops and pails, 20 volunteers spent four days patiently scrubbing off thick stubborn layers of grime and dirt accumulated over the years. Mdm Sarugini’s home was transformed - with freshly painted walls, nicely polished window panes, and new furniture items including a TV console, sofa, dining table and chairs, display cabinets, kitchen racks, stove, ceiling fan, pots and pans, racks for potted plants, water heater, LED ceiling lights, and a new lock for the main door. The volunteers also installed vinyl flooring on top of the bare cement. Mdm Sarugini could feel the wind blowing through her spacious home. The air smelt clean and fresh. All lingering odours were gone!
repainting
Caption: The stained walls given a fresh coat of paint

installing furniture
Caption: STECS volunteers assembling Mdm Sarugini’s furniture

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Caption: Mdm Sarugini’s sparkling clean kitchen with a new stove

flowers
Caption: Mdm Sarugini’s corridor spruced up with blossoming plants

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Caption: Mdm Sarugini (middle) sitting comfortably on her new sofa together with STECS volunteers

Another happy recipient was Mr Ho Chye Huat, a 79-year old stroke patient who walks with a limp. His spartan home was badly infested with bed bugs. STECS arranged for his home to be fumigated. The volunteers then proceeded to declutter, spring clean and repaint the home. Mr Ho received a new TV console, bed and mattress, bedside table, armchair, wardrobe, refrigerator, washing machine, LED ceiling lights and a standing fan.

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Caption: STECS Chairman Mr Jin Aiping with staff volunteer removing Mr Ho’s spoilt television

Mr Ho
Caption: THC client Mr Ho (middle) flanked by STECS volunteers in his squeaky clean home

“This is my first time taking part in my company’s CSR project. Our efforts paid off when I saw the smile on his face,” said STECS volunteer Ms Tan Fang Fang.

“We are grateful to the outstanding efforts by the STECS volunteers. They rolled up their sleeves and worked tirelessly to declutter, clean and replace the dilapidated furniture. This is a good example of how corporate partners can complement our work through its CSR efforts to make it safer and more conducive for our seniors to age well at home,” said Mr Sam Ngeow, THC’s Volunteer Management Specialist.

There are many ways you can do to support the needs of our frail seniors. If you are keen to help, please call 6804 6565 or email [email protected].