Upcycling and Empowerment


I am often amazed at the opportunity this site brings to me, amazed that someone reading my blog actually thinks enough of me to write to me with their proposals. Not all come to light, but still, without this site, there wouldn’t be any at all.

Last month, I was contacted by an enterprising young woman, Yi Wen, who wants to use upcycling to empower senior citizens in nursing homes to do crafts and earn some pocket money. Upcycling is the process of converting old and discarded materials into something useful and beautiful. She had wanted my help in recruiting women in my neighbourhood to come learn about upcycling, with the objective that some of these women may eventually become volunteers to teach or assist the elderly in the upcycling project eventually.

Upcycling has recently become a hit in Singapore with more people reusing old stuff rather than discarding them. Just last Sunday, the local papers wrote an article about it. http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/singaporeans-go-green-in-small-practical-ways

Yi Wen, together with her creative director Mong Shan,  was kind enough to dedicate a few days to teach us various crafts for free.

On my first lesson, we decorated common glass jars into decorative vases, tea light or utensils holder using woven strings, cloths and buttons. (Before you throw your clothes away, cut away the buttons, she reminded us.)

I thought I did a mighty fine job, right?

For the next lesson, we did a lovely Kanzashi Brooch, which Japanese women used to decorate kimonos. Fabric remnants are cut, folded, and stitched simply into a flower shape brooch, which can be used to decorate hair bands, wrist bands etc.

There is indeed a sense of satisfaction in seeing old things transformed into beautiful object under my own hands. I am sure the elderly in nursing home would feel likewise, and even more when they know someone actually appreciates enough to purchase them.

The project is till in its infancy, where the direction is vague but ‘fluid’, but I am sure it will be successful under the capable hands of the two women. Their passion alone is admirable.

Please do give your support either by purchasing or volunteering, won’t you?

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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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