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.
We held our first session on May 19, 2018 at the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) co-hosted by A Good Space. Since then it has taken off:
- Senior Savvy 2018 by Youth Corps (#1).
- 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, Bukit Batok (#15).
- NVPC, co-hosted by A Good Space (#16).
- NVPC, co-hosted by A Good Space (#17).
- NVPC, co-hosted by A Good Space (#18).
- NVPC, co-hosted by A Good Space (#19).
- NVPC, co-hosted by A Good Space (#20).
- Camp Rec VI @ Ren Ci Nursing Home, Ang Mo Kio (#21).
Our Makan session at NVPC.
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. If you are a senior or a youth, and are keen to participate in future sessions, e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also open to collaborate with organisations or companies to hold a ‘Makan with Seniors’ session. Anyone who wants to organise a Makan session, please e-mail us too. As it we are dealing with COVID-19, we have put our sessions on hold but we hope to come back soon gusto and get more seniors and youths back into conversations. We are also looking for free space for our sessions. If you can help on this, please e-mail us in the above e-mail.
Our Makan initiative has been featured by MediaCorp Capital 95.8 and Shin Min Daily. We have also been mentioned by The Smart Local as one of eight unique activities to meet new friends in Singapore.
** Show your interest in a future Makan with Seniors session at https://tinyurl.com/join-makan.