Families inspire compassion, love and support. And families go beyond just blood. That’s why we sat down with the volunteers of Dakota Adventures (Cassia Resettlement Team), A Dakota Crescent — Cassia Crescent resettlement project, and MCYC Community Services Society, a volunteer welfare organisation for at-risk youths, to talk about the families they’ve formed within their communities.
Jingzhou of Dakota Adventures
1. Can you give us an introduction to your neighbourhood family?
My journey started with Dakota Adventures through this project called Between Two Homes. In short, it looks at the theme of conservation, community and home through the lens of two homes – Dakota Crescent and Cassia Crescent.
2. What are some of the ways you nurture your neighbourhood family?
We conduct house visits, a community project called the Cassia Potluck Party, which brings residents together to cook and eat together and
a Cassia Gardening Class which provides a platform for residents and volunteers to learn or impart skills to each other. These activities nurture and build the common Cassia identity by bonding the neighbourhood, consisting not only of the residents but also the volunteers.
3. What motivates you to contribute to your neighbourhood family?
After spending the past year volunteering, going to Cassia Crescent now invokes a sense of familiarity and a gentle feeling of home. As the uncle and aunties say hello and wave with a warm smile, as the kids bump into me playfully, and as residents open up their doors to me, I do feel as if I am part of their community and their lives, even if it is just a small fraction. This is an indescribable feeling, especially given that I live so far away from them! I think that is what motivates me to help the residents in Cassia: not about the scale, but about making friends, forming deep trust and relationships, and gradually building a community together with the residents.
4. What’s an upcoming event that you guys have planned?
We have the Cassia Potluck Party that provides a platform to grow a space for the residents to come together. This allows residents to establish and rekindle friendships with both old and new neighbours, and volunteers.