It is noon and a gaggle of children descend upon the void deck, where they are delighted to find giant new cardboard boxes waiting for them. Immediately, imagination takes over, and amidst the seeming chaos emerges an ice-cream shop, a submarine, a dream home. The transformed boxes then become a way in for their mentors from 6th Sense to talk about their aspirations. On other days, puppetry, poetry and photography lead the way to other topics.
It’s not just play. "We’re helping them find their voice," explains group founder Abhishek Bajaj.
Discovering their gifts
Abhishek and his team of volunteers have the kids' future in mind. By helping them discover what they are good at now and start building on it, they can be on firm ground when they reach adulthood, he says. That’s why their project is designed to develop the 'self'.
It is this concept of character that 6th Sense believes is overlooked when it comes to social care, but they are making it a point to recognise the children’s individual gifts and cultivate "the sparkle in their eyes". Held over six months, 6th Sense’s programme covers various themes from identity to environment and is slated to end in March 2020.
Calling the shots: The kids of Kebun Bahru capture aspects of their neighbourhood on camera.