In April 2020, the nation was cast into a circuit breaker, leaving many elders and youth lonely and depressed as they were unable to leave the senior care/residential institutions in which they were living and homebound. To prevent the spread of infection, visitors were scarce or not allowed at all, elders at senior care centres were homebound.
The elders and youth differ in several ways mentally and physically. However, the experience of loneliness is the same. Both elders and youths alike are vulnerable to the effects of loneliness and being separated from their friends and loved ones.
To address this, Acting Up has created a bridge of communication, outreach and support, to let them know that they are not alone. In these strange times of constant video conferencing and texting, what if we went back to writing letters?
Thus, Project Pen Pal was born. After matching elder homes/senior care centres with youth institutions/youth organisations, they began writing to each other, creating art and eagerly awaiting responses from one another. Each youth was partnered with one elder person, and every pair developed a supportive relationship through good ol’ fashioned letter writing. Youth started to learn about stories of the past while the elders learnt about how differently youth live their lives today. They were empowered with their ability to be there for another person even if they felt they did not have much at all. Most importantly, there were always words of love, support and encouragement.
Join us in continuing to make Project Pen Pal a success! You may participate in the following ways:
As social service organisation in the senior sector seeking to be partnered with pen pals from youth institutions/organisations
As a youth institution / organization seeking to be partnered with penpals from social service sector in the senior sector
As a sponsor / donor for the programme, to equip the institutions and homes with donations, postage and art materials
As an individual youth or elders seeking companionship through letter-writing