Building Bridges

Photo credit: Lau Fook Kong

Design Challenge

#2: How might we encourage our community to support one another and look out for those who are socially isolated?

Project Description

This idea aims to use technology while many FW are quarantined to build bridges between Singaporeans and Foreign Workers to help share stories and understand each other better.

Through a process supported by volunteer content creators, and using video interviews via smartphones, the FW can share their stories. These stories would then be turned into insightful reads using a mixture of text, images and video clips. Content can be tagged by project, so for example the reader can search to see who was behind building the project they are currently living in, or the upcoming MRT.

Criteria #1: Value

Bringing Foreign Workers (FW) and Singaporeans closer together. Often it is the lack of connection that isolates groups of people. We see them as ‘others’ and build our own (mis)conceptions about who they are.

Criteria #2: Inspiration

The entire world is being challenged by Covid-19 and vulnerable groups are being affected most. This is an opportunity to this into positive action, to think differently about how we do things and make lasting change for the better.

Criteria #3: Impact

Improving the conditions of FW by giving them a voice, changing public perception and encouraging their employers to set leading examples of how they support and look after their needs.

Criteria #4: Timeliness

The platform can be launched within 4 to 8 weeks with initial content and stories. The database of stories can be an ongoing activity. There are many extensions and possibilities. For example beyond sharing their stories, FW could share aspects of their culture or food. On the other hand, Singaporeans can contribute their stories and share how they feel about the projects that the FW are helping to build (eg the Thomson East Coast MRT line) can also contribute content to the platform which will be shared in videos and translated into languages spoken by the FW.

Criteria #5: Systems Thinking

Aside from the functional and medical care being undertaken to support our FW as outline in the PM’s speech, this adds an empathic and human story dimension that will provide a sense of inclusion and support to help them through this period. It will also provide a cathartic outlet to everyone involved to come closer as a global community.