If it's broken, here's how to fix it

Food being served at an iftar (breaking fast) session conducted at a local mosque. It was organised by FiTree, a social enterprise founded by a group of Malay youths. Through the iftar, which uses recyclable food utensils, the group also aims to spread the message of saving the environment.

From shaky stools to faulty radios, broken items can be fixed for free next Tuesday when you take them to the Rochor Canal stretch near Madrasah Aljunied.

But you will need to get your hands dirty, too.

FiTree, a youth group that promotes sustainable living, and students from Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah willcoach people on how to fixthings as part of a Repair For Ramadan project.

This project is among events lined up for the Malay/Muslim community's Service to the Nation Week (SNW) from June 21 to 27.

"The act of repairing your own item gives you a sense of ownership, a sense that although you're doing a small thing, it adds up to... to sustaining the earth," said FiTree member Faizah Haji Shaik Abdullah Sahib, 28.

About 20 madrasah students will spend four days with trainers from the Sustainable Living Lab to learn how to repair items ranging from fabrics to furniture so they can help at the event.

Free repair services are not the only thing on the cards in the coming week. SNW will see community organisations such as Mendaki and 4PM, and informal youth groups like the Creative Muslim Youth Kakis (CMYK) giving back to the nation.

The services include sprucing up homes of needy families and distributing Ramadan porridge to people of all races and religions.

The SG50 Kita Committee, which is coordinating the Malay/Muslim community's contributions for Singapore's golden jubilee year, announced the events last Friday.

Said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim: "It's for us to play a role in the national effort to alleviate some

of the pressures and challenges faced by low-income families."

There are plans to make SNW an annual affair, he said.

"The most important thing is to establish a tradition of our community giving back to the nation. I think this is a good start," said Dr Yaacob, who is Communications and Information Minister.

Youths helped fuel the SNW, he said, noting how organisations mobilised members and offered ideas for projects.

Ms Faizah, an environmental engineer, said of Repair For Ramadan: "Youths can lead this charge. We need to inculcate the culture of 'repair' in the young instead of having a culture where we buy things and throw them away without a second thought."

The SG50 Kita Committee also said the Malay/Muslim community's National Day Observance ceremony will be held at ITE College Central on Aug 8.

This article was first published on June 17, 2015.
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