A Couple That Volunteers Together Feat. Kat and Prem [50cube Hike Organised by DooGood]

500 people aim to be the first to trek 50km across Singapore to raise $50,000 for Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home (LAMH) and Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA). As part of a social initiative known as 50cube, the 50cube Hike, will start at 6.00am at Toa Payoh New Town Park and end at Marina Barrage on the 19 November 2016 (Saturday).
 


The 50cube Hike, a route carved out in collaboration with National Heritage Board (NHB), takes one on a journey of Singapore from her founding days to the metropolitanpresent and her exciting future - covering over 28 heritage sites and 8 National Parks;inclusive of a UNESCO heritage site, Singapore Botanic Gardens. A journey that will take an estimated 10 to 14 hours to complete. All this to remember how far Singapore has come and all that would not have been possible without the hard work of our pioneers.

Highlights of the Journey include:
  • 1820’s Singapore: Sir Stamford Raffles / Fullerton Building
  • 1870’s Arrival of Chinese, Indian and other immigrants at the Singapore River
  • 1940’s Japanese Occupation and World War II -World War II Memorial (Battle at Pasir Panjang
  • 1950’s Singapore’s independence from British - Merdeka Bridge
  • 1980’s Singapore’s Economic Success - Singapore’s first Flatted Factory
  • 2000’s to present Singapore as a First World Country - Gardens by the Bay
A youth-driven initiative, the core team includes 15 youths under the age of 35 and is intentionally inclusive. Leonard Koh, an ex-convict who is part of the team, says that through 50cube he found a platform to contribute back to society. “I'm truly humbledby the 50cube team's faith and trust bestowed upon me,” he says. The team is joined by over 200 student volunteers pooled together with the help of Youth Corps Singapore (YCS). Through various activities like karaoke sessions at LAMH, the first which was led by local celebrity Wang Weiliang, they hope to bridge the gap between the young and old.


 
As part of the 50cube movement, and in partnership with Marina Barrage, a 1-day carnival “Big Family Day Out” (BFDO) will take place concurrently at the end-point venue. “There aren’t many spaces out there that encourage interaction between the young and the old. How often do you see grandpa and grandma out with the entire family with the little ones in tow? We want BFDO to be that space,” says Elissa Oh, a full-time teacher who leads the team. The carnival will feature local favourite foods,old-school games and an on-stage programme for everyone in the family.

Minister of Manpower, Mr Lim Swee Say, will be gracing the event as the Guest-of-Honour.

The 50cube Hike will take place on 19 November 2016 (Saturday) from 6 a.m. at Toa Payoh New Town Park and will end at Marina Barrage.

 
 

We catch up with a couple, Prem and Kat, who have been together for 6 years are part of the Organising Committee on their involvement in this project and how it has helped them. Kat, who is also the co-founder of 50Cube is a full time educator and Prem is a 2nd generation entrepreneur who is handling his father's business.
 
Prem and Kat


How did this idea of 50 Cube hike originate?
This idea came from Elissa, who was inspired by her friend who hiked 50km around Singapore. She then decided to turn this into a charity event. Last year, when we carried out this event, we managed to recruit 60 members of the public to hike with us and raised a sum of $20 000. This made us realise that even with a small number of people, we were able to raise a considerable amount for charity. Hence this was the driving force behind this year’s hike. The aim is to recruit 500 members and to raise a sum of $50 000.


What is the route of this hike?
We will start at Toa Payoh and the hike will end at Marina Barrage and it will last about 14 to 15 hours.

How much do participants have to pay?
Registration fee is $60. Of this, $20 goes to our beneficiaries – Lee Ah Moy Old Age Home and Alzheimer’s Disease Association. So this is like a $20 donation that comes with every ticket purchased.


What if someone wants to hike but cannot complete the 50km?
If they are unable to do so, they can also inform the road marshals along the route and they will be directed to Marina Barrage immediately. Concurrently, there is another event, “Big Family Day out” that is taking place at the same time in Marina Barrage. It is a big carnival that has performances to entertain the crowd. We even have the Minister of Manpower, Mr Lim Swee Say as the guest of honour for the closing ceremony of this event at about 8pm.



How did this spirit of giving back to the community begin for you, Kat?
I have always wanted to do something for the community but never got done to doing something about it. I always thought that making a donation would suffice. Last year, when Elissa approached me with this idea, I agreed despite knowing that it was going to be an arduous task.

This year, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and assumed the role as co-founder of this event. While doing this, I learnt that the time spent with the elderly is invaluable. These elderly do not even need us to communicate with them. All they want us to do is to have some physical contact with them, to hold their hands and to smile. It has been such a heart-warming experience and this has been the biggest motivating factor for me.
When I realised that amount of effort required to get this event running, I roped Prem in. As this required us to allocate most of our time for the event, we got to spend time together through this by researching for things and this even changed the way we thought about things.

How did you feel about this idea when Kat approached you, Prem?
When Kat asked me, I figured that the only way I could contribute was by helping with the logistics and management. I knew I would not be comfortable handling the paper work and this was my first experience with such events.



What was your reaction when Kat asked you for help?
I really like the idea. Last year, I helped out but was not part of the team. I assisted wherever they needed me. This helped me learn more about the running of the event. Thus when it came to this year, I decided to be more than a volunteer, and hence became part of the team.

What kind of working styles do you both have and how do you go about working together?
 Kat: I am more of the thinker, the one with the ideas.
Prem: I am more of the do-er, the one who gets things done.


How has this impacted your relationship?
Planning phases started 6 months ago. We have become as close as we can be. This experience has opened our eyes and made us communicate with each other at a deeper level as we talk about the social impact and the elderly.
 
 






 

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