Sunday 2 June 2013

A Kindness Day to call our own

Kindness Day SG will be celebrated on the last Friday of second school term to allow more schools to be involved
By Alfred Chua, TODAY, 1 Jun 2013

Instead of simply urging Singaporeans to be kind, the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) is taking a different approach this year and celebrating the Singaporeans who are already taking matters into their own hands and championing kindness in daily life.

These efforts mark the first Kindness Day SG — themed A Nation of Kindness Starts with One — which was launched yesterday evening by Dr William Wan, General Secretary of the SKM, and Mr Koh Poh Tiong, Chairman of the SKM.

Several kindness initiatives were lauded yesterday at the launch, along with businesses which partnered the SKM in developing their own initiatives to champion the kindness cause.

The initiatives included the popular While You Were Sleeping and The Morning Greeters campaigns.

While You Were Sleeping is a social initiative that encourages students to place a note of encouragement and a snack for their peers who have fallen asleep while studying. The Morning Greeters are a group of avid runners who greet people on their morning runs in parks around Singapore.

While Singapore in the past marked World Kindness Day in November along with other countries, the SKM decided to create Kindness Day SG — to be celebrated every last Friday of the second term on the academic calendar — so that more students can take part in the celebrations.

Dr Wan said: “Previously, many students were unable to participate because of exams. So we consulted with the Ministry of Education and this was most suitable to get all students on board.”

Despite the change in dates, the focus remains.

“This is all about reminding us here in Singapore … that kindness is our business — not somebody else’s business,” said Dr Wan.

He added: “A nation of kindness can only come about when we choose to first start with one — ourselves.”

In addition to the launch last evening — which also saw the lighting up of a giant floating daisy on the Singapore River — celebrations took place during the day at schools.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat visited North View Primary School, where students and teachers put up a play to illustrate how acts of kindness can be learnt.

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