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Archive for June, 2008

29th June 2008 saw us holding our inaugural workshop with Jumpstart, a programme catering to those from the low-income bracket. Seven ladies formed a core group, and participated jovially as we nervously yet sportingly guided them through the process in Chinese – admittedly posing a language barrier for some. Nevertheless, they were extremely forgiving, and all in all had a good time learning this new skill.

We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly as well, despite the initial preparation stress, given that it was our first ever try.

Soap-making is fun! (:Participants exercising their hand musclesSoap-making workshop in progress

Soap-making demonstration

Soap-making demonstration

Having had a sense of satisfaction of finally beginning our first step of public outreach, we would like to thank Jumpstart – particularly Ms Susan Thien – for extending their warmth and support, and look forward to working more with them in the future.

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On 13 June 2008, six of us – accompanied by our faithful, never-tiring teacher mentor – trudged down to Drama Box’s operational base in Chinatown.

A non-profit mandarin theatre company-cum-charity, Drama Box has a reputation for its ability to heighten social awareness and promote civic responsibility, especially through highlighting pertinent environmental issues.

Following a brief presentation of our project aims and progress, we sought to discuss details pertaining to the public event in August, known as Project Mending Sky: Me, as well as plans for school-based outreaches. Having kindly consented to collaborating with us by providing us a platform for project publicity during these events, we worked out certain things, and are very grateful to them for their altruism.

Drama Box presentation

Drama Box presentation

Drama Box presentation

Drama Box presentation

Drama Box and Oiliet - group photo

Drama Box and Oiliet - group photo

Visit Drama Box’s website for more information.

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Q: What do onion, basil leaves and cumin powder have in common?

A few days ago, 3 June 08

A: They are just 3 of the 24 fragrances we tried out today!

Heating oil to a higher temperature

Heating oil to a higher temperature

Preparation of fragrances

Preparation of fragrances

Today, 6 June 08

A: They were just 3 of the 20+ fragrances we tried out a few days ago!

Taa-daa!

Soaps still in their little plastic cups

Soaps still in their little plastic cupsSoaps popped out - so pretty!

We experimented with so many different fragrances hoping to find the ones that could cover up the smell of the used cooking oil. Fragrances included onion, orange juice, lemon rind, coriander, cumin powder, honey, pandan leaves and 5-spice powder. From just these few examples, one can tell that we chose these random fragrances based on their availibility – they are all items commonly found around kitchens/households. The fragrances provide both smell and colour. However, the fragrances are not very effective in ridding the oil smell.
Experimenting with fragrances was fun and squeezed our creative juices as we racked our brains thinking of as many fragrances to use as possible. The adding of personal fragrances will be an attractive bonus to soap-making, yay!
So many plastic cups, all one shape. It’s high time we start using moulds – perhaps plastic agar moulds? (:

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During the June holidays, 6 of us went to the Junction 8 Office Tower to meet Ms May Tan and Ms Cynthia, staff of WINGS, the Women’s Initiative for Ageing Successfully. WINGS is one of the many organizations whose members under their wing (pun unintended) – mostly homemakers in their 40s and beyond – we hope to eventually involve in our local oil-to-soap movement, as they have some agency over household recycling in their own homes.

This meeting was to present our project to the two ladies, then propose to hold workshops with the WINGS members. It was a very productive one, with both ladies being extremely agreeable and supportive, and by the end of it we were told to do up a final proposal for an workshop, to be inspected by the WINGS Board of Directors as a final approval to have the workshops conducted in August this year.

The 6 of us taking turns to present our project to WINGS staff

From left: Gloria, Sam Lee, Yu Jin, Jiayi, Ms May Tan, Ms Cynthia, Yu-Jia, Talia

Absent from photo: Brenda, Samantha and Mrs Lee, all of whom were either overseas or had other pressing commitments to see to.

For more information about WINGS, please go to their official website, http://www.wings.sg/en/.

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Jumpstart is another non-profit organization, with members consisting primarily of homemakers from low-income families, which we extended our outreach too. On the very same day we met the WINGS directors, the 6 of us then proceeded to meet with Ms Susan Thien and Ms Evelyn of Jumpstart for the same purpose – to present our project, and subsequently ask for their permission to organize workshops with the ladies under Jumpstart.

Presentation - Jiayi and Sam

Presentation - Talia and Yujia

Presentation - Yujin and Gloria

Likewise, it was an extremely fruitful meeting, with both ladies being extremely enthusiastic about the idea of teaching their members how to make used oil into soap. More so, they felt it would be extremely pertinent in the case of these ladies, mostly from relatively humble backgrounds, as soap-making was home-based (which allowed them to make soap while babysitting, which was the day jobs of most of them), cost-effective (since recycling was involved), and easy to pick up.

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