Updated: Mar 21
Happy New Year to all! During our three-week hiatus from social media, the 3Pumpkins team found time to recharge, reflect, and rehash…Now we are back to bring more connectivity to the world!
First, a word of appreciation to all our supporters (like & share!). In our last “This is Us!’ community fundraiser, many people stepped forward to contribute to TTKC. With individual donations ranging from $1 to $5000, we were able to hit our fundraising target of $40,000 in less than two months! These contributions really showed us that the public believes in this emerging work. We are so thankful for your trust in us.
In 2022, our core work remains Tak Takut Kids Club (TTKC) as we continue to develop this child-led community space at Boon Lay Drive. Although TTKC has been around since 2019, it was only in August 2021 that we began an official partnership with the Ministry of Social and Family Development- Comlink@Jurong West. We are now a key partner in an integrated support system to engage and empower children and youth.
So what does TTKC do actually?
A cornerstone of our practice is our participatory and responsive nature – TTKC programmes evolve as we observe and respond to the community’s needs. At the same time, the work is informed by our role and limitations within a larger social ecosystem.
Below is a summary of what we do:
Community and Outreach
Co-creating programmes that nurture children and youth towards their personal potential.
Partnership and Comlink
Collaborative effort with other stakeholders to achieve 1-3.
While the above framework is adapted from the National Youth Work Competency Framework conceptualised by the National Council of Social Service, TTKC’s unique ethos lies in its community & outreach methodology. We build our understanding of the children and their families through the substantial amount of time we spend with them in play and in conversation. With this understanding, our developmental programmes are tailor-made for groups of children that share similar aptitudes, backgrounds and problems. Being in the position to listen to the children’s everyday complaints also enables us to flag emerging problems to their parents, teachers, peers and social workers before these problems turn into actual crises.
What’s coming up?
In the first half of 2022, we are excited about a few developmental programmes happening both inside and outside the neighbourhood.
In March, we are exhibiting This is what we eat at home in the March On! Festival, presented by The Esplanade. For this work, several children and youth were empowered to document their caregivers cooking a favourite home dish. In this way, the project serves as a platform for families to connect as well as remind us of the very unique challenges, beauty, and cultures that make up each family.
Behind the scenes for a house visit (This is What We Eat at Home)
For the next project, we shift our senses to the outdoors. We are extremely happy to be once again commissioned by the Heritage Festival to present a work in May, this time about community gardens. So, what does it mean to have a children’s garden in the neighbourhood? How does a garden connect children to their local heritage? We will be discovering the answers to these questions over the next few months.
Weekly composting @ TTKC
Besides these two public-facing projects, TTKC will also continue the development of our community ‘getai’ which has been slowly taking shape since June 2021. Through this weekly routine of comedy, dance, drama, music, movie and performance art extravaganza, the facilitators act as the creative companions to support the expression of each and every child who comes to TTKC. The community getai is presented under Seeing the Obvious, an annual community place-making project where we highlight what is overlooked in the neighbourhood. In this case, it is the communal routine of performances where young children hear and see others, as well as be heard and seen by others.
Shadow puppetry: Oogabooga Man during the weekly Getai
To end this note, I would like to share with you a fable called The Rooster Prince which I find very inspiring and significant to describe the relational work that we are doing at 3Pumpkins. Wishing everyone a very fruitful 2022.
3Pumpkins-Tak Takut Kids Club
The Rooster Prince
Once upon a time, in a distant land, a prince woke up one day and imagined himself to be a rooster. Sitting under the table naked, he refused any form of food except grains for the roosters. The king sent for the best physicians, specialists, magicians, monks…… but none could cure the prince.
One day, an old man presented himself at court. “May I try to heal the prince?” The king agreed, and to the surprise of all present, the old man removed his clothes, and joining the prince under the table, began to crow like a rooster. The prince found a friend in the old man and they began living together as roosters.
After some time, the old man started to put on a shirt one day. The prince was shocked. He asked the old man, “Are you crazy? Are you forgetting who you are? You really want to be a man?” The old man replied in a gentle voice, “You mustn’t ever believe that a rooster who dresses like a man ceases to be a rooster.” The prince thought about it, and agreed.
The next day, both dressed in a normal way.
The next day, the old man sent for some dishes from the palace kitchen. “What are you doing?”, protested the prince. “Are you going to eat like them now?” The old man allayed his fears, “Don’t ever think that by eating like man, with man, at his table, a rooster ceases to be what he is. You can do anything with man, in his world and even for him, and yet remain the rooster you are.”
The prince was convinced, and he resumed his life as a prince.