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MCI (P) 098/06/2018












From Banker

To Baker 05



Greater Subsidies for SINDA Participants!

STEP Steps Up to STEP Plus

Hello Baby! A Welcome Gift for Families with New-borns


Dear Friends, It is an incredible honour for me to serve this rich, diverse and significant community of ours as the new CEO at SINDA. I am humbled by the opportunity, but at the same time excited at the energy and passion that empowers my colleagues to do magical things with our programmes, and ultimately make a real difference in the lives of all the people that we reach. As a career educationist, I have always believed that every child deserves the chance to shine. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today in this journey. At SINDA, we believe that unity is the foundation for progress for the Indian community. By collaborating with Indian organisations, community partners, donors, businesses and individuals, we deepen our relationships, share resources and reach the right people and engage our audience in an impactful manner. When we work together, we are definitely able to achieve greater heights, both as individuals and as a community.

This sense of community must begin at home. Families, especially parents—must inculcate strong moral values in their children and develop their passion for active learning early. For parents to be able to do this, they must have the appropriate skill sets, as well as the right mindset. To this end, SINDA has implemented various initiatives designed to improve the development and well-being of families. In May, we launched the Hello Baby Gift Bundle, to kick start early learning as well as welcome new parents and help them prepare for their parenting journey. Besides the usual baby care contents, the bundle has toys specifically to develop a child’s cognitive skills and spur a lifelong learning process that will serve them well in years to come. With a constant emphasis on a sound education to improve career choices, it is important that our Indian children begin their educational journeys on a strong footing.

I am also pleased to announce that SINDA programmes are now more affordable than ever. From 1 July onwards, families with a per capita income (PCI) of up to $1,000 can enrol in our programmes at no cost; those with higher PCIs need only pay a nominal fee of $10. This revision is made not only in the spirit of making our programmes more affordable, but also to maximise the benefits and opportunities for everyone in the community. Given such opportunities, we believe that each of us can discover his or her intrinsic potential and achieve greater progress. This progress is achieved through the cumulative effort of the community and our shared responsibility towards raising future generations of all-rounded and successful Indians. I look forward to working with the many stakeholders within and outside of our community, to ensure a progressive and meaningful future for everyone.

Anbarasu Rajendran Acting CEO, SINDA



• February 2018—July 2018

• Agatha Xavier

Looking Back




• Community Article: Domestic Violence

• STEP Steps Up to STEP Plus • Let Me Tell You a Story... • Yummy Science • Hello Baby! A Welcome Gift for Families with New-borns • To Love and Be Loved • Upbeat Parenting • All About MOUs • Rocking the Holidays

Editorial 05

What’s New • Greater Subsidies for SINDA Participants

Event Highlights

• SINDA Families have the Force! • Find a Firm Footing Through Futsal



• Braided Hex Nut Bracelet




One of Us

• SINDA LIONS Mohd Haashrol S/O M J


About Us

PUBLISHER Singapore Indian Development Association EDITORIAL TEAM Corporate & Marketing Communications Division CHIEF EDITOR Ravindran Nagalingam, COO, SINDA DEPUTY EDITOR Dhanasegaran Narayanasamy PRODUCTION EDITORS Priyaa Vasudevan, Manesh Rangarajan DESIGN & LAYOUT Green House Design + Communications PRINTER Stamford Press Pte Ltd, Licence No: L022/04/2012 TO SUBSCRIBE to SINDA Connections or inform us of a change of mailing address, send your updated home or office address to connections@sinda.org.sg. TO CONTRIBUTE towards the SINDA CPF Fund (to start contributing or increase contributions), please contact us at Tel: 1800 295 3333, or visit www.sinda.org.sg.



SYLP GRADUATION 27 youths graduated from the SINDA Youth Leaders’ Programme (SYLP) on 26 May 2018 at the UOB Ability Hub. SYLP, which began its 8th edition in January, encourages youth to explore societal issues and grow into social innovators who create positive change in society. These youths presented their work plans that tackled issues such as mental health, cultural development, youth empowerment and social responsibility.

LEATHER CRAFTING AND TERRARIUMMAKING WORKSHOP On 11 and 12 June 2018, 20 youths learned the art of leather-crafting and terrarium-making. They created elegant name card holders and key fobs, which they could choose to present as gifts or keep as tokens. In making their terrariums, the youths used succulents, fittonia plants, pebbles and ornaments to create beautiful works of art to proudly display.

HEALTHY MEAL PREP At the Healthy Meal Preparation workshop in February, 29 parentchild pairs learnt to prepare easy and nutritious meals. While spending quality time together, they picked up tips and tricks to whip up delectable dishes. Along with learning to use kitchen tools and cutlery, the younger generation also practised language, numeracy, science and problem-solving skills.




Domestic Violence By Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Education, and President, SINDA The family is the basic building block of our society. Most Singaporean families enjoy strong family ties, with 90% satisfied with their family life1. A strong family unit is one that is loving, supportive and united. Unfortunately, not all families enjoy stable relationships. Some are afflicted by violence, which can have long-lasting and detrimental effects on family members. Family violence is not restricted to any community or race. It occurs across the board. However, educational, ethnic and cultural factors may affect how people respond to it. According to PAVE (the Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence), among Indian families, the most common forms of domestic violence are spousal violence, child abuse and cases where adult children abuse their parents or vice versa. Victims are sometimes unwilling or unable to seek help. Some children may be too young to seek help; some elderly may be physically or mentally unable to do so. Women are especially hesitant to seek help, owing to a number of reasons: •

They believe that love and care will eventually change the perpetrator.

They are financially dependent on the perpetrator.

They feel that they have to tolerate the abuse for the sake of their children.


They fear their spouse’s reaction if they were to seek help.

Source: MSF, Families and Households in Singapore, 2000 – 2014


Such victims tend to suffer in silence, fearing the shame that may arise when their relatives find out, or out of guilt that they had done something to deserve this violence. Their ordeal may not be obvious to others, as victims usually conceal the pain and physical abuse. However, keeping silent about domestic violence or domestic abuse is not the right thing to do. First, if it is left unreported, the victims will continue to suffer. Domestic violence can persist, negatively impacting the victims throughout life. Children are severely affected by violence, both emotionally and cognitively. Research shows that children’s capacity to think or reason is diminished by the trauma of witnessing violence, with some studies suggesting that exposure to spousal abuse can damage a child’s ability to process and use new information. Hence, continuous exposure to spousal violence not only affects children mentally, but also academically, weakening their lingual and mathematical skills. Repetitive exposure to spousal violence can also result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children, which is sometimes not obvious to parents who are in constant conflict. Second, not reporting the violence also means that the person who committed the violence is not helped. Often, perpetrators of domestic violence are replicating what they witnessed when they were children. In other cases, they are venting their frustrations and anger on more vulnerable family members because they are unable to address or resolve the underlying issues which give rise to the anger and frustration. These people need help in order to change their behaviour. They need to understand that what they are doing is wrong, how much their actions hurt their loved ones and the high price the family pays for the abuse. In some cases, a criminal penalty or sanction is necessary.

In order to break the cycle of domestic violence, a proactive and enlightened approach is needed. •

Victims should have the courage to report it or tell someone who can help.

Perpetrators should have the courage to admit they have a problem and seek help to change.

The community should denounce the violence but be supportive of the victims, and also make clear to perpetrators that they must change.

While there is fear that exposing the matter is shameful or will result in punishment for the perpetrators, it is better to bring it to light, then work together as a family and as a community to address the problem. In the long run addressing the problem head-on is better than keeping quiet and leaving it unresolved.

Help is readily available for those who require it. •

Persons who need help can approach PAVE, Singapore’s pioneering domestic violence specialist centre, which works to promote a healthy community, free from violence. Its services are for victims, perpetrators, survivors and vulnerable family members such as children and the elderly.

Members in the community can also approach the SINDA Family Service Centre. The SINDA FSC is wellpositioned to offer families all-round assistance and counselling, including programmes for the families’ holistic development.

For children who live in violent homes, trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy is available in schools, family service centres and family violence specialist centres.

Family members who are victims of domestic violence can apply for the Personal Protection Order (PPO) or an Expedited Protection Oder (EPO) from the Family Courts. In extreme cases when the perpetrator poses a serious danger to the family, the courts can order the perpetrators to leave the home under a Domestic Exclusion Order (DEO).

Those who need legal advice or representation but who are unable to afford it can also approach the Legal Aid Bureau (LAB), the Community Justice Centre or the Community Legal Clinics.

We should work together to stop the problem of domestic violence and encourage instead a strong healthy environment of love and respect in families.




SINDA’s many programmes are now even more accessible, with the implementation of a new subsidy criteria that will encourage more families to enrol. As of 1 July this year, a full waiver of programme fees is offered to participants from families with a per capita income (PCI*) of $1,000 and below. Even those from higher-PCI families benefit, with a one-off commitment fee of $10 per programme per year replacing the previous regular fee structure. This means that for popular programmes such as STEP and Teach, students can enrol for as many subjects as they need, for a single $10 payment to cover the entire year, while approximately 441 existing students can benefit from free tuition. The new subsidy scheme targets higher participation from low and lower-middle income families. It advances opportunities for children, such as through our Literacy and Numeracy (LYNN) programme for 1,200 pre-schoolers, where an expected 60 percent will be entitled to full subsidies.

One happy parent welcoming this change is Mdm Jamina Banu. With three daughters enrolled in STEP who are eligible for the full subsidy, Mdm Jamina is looking forward to the savings. “Whenever they ask for something, more often than not, I’m not able to buy it for them,” she shared. “Now, this will come in very handy to buy them additional revision material, school supplies or even to give them a little extra pocket money.” PCI Criteria

Past Subsidy Criteria

Up to $650

Full Fee Subsidy

$651 to $1,000

Commitment Fee

$1,001 and above

Subsidised Fees

Non-Citizens and NonPermanent Residents

Revised Subsidy Criteria (After 1st July 2018) Full Fee Subsidy Commitment Fee ($10 per programme)

Programme Fee

* Per Capita Income (PCI): Total monthly gross household income divided by the number of household members. PCI is used by SINDA to assess the eligibility of individuals and families for financial assistance and programme fee subsidies.




Agatha Xavier, 37, left a successful career in finance after a decade, knowing exactly what she wanted to do: bake. Today, with training in classical French patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu, London, under her belt, Agatha’s elegant confections and signature brownies have made Lucia Cakes the go-to bakery for those in the know.

How did your interest in baking start? A: It started when, as a kid, I saw my mum making crème caramel. I could barely pronounce it, calling it “cameral” instead, but once I tasted it, I was instantly intrigued and wanted to be able to make it myself. After that, every time we visited my grandmother and aunts in Sri Lanka, I would learn how to make desserts from them. I still have the exercise book I used to write their recipes in. Lucia Cakes is named for my maternal grandmother. Her name was Lucy and she lived on St Lucia’s Lane in Sri Lanka. It must have taken a lot of courage to take the leap from banking to baking. How did your family react? A: They were incredibly supportive. They knew this wasn’t a fleeting interest since they watched me in the kitchen growing up—I used to find any excuse to bake for the family. At first, everything I made was almost inedible, but I kept at it because I loved the process and somewhere along the way, the cakes started tasting good! The idea of owning a cake shop took root the first time I made the ombre berry cheesecake. My dad fell in love with it and commented that I could make a living selling it.

How did your background in finance help prepare you as an entrepreneur? A: I was comfortable doing up a business model and stress-testing it, making cash flow projections and formulating risk analyses. I ensured that my business set-up was as small as I could have it, to minimise any real risk. The other good thing is that a lot of my excolleagues are very loyal customers now! What are some of the challenges you faced starting a business from scratch? A: Setting up a commercial kitchen was a big challenge, but I had a lot of help from friends who were already in the industry. Also, the guys who own The Coconut Club across the street from my store offered a tremendous amount of support and guidance—they had opened their business around the same time and were dealing with many similar issues. I also hadn’t placed much emphasis on marketing when I first set up, but realised this had to change very quickly, though it took a lot of time to develop this carefully and strategically. What is a typical day like for you now? A: Starting from 7am up to mid-day, we finish decorating cakes and package them for delivery or self-collection. Baking for the next day starts at 2pm and can end anytime between 9pm and 4am, depending on the number of orders we have. In between, I serve walk-in customers, respond to email requests, and liaise with vendors and suppliers.


The most rewarding part of this job is when customers get in touch to say they enjoyed our creations. A bonus is when they send photos of them celebrating with our cakes and brownies.

Sounds like a lot of time, effort and sacrifice. What is the best and worst thing about running your own business? A: It involves ALL your time and effort! I discovered this very early on in the process. It’s something you just have to accept in the first few years of starting a business. I work seven days a week and all public holidays, and most days I only get a few hours of sleep. The worst thing is that you will be stressed all the time. When it is busy, you are stressed because there is so much to do. When it is quiet, you are stressed because you need to figure out why it’s so and how to rectify it. Even when I am not in the shop or baking, I am still thinking about the business— what I can do to improve it, or what flavours and textures I can experiment with. It starts to impact your well-being. However, the best thing is that I’ve discovered strengths that I never knew I had. Another amazing thing is that I’ve realised how many people are willing to help, in any way that they can, and that I’m surrounded by so much love and support.

What has been your biggest kitchen disaster to date? A: We once had a power trip in the kitchen overnight and all the refrigerators stopped working. We had to throw out all the perishables in the fridges and called all our customers to explain why we couldn’t deliver cakes to them that day as promised. Have you ever felt that you made the wrong decision in making the switch? A: No. The most rewarding part of this job is when customers get in touch to say they enjoyed our creations. A bonus is when they send photos of them celebrating with our cakes and brownies. What advice would you give those who are thinking of pursuing their passion? A: Start small! Work out what your expenses will be and then multiply this by two or three times, because there will be lots of expenses that will come up that you never accounted for, or even knew about, and they will all be very expensive. Be very conservative with your sales projections. Then figure out whether you have the funds to sustain yourself and the business for one to two years. Not least, be prepared to pour in the hours yourself, so that you understand every facet of your business completely.



STEP STEPS UP TO STEP PLUS We’re all familiar with SINDA’s flagship tutorial programme, STEP. Since 1992 it has provided more than 70,000 children with affordable support in the core academic subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. Just last year, some 2,680 primary and 1,094 secondary students were enrolled in our 22 STEP centres across the island. Its success is seen in the ever-increasing number of students being recognised at the Joint Tuition Awards for Self-Help Groups. This year, STEP ups its game with an enhancement to its current programme: STEP Plus. With new elements and a renewed format, it targets both students and their parents, for the child’s holistic and sustained development. Taking a first-hand look at the enhanced programme on 2 May 2018 was Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also Chairman of the SINDA Board of Trustees. DPM Tharman dropped in at Bendemeer Secondary School to interact with the enrolled students and parents, and to catch STEP Plus’ two key strategies in action:

Empowering students Academic improvement is just one aspect of progress; now life skills and soft skills are as much needed before our youths transition to the workforce. Students will become active learners, taking charge of their own growth as they pick up time management skills, cyber-wellness competencies and healthy lifestyle habits, while boosting their emotional quotient and aspirations. Parents as pillars of support Parents will be engaged as key collaborators in their children’s development, aided by professional trainers and educationalists. Workshops showing them how to be the role models their children need and equipping them to create conducive learning environments and healthy homes are some of the classes on offer, so parents can more effectively nurture their children. STEP Plus is being piloted at five STEP centres this year. Look forward to 2019, when we should see it offered at all centres island wide!


Mar 2018


LET ME TELL YOU A STORY… Nothing quite captures the imagination like a story and who tells one more creatively than a child? Giving 46 pre-schoolers and lower primary school children a leg up in that department was a four-day holiday workshop in March. From hand gestures to facial expressions and making eye contact, the young participants were given the tools to express themselves freely and with confidence, through role play. By the end of the workshop, they had each designed their own stories and shared them using their new-found skills. One delighted parent, Saraswathy Sinnadurai, spoke about how her six-year-old son, Nirajkarthikeyan S/O Ravisanker has blossomed since then. “Prior to this, Niraj was always by himself, playing with his toys alone. Now, he has learnt to mingle with his classmates and speaks confidently,” he said.

YUMMY SCIENCE In an age of ubiquitous food photos, some students are looking at their favourite foods through a different lens: a microscope! On 14 March during the school holidays, 30 students aged 10 to 12 attended two workshops on pizza and sushi making. Piquing their taste buds and their interest in science, the programme melded the art of cooking and the science behind it. The morning session saw them introduced to bread-making, as they learnt about the science behind proofing and fermentation. Peering through a microscope, the students discovered the structure of yeast, before using it to make dough. The excited kids then got to punch, shape and bake their own pizza creations. Primary 5 student Rajasekar Srivin Gokul said, “It felt like I achieved something great when my pizza turned out well!” Sushi was the order of the afternoon and the kids not only picked up tips on the different properties of rice and which types best suit which cuisines, but also found out about plants and algae and their uses. Of course, they also got to craft their own sushi and savour it too!


Mar 2018

May 2018


Welcome to the family—new-borns in some 250 low-income families each year will feel the love not only from their nearest and dearest, but the SINDA community too. Greeting them in their first year of life will be SINDA’s new Hello Baby gift hamper, with $160-worth of activity play-sets to nurture their curiosity and cognitive skills. SINDA’s new initiative isn’t just for the babies, it also gets parents to bond with them. Building blocks with your baby builds a strong family unit too! On 22 May, Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance & Education and President of SINDA, presented the first Hello Baby hamper to launch the initiative. She said, “At SINDA, we are mindful that there are families out there who may not be able to give their children a strong headstart. When the children are still infants, it is vital to engage them … parents can use the Hello Baby hamper items to foster greater interaction with their children.”

These items are carefully curated to strengthen baby’s handeye coordination and motor skills, such as the baby play mat with overhead toys, and the colourful stacking blocks; they also aid baby’s essential early-learning, with eight board books for interactive communication. Following the hamper, a number of SINDA services will be made available to the families as well, so that baby receives support for their development right through their growing years. Benefits range from parenting and healthy lifestyle workshops to access to the Book & Shelf project (providing conducive reading corners and books at home) and financial assistance. Parents will be introduced to SINDA’s various programmes, helping them nurture their children from infancy to pre-school and giving them a flying start to formal education. Mdm Seema, mother of 11-month-old Mahira Nazar, was pleased to receive the hamper. “It’s good to know that we can rely on SINDA for holistic assistance,” she said. As Mahira plays with her new toys, the home’s already a little brighter and Mdm Seema is looking forward to taking an active role as the little one grows up. 11


May 2018

TO LOVE AND BE LOVED The bond between mothers and their children is never celebrated enough, so the outing on 20 May to the Singapore Zoological Gardens and the Night Safari was a special opportunity for some of them. Spending Mother’s Day at the Forest Lodge, 120 single mothers of Project Athena and their children enjoyed many family-themed games, including a quirky quiz between the mums and youngsters to learn more about each other. Participant Linda Anthony, 42, said, “The game between mother and daughter was very enjoyable—it helped me get closer to my kid.” To end the night, the children performed a touching impromptu song for the mothers, putting a smile on many of their faces. Capping off a memorable evening was a guided Night Safari tour. “Every segment was beautiful,” beamed a happy Nalayani, 32. “We loved every bit. Great job!”

UPBEAT PARENTING Raising kids is no walk in the park and that’s why a 'Parenting with Confidence' workshop held recently was such a hit. For the 62 parents who signed up to learn techniques to bring up and bond with their children, it certainly was empowering. One of these parents, 38-year-old Mdm Solachi, enthused, “I have a better understanding of the different methods of effective communication and discipline and feel more confident of having effective conversations with my children.” The series of four interactive sessions stretched from 17 March to 5 May, allowing plenty of practice at home after each module. Covering hot topics from disciplining children in a positive manner to teaching kids to be independent and resourceful, the programme was a welcome boost for the mums and dads. During the sessions, they worked through their parenting concerns with facilitator Ramesh Muthusamy from Raydee to Win, while their children were engaged in their own motivational and experiential workshops. “It’s given me more confidence in raising my kids,” father Jayabalan Suriakala affirmed. “I am more aware of my children’s aspirations and know how to help them develop their potential.”


May 2018

Jun 2018


Jun 2018


As of June 2018, SINDA has signed 12 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) are with our various partner organisations. If you’re wondering what these are about, here’s what you should know: What are MOUs? MOUs are agreements that SINDA signs with our benefactors. They specify collaborations that work to fulfil SINDA’s vision and mission–to assist those in our community who need help. Who are these partners who have signed MOUs with us? 1. SAA Global Education Centre 2. Singapore Press Holdings Foundation Limited (Tamil Murasu) 3. Singapore Institute of Materials Management (SIMM) 4. PSB Academy 5. Singapore Indian Education Trust (SIET) 6. Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Singapore 7. Singapore Airlines (SIA) 8. National University of Singapore Tamil Language Society Singapore Indian Education Trust (Saadhana Tuition) 9. Singapore Tamil Teachers Union (STTU) 10. AT Capital - Singapore Indian Education Trust 11. Joseph Tan Jude Benny LLP 12. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) - Singapore Indian Education Trust What do they do? Our partners help us in many different ways, including providing scholarships, bursaries or tuition support for our students. For example, Mr S Samikannu, President of the Singapore Tamil Teachers Union, shares: “STTU features SINDA’s programmes in our publication, Chutti Mayil, to inform students of the various enrichment and assistance programmes they can participate in. We also assist with the STEP Tamil tuition programme and conduct lessons to help students improve their grades.” Every MOU signed is a plus for the community!

You can say with certainty that your holiday really rocked, when you scaled rock walls, battled opponents in laser combat and fired off air rifles. For the 56 13- to 18-year-olds who took part in the June edition of the Holiday Engagement Programmes (HEP), these were what memories are made of. The 7 June outing to Home Team NS @ Our Tampines Hub was exhilarating from start to end. It was an opportunity to scale new heights—sometimes quite literally, as in the case of the teens who confronted their fear of heights to conquer the Clip and Climb indoor rock-climbing adventure. It was also a chance to foster new friendships and strengthen old ones, as when they teamed up to out-strategise each other in a Laser Quest challenge. Akshayaa d/o Arasur Prabhakaran, 13, loved the activities. Just as she had signed up for them after hearing only good things from her brother, she now enthusiastically recommends SINDA’s HEP to other Indian youth. Earlier on 1 June, Akshayaa had also joined other teens at the SAFRA Yishun indoor air rifle range. For most of them, it was their first time holding and firing a gun and they were thrilled to try their hands at this unique sport. Not all was play when it came to shooting—they picked up some life lessons too. Said Akshayaa, “I learnt that it is important to be precise, no matter what we do.” An enriching holiday experience indeed!



Jun 2018


Jun 2018


“The Dark side and the Light side of the Force. Choose your side. Run. It is your Destiny.” They came, they chose, they ran. On 5 May, a group of families from SINDA took part in the Star Wars Run in Singapore, joining over 10,000 runners in the second edition of the May the 4th Be With You Festival. The Dark and Light sides they chose referred to their preferred route of the 5.4 km non-competitive walk-a-jog that these 30 SINDA beneficiaries had signed up for. SINDA facilitated their participation to introduce them to a healthy family lifestyle and create an opportunity for them to bond. Whereas in some families it has become a norm for parents to head to the gym or for a jog without the kids, the Star Wars Run offered a chance for them to get active with their children, the youngest of whom was 4 years old. For first-time participant G Santhana, and family, it was an enjoyable experience like none other, where pyrotechnics lit the sky during their run. The carnival atmosphere at the F1 Pit Building was enhanced by the many costumed visitors, a tribute band performance and even a light sabre battle enactment! Resting after the run, our families also enjoyed a screening under the stars of the hit movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It was indeed a great way to bond and get fit together.

Instead of staying cooped up at home on your electronic gadgets, step out and get active outdoors! You won’t just benefit from the fresh air, but the new friendships that you will make too. How about honing your skills in the beautiful game of football? Come pick up core skills in ball control and passing from professional coaches every week and be mentored by volunteers who will motivate and inspire you to achieve your goals (in sports or otherwise!) The SFC, previously known as the SINDA Youth Football Initiative is reborn with a mentorship focus—it offers workshops and talks to help you score strong values and leadership qualities to complement your footwork. Consisting of two age categories: Under-18 and Under-25, the SFC kicked off in March with its first intake. Participant V Kaarthik, 13, appreciated the off-field guidance, saying, “The mentorship sessions taught me how to improve myself physically and mentally. I developed a mindset of going above my limits.” The next intake for the Under-18 Futsal programme starts in July 2018, where qualified coaches will train you in a 5-a-side futsal format over 10 weeks. The two-hour sessions are held at Kovan Sports Centre and is open to girls and boys.





3 strands of cotton twine, cut into 90-centimetre pieces

Is there a more versatile and inexpensive DIY material than a hex nut from the hardware store? Honestly, nuts braided into jewellery are genius! These bracelets can also be made with items lying around in your toolbox or odds-and-ends drawer. You can experiment with multi-coloured twine, beads and even charms! Here’s how to make your own spine-like braided hex nut bracelet.

18 small brass hex nuts




Gather the 3 strands of twine and tie a knot at the top. Leave about 5 centimetres of twine before the knot.

Start braiding. At about 3 centimetres of the way down, you will begin to braid in the nuts.

Thread a nut onto the far left strand; push it against the base of the braid, and cross the strand over the middle strand. Hold your thumb tightly against the base of the braid to keep the nut in place.




Thread on another nut onto the far right strand, push the nut against the base of the braid, and cross it over the middle strand. Again, hold your thumb tightly against the base of the braid, keeping the nuts in place. Thread another nut onto the far left piece and crossover.

Braid in the rest of the nuts until you are satisfied with how the bracelet looks.

Finish the bracelet with another 3 centimetres of braided twine and a knot.



To prevent the twine from fraying, you can wrap tape around the bottom tips.

The bracelet should wrap around your wrist at least two or three times. Trim it to your liking!

Adapted from https://www.trinketsinbloom.com/braided-hex-nut-bracelet-diy/


Read everything in this issue of SINDA Connections without skipping a page? Let’s see how well you know its contents!


Answer the questions below for a chance to win a $50 voucher. Simply submit your answers together with your particulars to SINDA Connections Contest c/o SINDA Corporate & Marketing Communications Division, No 1 Beatty Road, Singapore 209943. Your entries have to reach SINDA by 30 August 2018. This contest is open only to primary and secondary school students, who are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents. Three correct entries will win a $50 voucher each. The winning correct entries will be picked in a draw and the judges’ decision is final. Winners will be contacted by SINDA to collect their prizes and the winners’ names will be published in the next issue of SINDA Connections.


IC/BC No.:


School Level:

Contact No.:



Circle one answer for each question: (You can find the answers in the articles in this magazine) Question 1 Where were the two Holiday Engagement Programmes in June held? a) Home Team NS @ Bukit Batok and SAFRA Yishun b) SAFRA Yishun and SAFRA Mount Faber c) Home Team NS @ Our Tampines Hub and SAFRA Yishun Question 2 Where did Agatha Xavier formally learn pastry-making? a) Singapore

b) Sri Lanka

c) London

Congratulations to the winners of the previous contest! 1) Yuvashini D/O Puvannan Bowen Secondary School 2) Riya Roshini Mubarak East Spring Primary School 3) Rachel Jean Thariyan CHIJ Kellock

Question 3 What was the distance of the STAR WARS Run? a) 4.2 kilometres b) 2.4 kilometres c) 5.4 kilometres

About Us VISION To build a strong and vibrant Singaporean Indian community together MISSION To build a well-educated, resilient and confident community of Indians that stands together with the other communities in contributing to the progress of multi-racial Singapore VALUES Respect, our culture Integrity, our foundation Service, our promise Excellence, our pursuit



Term Trustees Ms Indranee Rajah Patron Mr Ravi Menon Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Mr R Jayachandran Mr Girija Pande Chairman Mr Gautam Banerjee Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam Mr Ravinder Singh Life Trustees Justice Judith Prakash ​Prof S Jayakumar Mr K Kesavapany Mr S Dhanabalan Mr Viswa Sadasivan Mr S Chandra Das Mr Shabbir Hassanbhai Mr J Y Pillay Mr Timothy Chia Mr Sat Pal Khattar Mr Piyush Gupta Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam Dr Sudha Nair Mr K Shanmugam Advisors Dr N Varaprasad Dr Vivian Balakrishnan Mr S Iswaran Mr Vikram Nair Mr Murali Pillai

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President Ms Indranee Rajah Vice Presidents Mr Shekaran Krishnan ​Mr K V Rao Secretary Mr Sarjit Singh Treasurer Mr R Subramaniam Iyer Members Dr Joshua V M Kuma Mr R Chandra Mohan Mr K Ramamoorthy Mr Sarbjit Singh Mr T Thambyrajah Mr Darryl David Mrs Rathi Parimalan Mr Mohamed Nasim Dr Rakhee Yash Pal Mr Ramesh Narayanaswamy


IN HIS WORDS What is one piece of advice you have received that you would like to pass on to others?

Haashrol: “It’s never too late to change. Everyone has choices. I’ve made wrong ones and had to undergo probation, but I chose to change—if I can do it, anyone can. Believe in yourself and don’t doubt that you can change for the better.


MOHD HAASHROL S/O M J Three years ago, Mohd Haashrol S/O M J was under probation and his future was under a cloud. Today, he’s embarking on a polytechnic course, having captained the SINDA LIONS football team, now called SINDA Football Club, to triumph in 2016 and 2017.

Mohd Haashrol knows what it feels like to be treated as if he’s too young to make decisions for himself. It may have made him feel small, but it was also the impetus for him to prove himself to everyone. Fortunately, he had help along the way— from family, friends and even SINDA. He shares, “My family never gave up on me, so I decided to change my ways to make amends for everything I’ve put them through.” Turning to SINDA when he was stressed, he found not just solace in football, but empowerment too. Looking back, Haashrol is grateful for his teammates’ acceptance—“They did not distance themselves as if I were a bad influence, but kept me occupied so I wouldn’t revert to my old ways”—as well as team manager Mr Rajiv’s support.

Everyone is tired of hearing this, but studying really is important. I just completed my NITEC and believe it or not, I’m going to poly. I did it, why can’t you?”

Initially reluctant when he was appointed captain, Haashrol discovered leadership qualities and strengths which helped him lead the team to be crowned champions two years in a row. Likewise, he was spurred to do well in ITE and improved his GPA from 2.8 to 4. At first he thought it was “ridiculous” for a NITEC student to try to get into polytechnic, but once he realised it was possible, “All I had to do was work hard and get some help from my friends and teachers,” he says, determination shining through.


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