Projects & Activities - Community Year 2009

NEA-MediaCorp Semakau Run 2009

RAS is deeply honoured and thankful to be one of the six beneficiaries for the annual Semakau Run held on 8th August. The third charity run was jointly organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and MediaCorp. Gracing the event, Guest-of-Honour Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources not only flagged off the run but joined in the run as well. After the run, he shared with us about the 5-star Happy Toilets at Caltex Petrol Stations and expressed his wish to see 5-star Happy Toilets at coffeeshops soon when he visited our exhibits.

After the prize presentation to the runners, Dr Yaacob unveiled a commemorative book entitled "Habitats in Harmony: The Story of Semakau Landfill" to mark the 10th anniversary of Semakau Landfill. The book and an exclusive memento were given to companies as an acknowledgement of their contributions to the run. This year, a record number of 43 companies took part in the run and pledged S$359,000 to support the beneficiaries. The funds will go a long way in supporting the six beneficiaries including RAS. With the funds, RAS will continue to push for cleaner and user-friendlier public toilets for all ages. RAS has been actively participating in every run since 2007.

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Young ChangeMakers Conference (YCMC) 2009

RAS was invited as an integral resource partner for YCMC 2009 held on 18th - 19th July at the Singapore Management University. This conference aimed to engage youth participants to plan and execute a community project for one of the fourteen organisations including RAS. After the opening ceremony officiated by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Teo Ser Luck, the Chairman of National Youth Council, RAS conducted a workshop on restroom etiquette and restroom-related projects which participants can embark on such as R&D, case studies, design of collaterals, games and outdoor hands-on projects on restroom initiatives.

In the afternoon, participants were exposed to firsthand volunteer experience on a site visit to the Night Safari restrooms. Participants were first briefed on the procedures of assessing the cleanliness of the restrooms and eventually tasked to complete our self-assessment checklist on the cleanliness, effectiveness and maintenance of the restrooms in terms of its entrances, hand wash areas, water closets, urinals and general areas.

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RAS consolidates findings and recommendations from the Inter Agencies Working Committee (IAWC) members

After the introduction of the three new sub-committees (Owners and Operators, Cleaners and Contractors, and Users) at the second IAWC meeting on 11th February, each sub-committee has been actively holding bi-monthly meetings to discuss and brainstorm for innovative solutions. The Owners and Operators sub-committee members were updated on our Happy Toilet Programme (HTP), LOO Awards, Building & Construction Authority (BCA) restroom designs and latest restroom products and services. Apart from information updates, the members were very active in providing findings and proposing recommendations on the cleanliness of toilets.

The Contractors and Cleaners sub-committee members have also been updated about our HTP and the Restroom Training Specialist Course (RSTC) conducted by World Toilet College. The members also devised a possible provision of insignia for uniforms worn by toilet cleaners. A pilot training programme with a Town Council will also be conducted and evaluated by October. The Users sub-committee have been focusing on the means of inculcating good toilet etiquette among the young with one of the sub-committee members, the South West Community Development Council, planning to launch a photo gallery of clean school toilets in their district. The sub-committee aims to extend their reach to all schools - especially those who have not participated in our Happy Toilet School Education Programme - to participate in our new school education programme on toilet cleanliness and hygiene. The next meeting on 8th July will see all the three sub-committees coming together to share their findings and recommendations.

Asian Water Symposium

Our President was invited to the Asian Water Symposium on 18th June to share with more than 100 students on water-saving tips and good toilet etiquette. The conference was organised by the Waterways Watch Society in collaboration with Dunman High School, to leverage on Singapore International Water Week (22-26 June). The conference was themed "Can you do without water?" and targeted at students aged 15-20 with experts invited to share and speak about climate change, environmental protection and most importantly, water-related issues.

Dr. Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Water Resources was invited as the Guest of Honour to grace the opening of the event in the morning. During the breakout session in the afternoon, our President, Ms. Tan Puay Hoon, spoke about our initiatives and invited students to take our toilet survey. After the breakout session, our President also sat in as one of the panel speakers for the dialogue session. During the session, she urged the students to use water responsibly when visiting the toilets and also shared with them about the latest technologies like waterless urinals.

Health Education Seminar

The introduction of the three new sub-committees (Owners and Operators, Cleaners and Contractors, and Users) was successfully initiated at the second IAWC meeting on 11th February. Held at the JTC Summit Building with the kind support of our venue partners, South West CDC, our member representatives were introduced to their committees and offered the necessary guidelines to work together with their fellow industry professionals. The sub-committees have pledged their commitment to answer the challenge of helping to raise cleanliness of public toilets to a healthy standard of 70% by 2010.

At present, the Owners and Operators, Contractors and Cleaners and Users sub-committees chaired by RAS, Environmental Management Association of Singapore (EMAS) and Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) respectively have privately met to discuss possible terms of reference and the challenges ahead along with introducing initiatives that tackle the problem of dirty toilets from the three main fronts. RAS thanks each member representative for their time and enthusiasm for the cause and look forward to a job well done when the main committee convenes at the end of the year.

"Toilet Cleanliness Week" Campaign

RAS was invited at the request of the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to an environmental health seminar organised by the Ministry of Education and held at Methodist Girls' School on 4th June. The theme of the seminar was "Building Bridges for Health Education, Exploring Possibilities". RAS showcased exhibits on its Happy Toilet School Education programme for preschools, primary and secondary schools. Brochures and collaterals were also distributed to teaching staff from over 300 schools to provide them with handy information on the benefits of participating in our school education programmes.

This health seminar was aimed at providing a platform for schools to share innovative practices in health education; discuss ideas for developing good health habits and attitudes in students and to network with other participants for potential collaborations to support their health literacy. During the seminar, HPB also showcased witty anti-smoking TV-advertisements from Thailand and an anti-smoking skit produced by a group of local students. Everyone benefitted from the session that will enable them to infuse new ideas and approaches to environmental education initiatives in their respective schools.

Second Inter Agencies Working Committee Meeting

The introduction of the three new sub-committees (Owners and Operators, Cleaners and Contractors, and Users) was successfully initiated at the second IAWC meeting on 11th February. Held at the JTC Summit Building with the kind support of our venue partners, South West CDC, our member representatives were introduced to their committees and offered the necessary guidelines to work together with their fellow industry professionals. The sub-committees have pledged their commitment to answer the challenge of helping to raise cleanliness of public toilets to a healthy standard of 70% by 2010.

At present, the Owners and Operators, Contractors and Cleaners and Users sub-committees chaired by RAS, Environmental Management Association of Singapore (EMAS) and Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) respectively have privately met to discuss possible terms of reference and the challenges ahead along with introducing initiatives that tackle the problem of dirty toilets from the three main fronts. RAS thanks each member representative for their time and enthusiasm for the cause and look forward to a job well done when the main committee convenes at the end of the year.




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