FRIENDS For Good: 5 Questions with Literacy Initiative for Equity (LIFE)

by Halalfoodhunt Oct 26, 2016

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This whole of October we at are putting good causes up in the forefront! $5 from every sale of every FRIENDS Cards goes to five causes. This time, we get to know Literacy Initiative for Equity (LIFE) better. They are a young organisation with a passionate cause- to support vulnerable kids through a dynamic education. We'd love to help them out a bit because we believe in this cause too!

Some of us may have been raised by tiger mums, whose kiasuness made us go to piano classes, swimming classes, tuition and many more. Some of us may have the privilege of owning a computer since young. Believe it or not, if you have experienced all this, say thanks to God because you have been given blessings that many have not. Because of this privilege that we take for granted, there is an underserved population that Hana wants to uplift. Having been around for one and a half years, let's see what LIFE is all about.

Why did you start your organisation?

I started researching on the relationship between educational achievements, self perception and poverty because of several experiences. One of the most significant ones was the time I spent at the Reformative Training Centre (RTC) as a teacher for youth delinquents. It left a huge impact on me. The youths at RTC are really intelligent, however, they really do not believe so. Probing further, family and financial issues were a norm amongst them. I continued researching more in this and made it a topic for my research project when I was doing my masters. In 2012, I decided to further delve into this issue on a much deeper level. I went to New Zealand to further this. I noticed the correlation between urban poverty and educational gaps, and that educational gaps between the different social classes are made worse by policies and systems such as meritocracy and standardized testing. In 2015, I came back to Singapore to collect more data. With all this data, I thought that action is better than words, so I decided to put the data to good use. I started a social initiative, initially just focusing on giving books out to preschool children. However, as my team grew, we decided to do more, and in March 2015, the research gave birth to what we now know as Literacy Initiative For Equity or LIFE SG. I believe that every child deserves to be given whatever they need to ensure an equal and fair opportunity at achieving success regardless of their background and circumstances. We have been blessed to have many people volunteering during the initial start up and more coming forward to help maintain. Currently our core team consists of: Hana Saemon, Founding President, an Educator and PhD candidate Zafirah Haron, Co-founder, Vice-President &Secretary, who works as a trainer Rasyidah Abu, Co-founder, Treasurer, who works as a designer Aydan Aiman Lee, Assistant Treasurer, a student and owner of a pet grooming and boarding business Syaza Irfani, Assistant Secretary, an early childhood educator


What would you use the funds for?

The funds will go towards the children's weekly lessons and excursions. As the lessons are free for all beneficiaries, we need to ensure we have sufficient funds for materials, facilities’ fees and so on.

What does friendship mean to you?

Friends are the family we were not born with. They are important because they keep us sane. However, it is important not to choose the wrong one. I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my best friend who has been the most supportive person I have ever known, who has never failed to be there for me when everything around me is crumbling - Azyan Suhaili Azhar. Love you babe!


What does food mean to you?

Food is a great way to get everyone to bond. The social action that comes with it is important, whether it is with family, friends, colleagues or networking. Otherwise, in my opinion, it's just fuel for our body. But right now, I'm really hooked on Stuff'd. Haha.


What is the one thing your organisation would need more support in?

Do follow us on Instagram @life_sg, and get to know about our cause. Drop by to volunteer. Right now we really need laptops to get our kids to become more familiar with computers! Do pass us your used laptops!

If you like what LIFE does, support them by getting a FRIENDS Rewards Card here! $5 from each card goes to five causes, including them in the month of October! The FRIENDS Rewards Card enables you to get discounts at more than 40 halal places in Singapore and online too.

WANT TO SEE MORE OF SUCH ARTICLES? SUPPORT US! is a website listing verified Muslim-owned or Halal Certified food businesses. We started out educating halal foodies on how to know if a food is halal or not when there are no halal certifications. As we received so many enquiries on whether a food business is halal or not, we created, while letting halal foodies know about the myriad of options open to them! It is a website created and self-funded by local Singaporean Muslims for the Singaporean Muslim community.

Friends Card

If you like what we do, get yourself a FRIENDS Card! The FRIENDS Card allows you to get exclusive deals, invites and savings of between 10-20% at over 60 halal food businesses in Singapore, for only $18/year, including halal restaurants, cafes, bakeries including online e-commerce businesses in Singapore. We want to encourage foodies to explore eating at new halal places. So if you like what we do and want to support us, get a FRIENDS Card for yourself!

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