21 YEARS OF COLLABORATION
By Bro. David Carmona,
The Lodge Zetland in the East's Charity Steward
10th of September 2022
Toa Payoh Rise, Singapore
21 years of collaboration between the Lodge Zetland in the East and Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH)
(Used with permission from WM. Dr. Suresh Babu) - Part of the Zetland delegation with SAVH’s staff, Ms. Janice Tan
(first from right). From left to right: WM. Dr. Suresh, WBro. Victor, Bro. Abdul Aziz, W.Bro. Kenneth, Bro. David, and Ms. Janice
The Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) is an eminent Singaporean welfare organisation for the visually impaired, founded in 1951. SAVH aims to foster, enforce, and defend the needs, interests and aspirations of the visually handicapped in Singapore by helping its members to acquire new skills and teaching them to be self-reliant to facilitate their integration into Singaporean society.
SAVH and The Lodge Zetland in the East have been collaborating for twenty-one years since the late W. Bro. Alan Ching, a Past Master of Zetland, who was himself visually handicapped, decided to start the Zetland-SAVH Scrabble Jubilation Games. Those Games are held yearly, and the principle is to have several SAVH’s visually impaired members play a game of Scrabble against a group of Zetland’s Brethren together with their families and friends.
This year, the Jubilation Games were held on the 10th of September 2022 at SAVH, Toa Payoh Rise, Singapore, and a large number of SAVH members and Brethren attended since more than forty-five people participated. Zetland collected S$10,445 in donations to SAVH. A significant part of this amount (i.e., S$5000) came from the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago’s (DGLEA) District Board of Benevolence (DBB).
This year, SAVH used donations to support the International White Cane Day Carnival (IWCD), which it organised on the 15th of October, 2022, in its headquarters. IWCD aims to celebrate the
achievements of visually impaired people and the important symbol of blindness and tool of
independence, the white cane. During the Carnival, members of the general public visit SAVH, engage with the blind community and participate in the numerous activities proposed by SAVH, such as dining in the dark or mobile massage. The numerous booths provide food and beverages and organise activities for children. SAVH consider IWCD one of its most important events of the year since it is one of the few occasions where the blind community can directly interact with the general public, articulate its aims, objectives and achievements, and explain the struggles and difficulties that a visually impaired person might face in Singapore.
Used with permission from SAVH) - Some activities for children duringthe IWCD 2022
To support SAVH and IWCD, a delegation of Zetland’s Brethren (W. Bro. Kenneth Woon, Bro. Al Hafidz Bih, Bro. Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Hamid, Bro. David Carmona) headed by the Worshipful Master, Dr. Suresh Babu, attended the event. W.Bro. Victor Lim, the District Board of Benevolence liaison officer at Zetland, was also present. Moreover, some Brethren brought their families and friends with them.
SAVH warmly welcomed the Brethren, introduced them to the numerous on-site activities, and
informed Zetland that more than 2,000 people attended this year’s IWCD, which was the highest
attendance number since the event started. The Brethren had snacks, lunch, and tea together. Some of them even participated in the Carnival games and won many prizes. Consequently, the IWCD was an excellent occasion and opportunity for Brethren to meet outside the Lodge environment, know each other on a more personal level, and better understand the daily struggles of visually impaired people.
(Used with permission from SAVH) - A music concert held during the IWCD 2022