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Archive for the ‘Community Work’ Category

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and friends sharing good food, company & exchanging exciting gifts!

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays of the year as it reminds people to spend quality time with their loved ones and cherish them. To me, Christmas has always been exciting because of gifts exchange with close friends and family since I was a wee tot! Who doesn’t like to receive gifts?! I’ve always enjoyed gift giving to people whom I love as a token of appreciation to them and seeing their faces when they receive their pressies! (specially hand picked for them) 🙂

This year, I’d like to also spread the holiday cheer to those less fortunate in Cambodia as well as I’m embarking on this charity project called Project Light which is endorsed by Rotary Club Singapore & Rotary Club Siam Reap Angkor. Project Light has first chosen this village – Kachangkoy (I’ve visited this village in August this year) to help provide better living standards to the villagers. At present, many villagers do not have the means to afford electricity for lighting and they often use the cheapest form of lights such as gas lamps or candles which can be a fire hazard. Project Light aims to provide households with solar lighting to improve their socio-economic situation. With solar lighting it gives children the opportunity to continue their studies once the sun sets, women the ability to cook proper dinners, reduces their fear of the dark and improves security, gives monetary savings for the villagers as they don’t incur costs from using solar energy & reduces the carbon footprints to help Mother Earth.

As a Singaporean, we have been born into a rather fortunate environment where electricity is freely available to us and we take for granted simple things like lights. Once it’s dark, we flick on a switch in our rooms to turn on the lights – many villagers in Cambodia and numerous parts of the world don’t even have this simple flick of a switch. Lights has always been an integral part of our lives and we never (I too never) realized it until its been experienced on our own. Imagine us complaining once there’s a blackout for more than 10 minutes. These villagers permanently live in blackout conditions once the sun sets. So, I do hope that everyone of you out there can help out in this charitable cause to help these 300 households in Kachangkoy light up their homes.

Every donation of SGD$100 will help provide solar lighting for one household and also give them hope to improve their lives for their future generation. And for every household you sponsor, you name will be recognized by Learning Journeys (Cambodia) Foundation. So please donate generously and give the villagers in Kachangkoy something to smile about!

This project will embark by March 2013 and we hope you can help support this good cause to make Project Light a success!

And if you would like to join me in the installation of solar lights and obtain more information on sponsorships, feel free to email me, Jessica Tan, at bridgingbordersasia@gmail.com

For more information on Project Light kindly visit this website Project Light and to sponsor a family under Project Light kindly complete this application form Project Light Sponsorship Form

Spread the love!

XOXO
Jessica

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NO SHARKS FINS SINGAPORE!!!

Hey everyone!

Please join in my effort together with plenty of divers out there to support this cause. Please try to stop/reduce consumption of Sharks Fins as we need these Apex predators in the sea to maintain an equilibrium in the Eco-system.

Official campaign launch by Ocean Geographic will be at ADEX 2012 at Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Seeya there!

XOXO
Jessica

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It’s 7:30am in Singapore on a Sunday morning and I’m wide awake, and I thought the shot of Choya I had last night would help me sleep past 8am! My mind is still reliving the last 2 weeks I spent in the Bahamas & Miami and my body is still yearning to be back there. Well good things always have to come to an end right?

Flashback to February 29, woke up equally early at 7:30am, went to iHop for a hearty  breakfast of fluffy double blueberry pancakes and off to squeeze in “some” afternoon shopping at City Place in West Palm (our last grasp of civilization) before boarding our liveaboard, MV Dolphin Dream, for the next 10 days. All of us went on board with hearts filled excitement and certain amount of apprehension as the idea of interacting with wild dolphins and being surrounded by large sharks (and maybe a Tiger Shark or two) was a total new territory for us. After sailing throughout the night for 8-10 hours, we are finally in the Bahamian waters. Time to start the adventure!

The first 2 days of the trip began with snorkelling with wild Atlantic Spotted Bottle-nose dolphins – something that I was really looking forward to as I simply love dolphins! Decked up only in a bikini covered by a rash-guard with snorkelling gear, I jumped into the frigid 23 degree-celsius Atlantic Ocean (I’m a tropical water girl mind you!). When you first get into the water, your mind curses you for doing so, but once you start finning really fast and hard towards the dolphins and begin playing with them, the chill is soon forgotten. The thing I found out about these dolphins is that they are highly intelligent mammals and get bored easily. If your focus is to take a photo if them and not play with them, they will just ignore you and swim off. Luckily I was out there with the motive to play with them! My first encounter with them was really exhilarating – one of my lifelong dreams is to play with dolphins in the wild – and now I’m  doing exactly that! A small pod of 6-8 of them came up to our group of 4 snorkellers (we were the first 4 to manage to swim up to them) and the free divers dove underwater and started interacting with them. At that point I only knew how interact with them from the surface by waving my bandanna at them and had no clue how to free dive. The numerous times that I tried to free-dive I just ended up chugging sea water :(. That first encounter was fantastic but I wanted more… Went in for another encounter with a different pod of dolphins and tried my best to free dive with them again hoping to get a close encounter with one and yet again I ended up with drinking more sea water! After the first day of dolphin encounter ended, I went up to the free divers and asked them what’s the trick to free diving to hopefully gain some tips and do it!

Day 2 with the dolphins, fresh from a good night’s sleep and determined to enhance my encounter with them. We found ourselves a pod of 3 dolphins, though numbers were small they were very interested in playing with us amidst hunting for fish hiding under the sand on the sea bed. They came really close to everyone this time and there’s this one young one (the older they get the more spots they have on their bodies like age-spots) that kept playing with me! I tried to free dive again, this time round I was successful! I twisted and turned with this young one underwater and it came up close right beside me signalling that it wanted a pet from me (apparently if they don’t want to be touched, no matter how close you are to them, you will never be able to touch them). I reached out and stroked it! As I was stroking it on its back, it gradually rolled over for a belly rub from me! I was so happy I could feel tears forming in my eyes (or maybe it was the sea water in my mask)… that few second encounter felt like time just paused and everything was in slow-motion. After it got what it wanted for me, it darted off to play with other people (short attention span I must say). Shortly, it came back to look for me again! Tossing and turning with it underwater and I reached out to touch it again and it let me – I have made a friend! How do dolphins feel like? One word – rubbery. That encounter made my day and I can tick off another item in my bucket list.

After those 2 days of swimming with the dolphins, it was a day of choppy waters and bad weather so we were stuck in the boat with no diving nor snorkelling. Captain Scott of Dolphin Dream decided to play a video he made a few years back on numerous years encounters he filmed on the dolphins. Through that video, we learnt from a first hand encounter (much better than those shown on Animal Planet) how these dolphins recognize people and actively go up to him to play just like puppy dogs! There’s a number of these dolphins that Captain Scott named and knew them as friends, in the hand-held video, you can see them going up to him for long belly rubs, pet on the head and sometimes a naughty nudge or two. Usually camera shy, they actually played and made “funny faces” at his camera! They would pick up the bandanna that Captain Scott passes on to them and they will play “pass the bandanna” from one dolphin to another from dorsal fin to tail fin to the side flipper and back to a human again! They got so comfortable with Captain Scott that they even brought up their babies to play with him and he would know their whole family tree (although the father of the child can never be determined). He even managed to record dolphin foreplay & sex (rated RA)! He related that the dolphins that play with us are usually the full grey young ones (that explains my encounter) and the older ones will just sit back and watch on the rest of the pod to make sure they are safe. Over the years, he watches the dolphins grow up, have their own children and they will bring their children back to him to play. They are just like his children and grandchildren. Captain Scott stopped interacting with his dolphin friends a couple of years back when he became the only captain for the boat and thus couldn’t go into the water anymore. I can see in his eyes how he misses his interaction with them.

2 days of dolphin encounter wasn’t enough for me but we had to move on to the next thing of the itinerary – the Tiger Shark and my photo shoot with the sharks for the upcoming “Sharks are Friends” campaign. I had to say goodbye to my newly made dolphin friend and wonder whether it will remember my encounter with him/her just as I do… (tears well up in my eyes again but this time its sad tears)

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wl_puppymillphoto11This picture was taken from this website: http://dead-cockroach.xanga.com/691798365/the-puppy-mill-link-exchange-project/

And it really saddens me how some people with no love for animals simply see this purely as a business transaction. Literally it is a factory to churn out puppies for sale. The BIG difference is that this factory is producing living things that have feelings and emotion. Unlike an ipod or a car coming out of a factory.

That is why I advocate to a lot of people not to support purchasing puppies from puppy farms in Pasir Ris or commercialised pet shops as most of these places are merely profit driven and get their puppies from puppy mills like these. Plenty of times these puppies are not well treated or bred and a lot of them are inbred leading to genetical defects. Those are the ones that U will never see as they are killed off. Many dog owners don’t know this horrible side of commercial pet shops.

Even puppies on display in brightly lit pet shops in shopping centres of puppy farms are not kept the proper way. Cages often have grills as the base so that their pee & poop will just seep down to keep the cage cleaner. However, these grills are not good for the formation of puppies paws & legs, and problems resulting from this will only show much later in the puppies life. Hence, sometimes paying a slightly higher price to get from a more reliable pet shop or home breeder is the bettter option. As those are the people who truly love animals and will treat them like their own “child” until they’re sold (hopefully to responsible pet owers). The place where I got Mika is one such shop. I was impressed how they mother all their puppies and keep them in a seperate room not displying them outside for the puplic to see. The shop will only take out a puppy to show you only when U are a serious buyer. This shop also takes care of unwanted dogs & cats and the resident pets in the shop look like they were rescued. The proof of a true animal lover.

I hope that this can help change minds of people and make the lives of other living things a better one other than us humans.

Be an animal lover like me!

XOXO

Jessica

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www.teamhoyt.com

This is one fatherly love that is hard to break. We all should learn from him. This video really brought tears to my eyes.

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8 Days Car Boot Sale 2008

Hello!

8 Days had their 2nd Car Boot Sale event to raise money for charity again this year on 7 Dec, Sunday and I was there with Elvin Ng.

Video Footage

Here’s some pics from the event!

P.S. I’ve not yet scanned the pictures from the magazine but will get down to it soon!

XOXO
Jessica

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Hello!

Just completed the SGX Bull Charge earlier n it was so fun cos there were doggies!!! One of the runs was a Dog Run. How I wished I could’ve brought Mika along!

Yvonne-jie & I are the Ambassadors for the run this year. It’s so nice being able to participate in such charity runs; the children from MINDS did a wonderful hip hop dance performance! I was impressed! Pretty sure they can do hip hop a lot better than me! And it was also interesting to see big bosses from various companies running together having fun!

Prior to the run, we also visited St Vincent’s Home at Waterloo St and played Bingo, sang songs with the old folks living there. It felt like a nice family welcoming us to their home! 🙂

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Here’s the pics from the run…

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Bull Charge2.JPGOur wonderful guys that ran with us to make sure we were ok! Thank U!

Bull Charge5.JPGYvonne-jie & ! were each given a clay bull that’s all individually
hand painted by the 18 charities sponsored. Each of the 18 bulls are
unique in design! I love mine! It’s soooo beautiful!

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Bull Charge3.JPGMika staring at my Clay Bull!

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XOXO
Jessica

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