Ground-up initiative tackles resettlement issues on the ground
“While the relocation meant getting a brand-new home, not all welcomed the news. Being forced to move brought about anxiety for the residents; some felt their sense of community and way of life were under threat.”
Cassia Resettlement Team Head and Co-founder
In February 2017, the Cassia Resettlement Team (CRT) was formed to “help resettle residents, connect the community and advocate for better relocation practices.” Made up of volunteers, the ground-up group soon discovered that many of the tenants were elderly.
CRT Head and Co-founder Lim Jingzhou says their common struggles quickly surfaced: “CRT was first and foremost a response to the needs on the ground that we experienced and felt from the residents,” explains Jingzhou. “We could do something about it, no matter how small our contribution.”
"Small”, would hardly be the word to describe the contribution that CRT’s volunteers have made to the lives of the more than 300 residents they have served since 2017. Despite limits on time and resources, CRT has managed to plug gaps in national support services, by facilitating links with rather than replicating professional social services.
Regular volunteer Kao Cui Lin says CRT is unique because it engages with a breadth of organisations ranging from social services to healthcare services, from grassroot groups to government agencies, and from schools to religious organisations.
Cui Lin explains why she volunteers: “The ethos that everyone has a role to play in community building really resonated with me...CRT gives me purpose, and a sense of belonging. There’s admirable leadership, transparency, attention to detail, and the sincerity of the team, who go above and beyond for the residents.”