To celebrate International Migrants Day on 18 December, the Gardening portfolio worked with charity organisation Sama Sama to set up a gardening booth as part of the festival at Kranji Recreation Centre. At our booth, the migrant workers used cleaned plastic bottles to make self-watering planters, with Neon Pothos cuttings. Afterwhich, they decorated their planters with paint and kuti-kuti and took them back to their dormitories.
We gathered at Kranji MRT at 2.45pm, and reached Kranji RC at around 3pm. Once there, we immediately set up our booth: transporting items from the storeroom, laying out the materials like plastic bottles and paints, and filling up our water jugs.
As the migrant workers filed in, some coming from buses, some coming on bicycles, a mix of exhilaration and nervousness began to seep in. Yes, we knew we had done our best in obtaining the materials (eg. We collected and cleaned 100 plastic bottles in three days!!), but what if there was something essential we had overlooked? Or, were the number of plastic bottles enough, the soil enough, the potted plants enough (we only had two)?
“I guess we might need to close shop early, if we run out,” Afraa (our Gardening Director) said grimly.
But the real challenge, we realised, was attracting people to our booth. Wisia and Miwen began creating a pretty planter, hoping that in the process, passers-by could be attracted. Then they paraded the compound carrying the rainbow planters, inviting anyone who looked interested to come see our gardening booth. Terese also invited over anyone who cast us a cursory glance. And the crowd grew, the crowd itself attracting a larger crowd! Looking at the scene unfolding before us, a sense of accomplishment, pride and relief filled our hearts.
By bringing back this vibrant, easy-to-grow wonder-in-a-bottle, we hope that the long-term care of this plant would help our new friends find a new outlet for relaxation.
No doubt, this experience was an enriching one for all. Some migrant workers even imparted their gardening know-hows and tips to us, which we are grateful for.
Altogether, this was a thoroughly meaningful experience, and we are excited for more to come.
Booth by Gardening portfolio
Written by: Rachel Siew and Terese