Students' Take: Project Daya continues to build self-sustaining programmes



By Nur Nadirah Lim, Year of 2022

Since Project Daya (Overseas Community Involvement Project Batam) started in 2014, we’ve been working to improve the lives of villagers through community health education with our partners at Peduli Bangsa, an Indonesian NGO. We aim to find out more about the needs and health concerns of the residents in Kampung Air and Kampung Baloi Kolam, two slum villages within Batam city, and craft self-sustaining programmes to empower them to lead healthy lifestyles. A 16-strong LKCMedicine team comprising students from Years 1 through 4 went on this trip.  

We spent the first half of the first day going through our education materials with the new translators joining us on this trip. Through role-playing in smaller groups, the translators learn what an ideal outreach teaching session in a villager’s house is like and become familiar with the teams they’ll be working with.

Our main tasks in Kampung Air were to reinforce the villagers’ knowledge of chronic illnesses and to teach them about common gastro-intestinal illnesses. Based on the assessments of past trips, the villagers’ understanding of chronic illnesses is indeed increasing. Through interactions with the villagers, we discovered gastro-intestinal illnesses is prevalent in the village, so it’s a topic we’ll keep covering as part of our outreach programme. 

For our first outreach programme in Kampung Baloi Kolam, we focused on chronic illnesses as well as mosquito-borne diseases. Based on our fact-finding mission to the village on our previous trip, we found out that incidents of dengue and malaria are quite common. The response from the villagers we have visited thus far seems promising, and we hope we can continue to pursue our outreach efforts there. Currently, our reach only extends to one section of the village, but we are seeking permission from the village leaders to gain access to other parts of the village. 

In tandem with the outreach programmes for adults in Kampung Baloi Kolam, we also have a children’s programme, focusing on mosquito-borne diseases. We put on a skit, and incorporated important learning points, such as places where mosquitoes breed and how to prevent them from doing so. We also wrote a song, that we taught to the children at the end of the skit, so that they could remember the important points of our skit better. By the end of our session, it was heartening to hear some of the children singing the song to themselves as they left. We also taught the children some common English verbs and phrases, and gave them the opportunity to apply what they had learnt through some short simple activities, such as charades. 

All in all, this trip has been a fulfilling one, from planning to execution. Having the opportunity to embark on an outreach journey with a new village makes us excited about what we can do there, but also extra careful that we use what we have learnt from our experiences with Kampung Air, to do better in Kampung Baloi Kolam. With the Year 1s more settled in, and having our seniors back with us as well, this trip has definitely been a good one for us.