Toa Payoh Trail

CAPT students had the opportunity to embark on the Toa Payoh Trail offered by Thinkscape under The Thought Collective on two occasions, once during March 2014 and also during Freshmen Orientation Camp 2014. The trail brings participants through a section of Toa Payoh neighbourhood and aims to provide them with a better understanding of spaces and possibilities. Participants were encouraged to approach the trail with an open mind and use their keen sense of observation to look at the infrastructure provided and the intentions behind such designs. In addition, we were privileged to have the opportunity for a house visit with one of the residents staying in a rental block in the area. This session aims to enable participants to gain a deeper understanding of not just the Toa Payoh community, but their own community as well. SI also looked into how the lessons we have gained from these trails can be applied in the context of improving the CAPT community.

"Through the course of the SI trail, I have become more sensitive to the needs of the community around me, from those less fortunate and even to my immediate surroundings. I feel more inspired and motivated to do things to help my immediate community, which might just be small things like offering to help, or even asking for help. I have learnt that interaction and engagement with our community is not only ideal if we wish to live in a safe and life-giving environment. I really thought that the trail was very well thought out, and each station taught me lessons that I never thought they would. For example, standing and looking at the design of the 3 different HDB flats and trying to analyse the circumstances and events that have happened around them. I also appreciated the spontaneous visit to the uncle in his own home, and asking him genuine questions about his life. His lack of hope in life have made me more resolute in my own aims in trying to bring joy and hope to others' lives. And I think that after the trail, it has made me more confident in trying to make such small changes in my life, and in the lives of those that surround me daily as well, such as my family and friends."

- Cabrini Tan, CAPT SI member

"This trail was an eye-opener for me because I really felt immersed into the Toa Payoh community as I was encouraged to feel as if this was really the neighborhood that I had belonged to. Through hearing the stories of residents from the facilitator as well as first-hand from residents, I had a deeper insight into how it is like to be a resident here, instead of just a passer-by or an outsider. I really appreciated how we were given time to pay attention to our emotions and thoughts instead of diving straight into technicalities. This is because only through an in-depth understanding of the community can we even begin to plan initiatives and solutions to really cater to them. Through this trip I also felt empowered as I see how seemingly small and simple solutions can stir life into a community where people are distant and alienated from one another."

- Pearl Lee, CAPT student