Here at Geneco, we strive to be more than just an electricity retailer. Through our social initiatives, we want to make meaningful contributions to individuals and society alike where we embrace the values of sustainability, giving and positivity.
This is especially important now. With daily news surrounding the COVID-19 situation, spirits have been dampened with lives everywhere becoming increasingly difficult and stressful by the day. Learning about businesses going into recession and figures of retrenchment, it seems difficult for most of us to remain positive.
In the current climate, we choose not to be bogged down by negativity and pessimism. Instead, we at Geneco believe in the importance of focusing on what we have and what we value to power through this period.
Our intent is to motivate, uplift and inspire Singaporeans during this period, seeking ways to power different qualities such as togetherness and love within their lives. We want to show people that despite these difficult times, there remains many opportunities to uplift and empower those values within ourselves and those around us.
With this in mind, we launched #PowerTheChange – a social campaign aimed towards seeking out inspiring qualities shown by ordinary Singaporeans. Featuring stories of strength, compassion, and unity displayed within our communities, we hope to motivate Singaporeans as we weather this challenging time together.
One of the featured profiles was David Hoe, founder of Project Stable Staples – a ground up initiative helping disadvantaged households who have lost their incomes due to the COVID-19 situation. By sending them weekly grocery vouchers, the initiative hopes to provide each home with some “stable staples” every week.
David Hoe during his teaching days
Coming from an underprivileged background himself and losing his mother at a young age, David received plenty of help from his peers and mentors who helped him through his difficulties to become a teacher and eventually a Community Partnerships Officer with MOE, where he supports students from disadvantaged families. His gratitude and mantra of ‘paying it forward’ was what inspired him to start Project Stable Staples.
To date, David’s project has supported more than 266 families living in rental flats, with his social initiative set to help even more.
David chose to power kindness.
Founder of fashion label, Minor Miracles, Dawn Bey hand stitching masks to raise funds for migrant workers
Another inspiring story was from Dawn Bey, founder of Minor Miracles who displayed empathy and compassion in reaching out to employ fashion graduates who are unable to find jobs due to the current situation. Dawn and her new employees put their sewing skills to use by stitching and crafting face masks using leftovers from Minor Miracle’s signature colourful fabrics to be sold to the public.
All profits made from selling the masks were subsequently donated to charities supporting migrant workers and community services.
Dawn chose to power compassion.
Homemaker Helen Goh, spending time with her grandchildren using video call
Last but not least is a homemaker who led an exciting life. Helen Goh was a business owner, a manager and held many other jobs throughout her working life. She adapted quickly to changing environments and constantly learned new skills to stay relevant.
Even as a grandmother now, she has not forgotten that learning is a lifelong pursuit. To stay connected to her family during the circuit breaker, Helen familiarised herself with technology and video call apps so that she could continue seeing her children and grandchildren, even while they are apart.
Helen chose to power progress.
Aside from sharing such inspiring stories in times of gloom, Geneco is also committed to make a difference within the community. Our #ChangeMakersSG programme promotes collaboration between ourselves and other green advocates. In this spirit of partnership and togetherness, we want to do our part by supporting our ChangeMakers’ initiatives, creating a cohesive community to reach out to the disadvantaged around us.
Refash, one of our ChangeMakers, was facing difficulties when all nine of their retail outlets were forced to close as part of the circuit breaker measures, causing the brand to lose its revenue streams. Fortunately, Refash was able to quickly turn the situation around, by sourcing for 3-ply masks to be sold to the public as an alternative revenue stream to keep their business alive.
To support of our ChangeMaker, whilst understanding the crucial need of masks among Singaporeans even after the Circuit Breaker period, Geneco purchased 15,000 masks from Refash to be distributed to the less privileged in Singapore. To bolster this initiative, we also brought The Food Bank SG on board to help distribute these masks as they deliver food to vulnerable communities.
Aloysius Sng from Refash packing the masks before they are distributed through Food Bank SG’s channels
Besides powering togetherness with Refash and Food Bank, Geneco has not forgotten to power sustainability, one of the core values which remains crucial to us.
Our ChangeMaker, ComCrop, is Singapore’s first rooftop greenhouse making use of advanced hydroponic techniques to farm their vegetables, which allows them to utilise 90% less water than traditional farming methods. With these tools at hand, ComCrop aims to build a sustainable future whereby Singaporeans can have access to healthy and locally produced food from their supermarkets.
With the current COVID-19 situation, many countries have been placed in lockdown, inevitably causing a disruption in our country’s food supply chains. As a result, ComCrop is currently standing at the forefront of our country’s food production efforts to maintain our nation’s food security, while at the same time fulfilling the government’s ’30 by 30′ goal: cultivating enough food locally to meet 30% of the country’s nutritional needs by 2030.
However, with the rising demand placed on local farmers, ComCrop’s rooftop greenhouse is experiencing a greater strain to increase production, as they continue to cultivate fresh and pesticide free produce to feed Singapore’s nutritional needs.
To do our part in strengthening sustainable food production in Singapore, we at Geneco have also committed to subsidise ComCrop’s electricity bills for a year in support of their sustainability efforts.
ComCrop team members posing with their rooftop farm
We hope that our #PowerTheChange campaign will inspire Singaporeans to choose positivity as we emerge gradually from the various stages of our country’s lockdown.
Each person’s story is different, and every scenario distinct, but with the correct mindset and motivation, each one of us has the opportunity to inspire different qualities of goodness within our lives, and to the lives of those around us.
Together, we can join hands to power change in many different ways.
What will you power today?
Click here to watch the video
by Alvin Chong
Each year on May 15, we celebrate International Day of Families by appreciating the importance of families around the world. This year, a different set of circumstances has presented abrupt changes in our day-to-day routines for many of us, as we observe safe-distancing measures.
However, this also provides a great opportunity for family bonding as we spend more time with each other. In between juggling the “new-norm” of working from home with new household demands, we may in fact be spending less quality time with our families than we expect.
Therefore, let’s make this a special day by creating conscious efforts to continuously support and care for each other. Here are four tips to help you keep family a priority:
It isn’t always easy for parents to work from home. Children may require plenty of attention from their parents during working hours. Some may even feel neglected due to the lack of attention despite their parents being home all the time.
Therefore, try to explain the situation with your children. Start the day by having a chat with them to explain your work schedule. This way, you can continue your day with the assurance that your child understands the time limitations imposed upon you by work commitments.
To complement this, draw up a structured timetable for the kids to follow. Should they need your help with schoolwork along the way, set aside some time within both your schedules to address them. Letting them understand your work schedule whilst demarcating your out-of-bound hours should help set the boundaries for you to get work done as well.
You can even make your own timetable at home this weekend simply by reusing materials around the house and embark on a green craft as a family.
It’s easy to lose track of dates and forget important occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays when you have been staying indoors for an extended period. Set reminders on your calendars, bookmark these special days and make plans to show your loved ones the care and concern they deserve. After all, nobody enjoys being forgotten and neglected, especially during this stay-home season.
To celebrate these occasions at home, consider holding an indoor themed party for the family or whip up their favourite dishes as part of their birthday meal!
For extended relatives and family members you may live apart from, surprise them with their favourite meals using food deliveries for a simple yet effective way to show them how important they are to you. Just remember to be sustainable by picking the “no plastic cutleries” option whilst ordering!
As your workload increases, you may find yourself too busy to enjoy mealtimes with the family. Consider taking a step back to savour and focus on these moments that most of us tend to take for granted. As such, set aside a little time to connect with each other will no doubt go a long way to strengthen ties between family members.
You can plan for special dinners over the weekend, and get the whole family involved in the meal preparations. Add a finishing touch to your dishes with homegrown herbs, such as basil or mint, from your very own food scrap garden, making the meal extra meaningful and delicious!
Staying at home also makes for an excellent opportunity for families to attempt new activities together, such as trying new workouts that you previously didn’t have time for. Not only will this help you stay active and fit, you’ll get to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest. From yoga and pilates to intense cardio sessions, there is an abundance of workouts online for families to choose from.
If fitness isn’t your thing, consider other activities such as watching a movie you have been putting off or picking up new creative skills like painting as a family. You can upcycle items around the house and work on a green craft to keep the kids entertained. Activities that you can embark on include crafting your own indoor playground or making building your own grocery store using cardboard boxes. Such shared experiences create opportunities for bonding, while offering an element of fun to life during this stay home period.
We understand navigating new routines and working around changes during such times may not be the easiest, but we believe this period also offers valuable lessons and reminders of what’s important in life. After all, families are the most basic unit of society. Cherishing every moment with yours should be a priority, especially in times of uncertainty when you’ll need each other to weather the storm.
From our families to yours, Happy International Day of Families!
Image Credits: Nylon Coffee Roasters
Source: The Sustainability Project
a month against regulated tariff