National Day Human Library

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At our human library, instead of borrowing a traditional book, borrow a human “book” to have small group conversations!

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At our human library, instead of borrowing a traditional book, borrow a human “book” to have a small group conversation.

Ask about their lives and initiatives; find out why they started it and what keeps them going.

Note: Registration closes on 7 Aug (Sat), 11pm. Max 8 participants per room (2 rounds x 40 minutes).


Room 1 - Joo Hymn & Carissa Cheow

Joo Hymn is a facilitator, storyteller, trained early childhood educator, trained lawyer, mother and a volunteer at AWARE for over 20 years, including being a past President. She is currently the project director for Birds & Bees - a workshop for parents on how to talk with their children about sex, consent and relationships.

Carissa (she/her) is a community organizer by circumstantial necessity, a multidisciplinary writer, an aspiring political theorist, and a student of public policy. She seeks to center those of us on the margins for whom institutions weren’t designed to care for, such that community organizing for alternatives becomes a necessity.

Room 2 - Lim Mui Ping & Hidayat

Muiping is a social designer and illustrator. She has led several participatory-based works, co-creating design solutions to improve people' lives. She is part of Participate in Design (P!D), a registered non-profit design, planning and educational organisation that helps local neighbourhoods and public institutions design community-owned spaces and solutions.

Hidayat lost his sight a few months before his 19th birthday. Picking his life back up was like scaling a slippery wall. His various pursuits included being a massage therapist, national athlete and theatre actor. He works part-time at Dialogue In the Dark Singapore as a project guide/facilitator.

Room 3 - Basil Kannangara & Lingyi

Basil is a community innovator who facilitates inter-faith and inter-racial dialogues. He heads Being Bridges, a social enterprise that develops tools for such dialogues. Basil is the co-editor of Being Beings, a community newsletter which uses shared stories to build a more versatile diversity, and is working on Being Community, which aims to facilitate conversations on racial and religious discrimination.

Lingyi, a healthcare worker, founded Before Beyond, a website that empowers people to navigate mortality-related issues confidently and provides comfort and guidance for people who are grieving. Before Beyond was born out of Lingyi’s grief of losing a loved one.

Room 4 - Shivaji Das & Mathilda Ho

Shivaji is the author of four travel memoirs and photography books. His latest book is ‘The Other Shangri-La.’ Shivaji’s work has been featured in TIME, Economist, BBC, Asian Geographic, etc. He is the conceptualizer of Global Migrant Festival and Migrant and Refugee Poetry Contests and is the Managing Director-APAC for Frost & Sullivan, a research and consulting company.

Mathilda is Founder and Partnerships Coordinator at Advocates For Refugees - SG (AFR-SG). Prior to AFR-SG, she volunteered with Amnesty International Australia to organise awareness and fundraising events, to promote understanding and rights for aborigines, refugees and asylum seekers. In 2015, an encounter with Rohingya refugees spurred Mathilda to establish AFR in Singapore, in the same year as the Andaman Sea Crisis.

Room 5 - Faridah Bte Rashid, Palvindran Jayram & Anusri Subramaniam

Faridah is an active community contributor animating bottom-up initiatives in the Redhill neighbourhood, spreading the spirit of Gotong Royong since five years ago. She is known as the unofficial "MP" for Redhill. Her life is a "zero to hero” story. Faridah is trained as an ABCD Guide, and volunteers with organisations like South Central Community Family Service Center (SCC) and Beyond Social Services.

Palvindran has been working as a Community Social Worker with South Central Community Family Service Center (SCC) since December 2015. His role involves journeying with residents in things that they are passionate about and harnessing their gifts to make their communities a better place. His key areas of work are in Community-led initiatives and Community Narratives.

Anu has been involved in local mutual aid efforts for about a year now. She learnt loads during the process and have built amazing relationships in the community. It’s really prompted her to rethink the way charity is viewed. She hopes that more people would incorporate mutual aid in their daily lives as a show of solidarity and sustained giving.

Room 6 - Sam & Alanson

Sam started a learning community, The Nature Club, in late 2020 which hosts monthly sessions (mostly around books & art) at the Central Public Library. This sproutied from the belief in a shared space to process ecological grief - and its many, many intersections and forms - and uncover the stories and discourses that liberate us.

Alanson took charge of his family's matters and finances since serving NS. Having spent his formative years moving up and down the social ladder, he experienced living in different conditions, and now hopes to put his experiences into good use. He is part of Merpati Kakis, a ground-up initiative that works with rental flat residents on Merpati Rd (near MacPherson MRT) on mostly resettlement and grants.

Room 7 - Haziqah & Aanya

A psych kid at NUS and active mental health advocate, Haziqah started her mental health advocacy page to begin a movement to fight against the mental health stigma. Along this advocacy journey, she has realized that mental health is a systemic issue. Beyond raising awareness and normalizing conversations for mental health, Haziqah hopes to enact real social change to address the systemic gaps of mental health in singapore.

Aanya is a budding student entrepreneur who runs Art:Connect (since June 2020). She is currently studying in grade 10. Art:Connect aims to connect the student community and healthcare, and has collaboated with healthcare institutions on projects such as senior buddy programs. Through Art:Connect, Aanya hopes encourage students and positively impact the lives of patients/residents.

Room 8 - June Chua & Elijah Tay

June founded The T Project with her late sister Alicia, which supports the transgender community by providing holistic social services, including a temporary homeless shelter. June also founded the Alicia Community Centre, Singapore’s first drop-in centre for transgender people.

Elijah is an LGBTQ+ activist. They founded My Queer Story SG, Queers of LH, Huh, got this thing ah? and co-founded MehMeh Singapore. Elijah protested in the #FixSchoolsNotStudents movement. They are currently a Sociology undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and a Red Dot United Youth Wing representative.

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Organiser National Day Ground-Up Party

Organiser of National Day Human Library

Want to explore Singapore's lesser-known social and cultural stories in a fun and experiential way? Join us online for our third National Day Ground-Up Party, Singalore!

Our activities include:

  • Human Library: chat with human "books" about their experiences in spaces like community building, accessibility and LGBTQ+ issues
  • Breakout Activities: such as a sharing on Singapore’s hidden natural beauty, local food culture and a virtual treasure hunt
  • Fringe Activities: games/chit-chat rooms for you to hang out and make friends

Drop by anytime on 8 Aug (Sun) 10am-10pm, even for a 5-minute game or chit-chat. Be prepared for a quirky online experience! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for the latest updates. Join our Telegram chat for on-the-day updates e.g. which activities still have space.

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