On Saturdy, 25 March 2017, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA), in conjunction with Very Special Arts (VSA) Singapore, held it’s annual Joint Flag Day. This Flag Day promised to be one with a difference, and both organizations delivered on that note.

DPA once again used Project Tintin, an app developed by ThoughtWorks, which has brought the tracking of donation tins to the 21st Century. Yet, this was not the same version they used last year. After piloting the app with two other voluntary welfare organizations on their Flag Days DPA and ThoughtWorks enhanced and improved it. Through the previous version of the app, the tedious, and tireless process of manually tracking donation tins was simplified through the innovative use of QR codes. By simply scanning out the tins, the organisers were able to keep track of the movement of donation tins, and have an overview of how the Flag Day was progressing. The newer version of Project Tintin has additional time-saving features, such as allowing supervisors to give a series of tins at a time and the creation of roaming stations that could re-stock collection centres that had run out of donation tins. The app also proved to be popular amongst the various organizations that came to watch it in action.

Meanwhile, at Westgate Mall, an exciting carnival displaying the talents of VSA members was in full swing. This is the first time that a carnival has been done as part of Flag Day. The carnival introduced VSA’s artists in performances of dance, music, art and song. The carnival aimed to give the public an insight into the work that VSA, and DPA do in the disability space in Singapore, and how the performing and literary arts can enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities. This showcase was designed to give volunteers and donors a direct connection to where their time and money is going when they support DPA and VSA.

Out and about in all parts of Singapore, our amazing group of volunteer Flag Sellers – both persons with / without disabilities – set out into the blistering sun and then torrential rain with their donation tins to spread the word about the joint Flag Day, and encourage the public to donate to the cause of inclusion. The bad weather was not exactly conducive to soliciting donations and even if they did not collect as much money as previous years, we would like to thank our Flag Sellers for putting in a great effort.

While the Joint Flag Day ended at 6pm, the work was not yet over! With the help of volunteers from Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Cognizant, the counting process went smoothly, and Flag Day was wrapped up without a hitch.

DPA, and VSA would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all volunteers, sponsors, performers and supporters for making this Flag Day such a meaningful and engaging event.

Both organizations would like to thank the following performers for making the carnival such a success:

Victoria Chinese Orchestra, VSA Ukelele Group, VSA Percussion Group, VSA Creative Dance Lil’ Wings, Ng Tung Hei, Thong Keen, Michael Ooi, Raymong Lau, Bryan Lim, Joshua Xiong, Lauren Yeo and last, but certainly not least our fantastic emcee Patrick Wee who donated his time for this event.

DPA and VSA would once again like to thank the following sponsor: