Since 2019, the Our Heart for Singapore Learning Gallery, together with our partner primary, secondary, and special education schools, have been annually curating a gift from young and youth students representing every town and estate in Singapore.

This ground-up movement aims to encourage Singaporeans to reflect on the nation’s progress and inspire them to express their hopes and wishes for Singapore.

At our inaugural exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, the Deputy Director-General from the Ministry of Education shared her thoughts:

What do our young believe in and care deeply about? What kind of Singapore do they want to build? The messages students have penned amplify their voices and collective aspirations to work together for a stronger Singapore. Through participation in various community efforts, we help our young Singaporeans to experience how they can effect positive change, and play their part to build a Singapore that is an endearing home for themselves and for others

Mrs Tan Chen Kee, Deputy Director-General of Education (Schools) and Director of Schools, Ministry of EducationOur Heart for SG Time Capsule Sealing & Presentation Event (7 August 2020)

The gift to SG is presented during National Day, with the participation of the NDP EXCO Chairman of the year, key appointment holders, students, and local media. Find out more on past gifts here.


Welcome to the 2024 Call for Submissions for the Our Heart for Singapore Gift to SG 2024! This year, in celebrating Singapore’s 59th year of independence, we are looking to involve a minimum of 59,000 young and youth participants from every town and estate in Singapore to contribute to this gift for our nation.

  • To participate, students interview their elders or grandparents on ONE of the following topics: (i) Job/Ambition, (ii) Education, (iii) Celebrations, (iv) Local Food & Snacks, and (v) Environment.
  • After the interview, students retell the stories they have heard in an artwork form(Category: Artwork), or written submission (Category: Creative Writing), and reflect on their experience using the OHFSG activity worksheet. 

By interviewing their elders or grandparents on personal topics, students spend quality time reconnecting with their family members and learning something new about, and from them.



  • Category: ARTWORK

(i) Scanned Artwork, and (ii) Artist Statement


(i) Creative writing piece, and (ii) A photo of the student in uniform, or with the interview subject

Artist Statements & Creative writing pieces to be submitted in 1 of the 4 languages – English, Chinese, Malay, or Tamil.

To create their artist statements, or written submissions, students may refer to the guiding questions included in the information package.
Participants are strongly advised not to combine 2 or more topics in their creative writing pieces. Please read the winning entries from the previous years for reference here.


  • Register interest by: 31 May, Fri
  • Submit entries by: 24 July, Thurs, 5PM
  • Exhibition from: 5 August, Mon


      • Each school may submit up to 40 entries, and all entries will receive certificates of distinction, merit, or participation signed by a Key Appointment Holder.
      • During the National Day Exhibition, every participating school will have at least one student’s work printed per category.
      • Schools will compete within their respective CDCs (Community Development Councils) at different levels (primary, secondary, and special education) to select entries in four languages (English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil) per CDC. The top entries from each CDC will be invited to participate in a media feature during the National Day Exhibition launch. At the exhibition, students will have the opportunity to share their experiences with key appointment holders and the media. All selected schools will receive a copy of their student’s recorded soundbite.
        • Featuring at least one primary, at least one secondary, and at least one SPED participating student per CDC (maximum 4 schools per CDC).

Last year’s Gift Presentation Event took place on 7 August 2023 at the Padang. 14 students from various schools including APSN Katong School, Canossa Catholic Primary, Corporation Primary, Maris Stella High School (Pri), Nan Hua Primary, North View Primary, Temasek Primary, Hougang Secondary, CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent, Methodist Girls’ School (Sec), Nan Hua High, Tampines Sec, represented the five CDCs, joined Minister of State Ms. Low Yen Ling and NDP 2023 Exco Chairman BG Goh Pei Ming at the Padang for the Our Heart for SG’s (OHFSG) Gift to SG presentation.

Selected students had their works printed and showcased at a physical exhibition, shared their stories and experience with the Guest of Honor MOS(MCCY), the NDP EXCO Chairman, and had a special behind-the-scenes experience, witnessed and participated in interviews conducted by camera crews from local media organisations like Straits Times and CNA.

Watch Media coverage here, and Student soundbites recorded in various languages here.

190 participating schools credited on the NDP website, for contributing to the OHFSG gift to SG:


Registering your interest does not automatically enter your school into the competition until you submit your entries.

*An information package will be sent to you after you register. The package consists of

(1) 2024 FAQS & Submission Guide.pdf –

  • Judging criteria, tips & submission guide

(2) 2024 Implementation (Teacher’s Copy).pdf

  • Implementation ideas & prompts that teachers can share with students to ask their elders during brainstorm session for each topic

(3) 2024 Supplementary Worksheet (Student’s Copy).pptx

  • Printable & editable worksheet

(4A or 4B) 2024 artist statement or creative writing.pptx

(5) 2024 Teacher cover sheet_artwork.pptx

if you are missing any of the documents, please email us at afcsg@ourheartforsg.org.


In 2023, Singapore reached a significant milestone by transitioning to DORSCON green, signifying Singaporeans’ collective efforts and progress in battling the COVID-19 pandemic together. As this year also marks the return of the first full-scale NDP parade to Padang since 2019, 2023’s special presentation of the gift to SG was held at the Padang itself.

To celebrate Singapore’s 58th birthday, the Our Heart for Singapore(OHFSG) Learning Gallery has garnered 79,168 young students and youth, from 116 participating primary, secondary and special education schools, representing every town and estate in Singapore, to wish Singapore a happy birthday and inspire Singaporeans with their post-COVID-19 well-wishes, hopes, dreams and aspirations for Singapore to move forward together confidently, as one united people. 

This year’s OHFSG exhibition features pieces where children have spent the year having conversations with their grandparents on what life was like when their grandparents were at their age. The students were asked to reflect on their well-wishes, hopes, dreams, aspirations, and vision for Singapore as we return to our post COVID-19 activities whilst navigating life post-COVID-19.

The theme of this year’s gift to SG is Singapore, From Your Generation Through Mine: Onward as One – Building our shared future as one united people.

In alignment with this year’s NDP theme of resilience and forward-looking optimism, 17 students from 12 primary, secondary and special education schools, representing the Central, North East, North West, South East and South West districts in Singapore, would be sharing their post-COVID19 well-wishes, hopes and dreams for Singapore, in Singapore’s four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil) at the Padang.

Strong families are the bedrock of our society. Our families mould our character and values, and are crucial to develop resilient individuals. They shape our personality and beliefs and has remained a strong pillar of support for Singaporeans, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Singapore emerges from COVID-19, the Our Heart for Singapore(OHFSG) Learning Gallery is proud to present the 57th Birthday gift to Singapore. OHFSG has garnered 90,000 young students, youth, members of the public, 110 participating primary, secondary and special education schools, to wish Singapore a happy birthday and encourage Singaporeans to forge ahead as a united and strong people, towards a better future.

Every town and estate in Singapore has contributed to this gift to Singapore. Since July 2022, and in line with NDP 2022’s #PledgeSG campaign, to encourage Singaporeans to reflect on how far Singapore has come, and inspire Singaporeans to express their hopes and wishes for Singapore, the Our Heart for Singapore Learning Exhibition has also been showcased artwork and reflections done by our young and youth in their respective heartland library, in every CDC.

 In conjunction with this year 2022 dedicated to the Year of Celebrating SG Families, besides presenting the 57,000 stories, pledges, and well-wishes written by our youths in the form of a digital SG Map Time Capsule for Singapore’s 57th Birthday, selected students from 10 schools were also at the National Gallery of Singapore to share the values they have gleaned from stories from their families, well-wishes and how they have put action behind their pledges for Singapore.

Undeniably, because of COVID-19, the ways we live, work, study, and even meet with our family and friends have changed. Although this fight against COVID-19 could remain uncertain, Singapore has always turned challenges into opportunities due to our people’s grit, resilience, and united spirit.

Since the beginning of 2021, more than 100,000 young, youth and members of the public have already come together in spirit to put together a gift to Singapore containing more than 56,000 stories, well-wishes, and pledges to celebrate Singapore’s 56th year of independence.

As vaccination coverage increases among Singaporeans, we look forward to the new norm of living with endemic COVID-19 this 2021. In addition to presenting 56,000 stories, pledges, and well-wishes in the form of another SG Map time capsule, where every town and estate in Singapore has contributed, this year’s gift will also feature the Our Heart for SG learning gallery. As Singapore embarks on a new chapter where COVID-19 will no longer dominate our lives, this gallery gift contains 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 stories, reflections, pledges, and well-wishes.

As part of this year’s National Day Parade Our Heart for Singapore campaign, AFCSG engaged youth with the aim of dispelling Singaporeans ageism perception towards our seniors by:

      1. Raising Awareness – Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) held talks in schools on understanding ageing and engaging seniors.
      2. Connecting Youths & Seniors – Students tasked to get to know a senior better through conversational prompts aimed at learning more about life in Singapore decades ago.
      3. Contributing to NDP2020: Students expressed what they learnt by designing artworks inspired by the stories of old Singapore.
      4. Students reflected on the nuggets of wisdom gleaned from their interactions with senior and shared their hopes and pledges for the new decade.
      5. Creating A Ripple Effect – Artworks, films and reflections captured in the Learning Gallery inspire other Singaporeans.

“Celebrating Singapore, Appreciating Seniors” is our way of saying thanks and caring for the seniors, especially our Pioneer and Merdeka (P&M) Generations, who have contributed greatly to Singapore. As we come together to celebrate our nation’s birthday, let us reach out to those who made it possible!

2019 Pilot: >8,000 Pledges Collected, 5,400 consolidated into a digital birthday card for Singapore’s 54th (2019) and unveiled at 2019 National Day Heartlands Celebration (NDHC)

As supported by Art For Cause SG, a youth ground-up movement, which commemorates the sacrifices of our earlier generations.. it makes this all more meaningful.. 5,400 tribute postcards from the community for Singapore’s 54th, the first of its kind, a digital birthday card.

Mr Goh Peng Tong (BBM), Citizens' Consultative Committee ChairmanNDHC Media Conference (19 July 2019)


Read the Media Articles (print and online) here.



Based on feedback from 156 schools, the activity has been found to align with MOE’s Framework for 21st Century Competencies (21CC) and student outcomes.

The following underlined qualities from the 21CC framework have been identified as outcomes resulting from participation in the OHFSG annual gift to SG, gallery refresh activity.

      • Core values: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Care, Resilience, Harmony
      • Social and emotional competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Responsible Decision-Making, Social Awareness, Relationship Management
      • Necessary competencies for a globalised world: Civic Literacy, Global Awareness and Cross-Cultural Skills, Critical and Inventive Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Information Skills
Being part of Our Heart For SG project gave our students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of our school value of Resilience through authentic stories of our nation-building years shared by their grandparents and elderly in the community - our pioneer generation. Their reflections and aspirations for Singapore, expressed through their artwork highlighted the importance of us staying connected and united as we forge onward as a nation. As we emerge from the pandemic, we must remember the lessons from our forefathers and our experiences in the last 2 years and come together so that each of us can add our unique brush strokes to the canvas called Singapore, not in isolation but in collaboration, to create a beautiful picture for our nation’s future; Stronger Together, Majulah!- - Mr Chua Choon Hock, Principal, Cedar Primary School
The OurHeartforSG experience has given our students an opportunity to appreciate the resilience of the pioneer generation and the contributions they made to nation-building. Reflecting on how our pioneers had stood up to the challenges of their times gives us strength to build collective resilience especially in this pandemic. The project also gives students the opportunity to synthesise what they have learnt in our Arts Education Programme (LLP) and CCE, allowing them to appreciate our seniors through the artwork. We are grateful for this platform that grows our students as concerned citizens and active contributors to Singapore.- - Mdm Rina Yap Siu Lin, Principal, Dazhong Primary School
I am heartened and feel a good sense of optimism for the future of Singapore after having had the opportunity to read the reflections and aspirations of the children. Our young children care for our community, our environment and Singapore. We have seen good discourse by the children to show care and concern for the elderly, and how they want to use technology to uplift Singapore. It is important that there are platforms to engage our children with issues that impact our nation- - Mr Koh Chin Thong, Principal of Henry Park Primary School
OurHeartforSG presented a wonderful opportunity for schools to pivot a precious learning experience where we can widen the perspective of our students. OHFSG essentially compliments what Marymount Convent seeks to do, which is to shape the hearts and minds of our students, to be a Singaporean who is confident of who we are and desiring to contribute with what we have. Our students connected with our pioneers and have a better understanding of what our Nation is built upon. At the same time, they reflected, with gratitude, that our successes and the peace we enjoy, came with much sacrifices and commitment beyond self. And going forward, our students projected, with pride, what they must do now so that they can continue the legacy of those who were before us. We stand on the shoulders of giants and roar on as one Nation.- - Mrs Allison Lim, Principal, Marymount Convent School
Personally I feel that it’s important for our young to be engaged with the challenges or issues Singapore is facing now or in the future. While a deep understanding of the challenges may not always be there, a raised awareness is an imperative. The latter can be the impetus or starting point for our young to start thinking about the part they can play from a place of gratitude.- - Ms Grace Ng, Principal (~2021), Methodist Girls’ School
We are glad to have afforded our students the experience to participate in #OurHeartForSG (OHFSG) Learning Gallery. We incorporated the learning into our Learning for Life Programme (LLP) which aims to help students develop empathy and build social awareness. It was heartening to know that our students enjoyed the conversations with the elderly and had great interest to hear their childhood stories of the past. Through this OHFSG arts experience, our students developed greater appreciation and empathy to understand the hardship that our pioneer generation went through and have learnt to appreciate the elderly and their grandparents more!- - Ms Yap Hui Ching, Michelle (Ms), Head of Department (Aesthetics), Fairfield Methodist School (Primary)
This project and the OHFSG learning gallery presents good opportunities for our students to be engaged in authentic and meaningful activities that compliment school’s effort in CCE. It is important that our students are engaged in the discourse of the past, present and future of Singapore and to have a deeper understanding of their role as citizens. By participating in this project, students get to better appreciate Singapore as a nation and develop a deeper sense of belonging to the larger community beyond the school as they reflect upon and think about what it means to be Singaporean. We are grateful for this opportunity and we are confident that this effort has developed a greater sense of pride for the nation in our student participants.- - Mrs. ONG-LOH JM, Principal, Nan Chiau Primary School
The “Our Heart for SG” (OHFSG) Learning Gallery has presented our students with a meaningful and enriching learning experience that allowed them to learn more about Singapore and reflect on Singapore’s past, present and future. This project has also allowed our students to reconnect with our SG pioneers and through chit-chats with their grandparents and great grandparents on various topics, our students gained valuable insights and understanding on how life was like in the past. They developed greater empathy towards the hardship the pioneer generation had gone through and cherish what they enjoy now. It also provides students the opportunity to share what they can do to contribute to the betterment of Singapore as citizens to pay it forward.- - Ms Jamie Lie, Principal, Park View Primary School
The OHFSG project has provided our PL-Lites an invaluable learning experience and platform to learn about the struggles of our past generations and our nation building history through the conversations with their grandparents. The narratives espoused through their artworks illustrate their hope and aspirations for the future while treasuring the present gifts that they have inherited from the hard work of our forefathers. It is with great joy to see our girls exemplifying the school’s HEART values and living out our vision of women of fine character with a passion for life and learning.- - Mrs Joyce Ang, Principal, Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Primary)
This pandemic has presented an invaluable opportunity to teach students about the greater things in life, especially on social responsibility and being resilient. By participating in the OHFSG project, it has helped students to focus more on the positive emotions, which strengthened them in dealing with adversity and helped them to understand that they, too, can contribute in this challenging times.- - Mrs Grace Chua, Principal, Sembawang Primary School
Our Heart For Singapore initiative has been a valuable opportunity for our students to treasure Singapore as home and their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students’ artworks embody the past and present of Singapore, the people who have inspired them to be resilient and how the school values are integral to their tenacity. In alignment with our school’s CCE A.C.T – Active Citizens who Take Action, they have also used their passion and talents to spread the message of love and gratitude to their peers. We are grateful that our students can play a part in sharing the hope and perseverance in this challenging episode of Singapore’s history.- - Mrs Seah Lay Tin, Principal of Tanjong Katong Primary School
Having our students participate in the OHFSG project and time capsule initiative serves as a good reminder that every pledge and contribution matters. We are personally heartened that even as a young child, we can inculcate in them the right belief and mindset to create a positive change for our nation during this volatile period. Our children’s actions also influenced their circle of loved ones and vice versa. This also highlights to them about the importance of the circle of influence. It goes to show no matter how small we are, as long as we are in it together, we create big changes and a stronger Singapore. Inculcating the love for Singapore starts small and starts young. For our younger children, they may not fully understand the challenges that Singapore faces, but participating in this, sows a seed in them. They will start thinking about how they can serve the nation, in their own capacity, as they mature, and this resonates with our school values, care, service, resilience and teamwork.- - Mdm Lim Meijing (SH CCE) & Mdm Elaine Tan (HOD CCE) Mee Toh School
As a school we are grateful for the learning opportunities for our Bedok Viewans through this project as they can learn and contribute hands-on to something beyond the school. This allows students to see how they can impact the broader community and nation by doing something simple, yet meaningful. This resonates strongly with the values we aim to nurture in our Bedok Viewans – with “service” being one of our school values.- - Mdm Yvonne Teo, Principal of Bedok View Secondary School
This project has allowed our JYians to apply in an authentic context, what they have learnt in Art and CCE, to express their gratitude in written and artistic forms. More importantly, it helped them to better appreciate the life they have and it is a timely reminder for our JYians to know that in times of crisis, just like how our pioneer generation stood resilient and showed tenacity in building a home in Singapore, it is the same grit and perseverance that we will need to possess to fight the Covid-19 pandemic together and emerge stronger as one nation- - Mr Dayan Tan Ying Peng (HOD / Aesthetics, ALP, LLP), Juying Secondary School
This project and the OHFSG learning gallery are good examples of how our students can be engaged meaningfully, amidst the challenges that Singapore is facing. When students start to think beyond themselves, they have a better sense of appreciation for the others around them - on an individual, community and national level. This is also what the new CCE 2021 Curriculum Framework aims to achieve with the three big ideas of Identity, Relationships and Choice. On the whole, this opportunity has evoked a stronger sense of pride and belonging amongst our Bedok Viewans, knowing that they have contributed to the gift to SG.- - Ms Deepa Nanwani Singh, Head of Department of Character & Citizenship Education, Bedok View Secondary School
I am very happy that our students with special needs were given the platform to showcase their talents and be a part of this purposeful and meaningful project. This initiative, embedding the theme of inclusiveness, really brings people from all walks of lives together and truly captures the essence and hope of Singaporeans especially during this pandemic situation.- - Mrs Angela Lee, Principal, APSN Chaoyang School
Pathlight School is delighted to be part of this meaningful initiative. Students from our school's Artist Development Programme (ADP) are provided with the opportunity to bond and learn from their elderly family members. It is comforting to hear from our students that they have learnt to appreciate what they have now and how they wish to contribute in their own ways to materialise their dreams for Singapore. In this current challenging time, coming together as ONE despite our differences to support and encourage one another is essential for us to overcome the odds and emerge stronger together.- - Ms Loy Sheau Mei, Senior Vice-Principal of Pathlight School



When I interviewed my grandma, she told me that she would always take the bus to her home after school. Through her sharing, I’ve learnt that she only had to pay 10 cents to get a bus ticket and the bus conductor would punch a hole on the ticket. I found this information very interesting as I could see that times have changed so much. It has changed not only in the way we live, but an increase in our cost of living! In present days, there is no longer a bus conductor to punch our bus tickets, instead, everything is digitalised and all we need to do is to tap our EZ-link cards on the card reader to pay our bus fare! Also, I could not believe that 10 cents was the transport fare for people living in the olden days of Singapore. As such I chose to draw this picture as I found this sharing by my grandma so interesting, and believe that many other children (like my schoolmates and friends) may not know much about our bus system in the past and the life our pioneer generation went through.

My vision for Singapore is for my country to keep ahead with times and tap on technology to make our lives easier. Instead of tapping our EZ-link card on the card reader, I hope that in future, there will be a face recognition system that could auto deduct our bus fare from our credit card or bank account and this will help the elderly too as they may have difficulty to tap their cards and maintain their balance when alighting and departing from the bus.

I wish to tell all Singaporeans to care and communicate more with the elderly as there are so much we can learn from their life experiences. By chit-chatting with them, not only we show that we care, we also embrace the life-long learning spirit and like my experience, I would not have known of the bus system in the past if I have not spoken to my grandma!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore
Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My grandfather used to tell me that life during his youth was fun and free. I asked him, how could this be? There were no Nintendos, iPads, PCs and most importantly “Roblox” back then. He told me, he used to work as a Station Master in Kranji KTM station before Singapore’s independence. It was a small station that managed goods from Tanjong Pagar shipyards. On weekends after work, he would ride a free train ride to Tanjong Pagar terminal station.

The station was always busy and bustling with passengers and workers. Peddlers were seen trying to sell their goodies to departing passengers to Johor Bahru. This could be their meal or newspaper to read while they embark on their journey after a hard day of work

They did not have many options in terms of food and beverages, no bubble tea, Starbucks Coffee or MacDonalds ice cream. Only kacang putih,kuih,nasi lemak and teh tarik.

Life was very simple, as long as there was something to fill the stomach they were happy.

Tanjong Pagar Station to my grandfather was like a shopping mall to us now. He could enjoy nice Indian, Hainanese and Malay delicacies in one single stop.

It was sad news to him when he heard that this station would be closed in 2011. The sweet memory will always remain in his mind.

I have learnt that no matter how hard and how inconvenient the jobs were; perseverance and resilience helped our forefathers overcome mountains and emerge stronger.

In my drawing, people from multi-racial backgrounds are supporting one another in the ways of life, no matter where their destinations are. My vision for Singapore is that we as Singaporeans, regardless of race and social backgrounds, are able to work hand in hand to make Singapore a beautiful and prosperous place.

As we move forward towards the future, do not forget what we have been through in the past and be appreciative of the Merdeka Generation who had set positive examples for our generation in terms of harmony, hard work and most importantly helping one another. It is important to keep the economy moving and self-sustaining in Singapore amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Singaporean from all walks of life come together as one just like old times to overcome this crisis together; to emerge stronger as a nation.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Fandi bin Ahmad, PBM is a Singaporean former footballer who is currently the head coach of Singapore Premier League club Young Lions. As the first Singaporean footballer to play in Europe, the first Singaporean millionaire sportsperson and first Singaporean sportsperson to have a published biography, Fandi has been called a national legend.

I decided to create an illustrative artwork of my senior’s dreams from the past showing him wearing the Singapore team jersey because my senior wanted to become a footballer to represent Singapore.

I used the Elements of Art to show the crescent on the Singapore jersey. The colourscheme I used for this artwork is red and white because it represents Singapore’s National Flag.

My senior has inspired me to live the Singapore “Never Say Die” Spirit! It is the spirit that has kept us strong for the last 54 years. Now, because of COVID-19, many lives are disrupted. I want to encourage every job seeker not to give up. All of us have the Singapore Spirit in us. Let us band together as one and we can win this fight against COVID-19, and emerge a stronger Singapore!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Samsui women, also known as Hong Tou Jin (red head scarf in direct translation) refers to a group of Chinese immigrants who came to Singapore between 1920s and 1940s, many of whom found construction and industrial jobs. A typical day of a samsui women starts very early at the break of dawn where they would have a simple meal before gathering to walk over to their respective construction sites. By 8am, they would be hard at work digging soil and earth, or carrying debris and other construction materials in buckets that hung from shoulder poles. Work usually ended at around 6pm, after which many samsui women would gather together for a simple meal to end the day. Many samsui women worked well into their 70s, which meant that they were involved in creating modern landmarks like the Toa Payoh Estate and Bishan Station, part the very first stretch of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations that opened to the public in 1987.

My artwork is inspired by my grandmother’s early job in the 1960s as a samsui woman. As the sole breadwinner of the family, my grandmother had to take on this job and feed her family of 4 in order to survive. It was not an easy job and required strength and long hours of manual labour. One thing that I learnt from her story was that we should always persevere and strive on no matter how tough things may get. In my work, I want to show appreciation to all the samsuiwomen who contributed in developing Singapore back in the days, so that Singapore can continue to prosper and develop into such a modern and beautiful city. My wish for Singapore is for all of us to be united and stay safe, so that we can continue to contribute and build a safe and beautiful Singapore for our future generations.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My late grandmother was a self-taught seamstress. When she was my age, she had started sewing. When she was a teenager, my great-grandfather got her a sewing machine as a present. She first started sewing because ready-made clothes were expensive back then.

At first, Grandma sewed clothes for her family members. Later, when she became more skillful, she started to sew for her relatives and neighbours. My grandmother took great pride in her sewing. She was very creative and was not afraid to experiment with new designs. She usually sewed traditional clothes for her neighbours in the kampong.

Some of her Chinese and Indian neighbours also got their clothes stitched by my grandmother. My grandmother must have sewn hundreds of beautiful baju kurung and other traditional outfits. She even sewed a white lace wedding gown and a songket kebaya for my aunts’ weddings. The old sewing machine is still around in my house and it has always been a well-loved item in our house.

In my artwork, I drew a picture of my grandmother sewing clothes for her non-Malay friends. In the centre of the picture are the children from the kampong who often dropped by my grandma’s house for a game of five stones while savouring some delicious Indian snacks called murukku.

I learnt that it is important to learn a skill. The skills that we possess can be used to help others. If my grandmother was around, she would be putting her sewing skills to good use and she would be sewing masks for donation to the needy.

Grandma was a kind-hearted person who loved helping others. I hope that all Singaporeans will stay strong and play their part in helping our community and keeping themselves safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My grandmother lived in a kampong house and had to fetch water from the well and river for washing, cleaning, bathing, drinking and cooking. It sounded fun because she got to make new friends that way.

Even though living in kampong houses seemed fun, there were many others who lived in slums. To maintain the strong social bonds between neighbours and encourage its citizens to move to high-rise flats, the government designed its flats to fit Singapore’s social needs. In every neighbourhood, the community spirit is fostered as people of various ethnic groups live next to each other and gather at communal places such as the schools, markets and recreational spaces. These shared spaces allow neighbours to get together and maintain the kampong spirit. Even though many kampong houses have been demolished to make way for modern high rise flats, Singapore still has its last surviving kampong. Located on mainland Singapore, Kampong Lorong Buangkok is still home to 26 families.

I love my neighbourhood because I have friendly neighbours of various races. We help each other and enjoy socialising especially during festive seasons. Even though I cannot meet my friends and neighbours now because of the COVID-19 crisis, I believe we can overcome this pandemic as a multi-racial nation because we have maintained our kampong spirit throughout these decades.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My grandmother was born in the 1930s and her parents ran a tailor shop of which she would help out occasionally. The picture shows my grandmother and her siblings playing and having fun during their childhood days. These memories are memorable for my grandmother and in hearing these stories, I could feel her joy and fondness of the past. As I see my grandmother age, I reflected on life and know that our grandparents cannot be with us forever. Life is short. So, let us remember to treasure our loved ones and spend more quality time with them.

My vision for Singapore is to have a society that cares for one another; that fellow Singaporeans spend more time with their family, especially the elderly.  Unlike the carefree days of the past, Singaporeans are very busy at school and at work. Not only that, we are also pre-occupied in this digital age with gadgets and our social lives. Unlike the kampong days in the past which my grandma shared about, people these days are glued to their gadgets and communicate not by speaking, but by typing. With this, we may lose the human connection and the quality time to sit talk and speak.

I hope that we can take greater effort to set aside quality time and spend it with our family and loved ones, and I believe this starts with me. I pledge to take a greater conscious effort to chit-chat with my grandparents and share their interesting stories with my friends so that they too, will want to learn something about Singapore’s history!

My grandmother lived in Bugis when she was young. It was very different then, and many families lived in kampongs. She told me that when she was bored, she and her other siblings would go outside and climb trees for entertainment.  As her parents ran a tailor shop, she said that during those days, it is more common to have tailor-made clothes especially for occasions like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali.  This is because big shopping malls did not exist and choices for ready-to-wear clothes were limited.  It is also cheaper to tailor as the customers can bring their own yards of cloth to the shop!  This way of life is very different from today where it is more convenient and sometimes cheaper to purchase clothes from the shopping malls.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My artwork is inspired by the Masjid Sultan Mosque which is located at Muscat Street. This mosque is one of the tourist attractions in Singapore and visited by many tourists. It is of a great significance to me as a Malay Muslim and I am intrigued by the design of the mosque. My great-grandfather told me that in the past, he did not go to a big Mosque building to pray. He will go to a Surau with the Muslims in his community for his daily prayers. It is very fascinating now to see many mosques built for the religion and to have such a big building like Masjid Sultan Mosque to be as part of Singapore’s tourist attraction.

My grandfather always tells me that times will change, things will change, but our morals and family values will never change. No matter what happens, we must stand firm on our values and stay strong as a family to overcome whatever challenges that lay ahead of us.

I hope that we can continue to keep our racial harmony and live peacefully regardless of race, language or religion. I will help to uphold these values through my actions and lead by example.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


In the past, many people in Singapore lived in kampongs instead of high-rise buildings. My senior stayed in a kampong house built from wood and attap leaves. Sometimes, the rain would seep through the roof and they had to collect the rainwater with a basin. It was not easy living there, and the surroundings were dirty too. When my senior was a young boy, he distributed newspapers to people to earn extra cash, and he would do so while riding a bicycle. Although it was a fond memory, it can be very tiring, especially when riding uphill. He also enjoyed occasional treats to the theatre. The movies were black and white then and the early cinemas had no air-conditioning. I cannot imagine how stuffy that would be.

When Cathay Cinema and Hotel opened in 1936, it was Singapore’s first skyscraper, and was the tallest building in Southeast Asia. They enjoyed their glory days with countless of fans until 1942, where the cinema was then closed for the building to be used as a Red Cross casualty station during World War II.

During the Japanese Occupation, the Japanese controlled the broadcasting facilities and used it to broadcast propaganda in Japanese language. After the war, the building continued to serve other authorities and it was only in 1948 that the colonial government returned the building to the original owner.

Singapore has come a long way since then. We now get to stay in a clean environment, with an efficient transport system and great conveniences enabled by technological advancements. All these would not have been possible without the hard work put in by our forefathers years ago. However, as we reap the benefits of what our forefathers have toiled for, we must be grateful and also remind ourselves not to be complacent. We have to stay united, maintain the cleanliness of our country and continue to strive for the best. COVID-19 may have affected our economy and our people, but we can come back stronger if we are willing to help one another and be cooperative. Many kind souls have stepped up in different ways. Some people donated masks to those who needed it, while others packed food and groceries for those who were under home quarantine. People also appreciated the healthcare workers who worked tirelessly in this pandemic by little gestures such as giving up seats on the public transport for them. This shows that we can all work to make Singapore a gracious society and a better place to live in.

Besides that, we must also work towards a sustainable future. Towards the end of my conversation with my senior, he reminded me to be a responsible citizen and encouraged me to “reduce, reuse and recycle” the things I use in my everyday life. By doing so, it will also result in lesser waste and thus having less load to incinerate. This will definitely lower the pollution level and bring about a cleaner environment. Hence, my vision for Singapore is to reduce our waste, and try our best to reuse or recycle the other objects. We can also make Singapore greener by taking public transport or riding a bicycle like my senior, instead of driving a car. Let’s all begin our efforts today, because every act contributed is a step closer to our goal.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Singapore River went through an extreme makeover. Back in the 1960s, the banks of the Singapore River were crowded with squatters, hawkers and manufacturing industries. These led to severe river pollution. After independence, the Prime Minister then, Mr Lee Kuan Yew decided to do a major clean-up of the river in 1977. The whole cleaning process took about 10 years and it was spearheaded by the former chairman of the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and then Environment Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Lee Ek Tieng.

Since Singapore’s independence in 1965, the Singapore River has gone through several changes – from a busy trading port that was filled with bumboats to a popular tourist attraction bustling with activities. Shophouses that were used as warehouse or lodgings for the coolies have now become places for leisure and entertainment. In the year 2020, bumboats are no longer used for trading. Instead, they now take locals, sightseers and tourists on a river cruise to learn about Singapore’s history or to admire our Singapore landscape and some of the iconic structures. These structures include the Merlion, the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands. My drawing of the river from past to present has shown how Singapore has progressed, and together, we can work towards a brighter future for Singapore.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Bukit Timah area used to be an industrial hub in the 1950s, and factories like Ford and Yeo Hiap Seng (of Yeo’s packet drinks) set up their shops there. The quarrying industry was also a prominent business in the area after the opening of Bukit TimahRailway Station. One interesting fact is that the granite mined there was actually used to build the infrastructure of the Causeway and roads. Along the Bukit TimahTrails, we can also visit former granite quarries in the area such as the Singapore Quarry and the Hindhede Quarry in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

In this artwork, I chose to depict the old Bukit Timah Railway Station. The person I interviewed was my grandmother. In the past when Bukit Timah Railway Station was built, my grandmother told me that she was also part of the crew that helped to build it. Bukit Timah Railway Station is used for passenger traffic back when it was open and eventually ceased operations in 2011. It also used to be part of a railway line used for commuting and transporting goods between Singapore and the rest of the Malay Peninsula. Right now, the station has been gazetted for conservation and is part of Singapore’s efforts to preserve the rich heritage of the Rail Corridor, which allows visitors to go on a journey through various natural landscapes, communities and unique experiences. Nearby, The Railway Mall is a nice contrast to show how the old and the new can co-exist together to offer both urban and rural experiences. I hope that my work can inspire more people to check out Singapore’s rich heritage and natural spaces, and to embark on an adventure by trekking through these places!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


In the past, technology was not so advanced in Singapore compared to now. Children were very bored playing at home, so they had to be creative and use whatever was available around them to make toys to play with. Some materials they used were unwanted fabric, green beans and a sewing kit to make five stones. They also used chalks to draw boxes on the ground for playing hopscotch. A few sticks were just enough to make a game of pick-up sticks.

Children in the past brought their own home-made toys to the playground to play with and make new friends. This was how they built friendship and camaraderie.

We should not despise people who are of a different race from us, instead, we should make friends with them and play together. As a multi-racial society, we learn, work, play and have fun together!

When COVID-19 started, the whole world was caught off-guard. In order to fight COVID-19, we have to become a stronger country whereby everybody has to play their part to overcome these tough times.

Nothing is impossible to overcome. We just need to be stronger as a country, so that whenever we face difficulties, we would not collapse. In fact, each time we face a challenge, we become stronger and stronger.

In Singapore, we are very lucky to have a society that has cultural diversity. I wish to inspire all Singaporeans to come together from different backgrounds and races in forming a united nation to emerge stronger than ever to battle COVID-19. Whenever we struggle or face a challenge, we do not face it alone but together, with people from all walks of life. Together, we are Singapore!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My painting is about how far Singapore has come and how my neighbour who is 72 years old lived during the early days. I focused on our pastimes and wanted to show a juxtaposition of how Singapore looked then and now. I also wanted to show the kampong spirit where everyone looked out for each other regardless of race, language or religion

My neighbour’s favourite pastimes were to play congkak and marbles (goli) with her friends. She thought that those were really enjoyable games to play back then and had fond memories of them. Games today are different compared to the past. I contrasted her pastime with mine which is skateboarding at a skate park, something that did not exist in the past.

My neighbour faced a lot of challenges when she was living in the kampong as she did not have adequate water and food. However, she overcame her difficulties with the help of her friends and neighbours. That sense of camaraderie enabled her to overcome many challenges.

From that, I learnt that unity is key. When we are together, we can do so much more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should remember how far we have come and do our part to fight the pandemic together. I believe that we will prevail over the present tough situation in unity! As John Dickinson so aptly said, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Marbles, also known as goli, is one of the traditional kampong games played by many children in the past. Its popularity peaked in Singapore during the 1980s. The aim of that outdoor traditional kampong game was to pocket as many marbles as one can by flicking the marbles with a finger and ousting the opponents’ marbles. Marbles come in many different designs and shapes. Goli is usually played outdoors on dirt ground as a large, flat open space is needed. Large open spaces, creativity and simple materials provided hours of fun for the children of the past. How many traditional kampong games have you played?

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Through this artwork, I want to give everyone a glimpse into the colourful life of my grandmother. By showcasing her world, I want people to appreciate the way of life and wonderful things people enjoyed in the 1950s and 1960s.

My grandmother also showed me through her collection of pictures, the school compound quarters, Kalaimagal School (in Yio Chu Kang), she lived in. I don’t want these places to be forgotten as they are no longer around. She shared how people were united and shared food with each other in the kampong. Apparently, my grandfather was fond of climbing the coconut trees in the area! This spirit of togetherness and concern for each other was definitely enlightening for meOne of the deserts she really loved was the ice ball, which she used to cherish on hot days. She used to save her money and looked forward to a much-deserved treat at the end of the school day. Besides the ice ball, she used to buy kachang puteh from the man she fondly referred to as “Kachang Puteh man”. She shared that people of all races used to race towards the “Kachang Puteh man” whenever they heard him around the corner.

My grandmother also shared the hardships she suffered, like having to fetch water from the well which was located quite far from home. Often she would walk with some of the neighbours to the well together, so that they could help each other. She used to dream about travelling in a car and in my artwork, I included a picture of her favourite car.My grandparent’s experiences have taught me to appreciate the things I have in my life and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Their past is a good reminder that we should never take anything for granted. Instead, we can face the difficulties to come when we remain united. As the saying goes, United we stand, Divided we fall! Singapore shall and will forever stay united!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Satay – Satay is a dish similar to kebabs in that it is made of cubes of skewered meat that is grilled and eaten with a peanut sauce dip. Tracing its origins to the Arabs, satay has been adapted to the multicultural palates of Asians, with various spicy sauces and different ways of marinating the meat.

The spice trade brought Arab traders to Southeast Asia, which led to the spread of Arabic cuisine to Indonesia, and eventually to Malaya. The kebab can also be found in India and other countries such as Greece and Turkey. However, a key adaptation of the dish in Asia is that wooden rather than metal skewers are used. Various seasonings are used to marinate the pieces of meat and the specially-made peanut sauce is usually served as a dip together with the grilled meatChili Crab- Chili crab is a popular seafood dish among locals and foreigners in Singapore, and consists of mud crabs deep-fried in a sweet, savory and spicy gravy. It has been referred to in various food publications as Singapore’s national seafood dish or even Singapore’s national dish. Chili crab is said to have been invented by Cher Yam Tian in the mid 1950s when she added bottled chili sauce to her dish of stir-fried crabs, instead of using tomato sauce, her usual ingredient. In 1956, she and her husband began selling the dish from a pushcart along the seaside.

In the past, food used to be simple, such as a big bowl of rice with a small side dish. People are happy just to fill their stomach. Now, we are fortunate that there is an abundance of food. People also have more choices now due to the huge variety of food from the diverse cultures of our people.

Singapore is a uniquely multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society. Just like how the different cultures are combined together to form Singapore, the drawing uses food to show that Singaporeans from different backgrounds can come together as one during the Covid-19 pandemic. Every Singaporean is working together as one Singapore to ensure that no one is left behind in this pandemic.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Food is an important part of any culture and traditional cuisine is passed down from one generation to another. It serves as an expression of one’s cultural identity.

Pineapple tarts are a traditional festive snack in Singapore. Different races celebrate their traditional festivals by eating pineapple tarts. For example, the Chinese serve them in their homes during Chinese New Year because it is considered auspicious. They eat it to celebrate the new year and wish their loves ones good wealth and fortune.

Malay families have pineapple tarts during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, to celebrate with their loved ones after a month of fasting.

Pineapple tarts are said to have originated from the Straits Chinese or Peranakan culture. They later found their way to becoming a “staple snack” during the festive celebrations of other cultures.

In the midst of COVID-19, I wish to inspire and encourage Singaporeans with my drawing by reminding them to stay home and spend time with their loved ones. For example, they can cook their family’s favourite dishes and play interactive board games together.

I learnt that life in the past was not as peaceful as the life we have now. In the past, there were riots and war, and many people lived in fear. My grandmother would make pineapple tarts with her mother and invite her neighbours to their home to savour their speciality. By doing so, they helped to spread some cheer and provide support for one another during such hard times.

My vision for Singapore is for her to always remain a harmonious place and not have any racial riots in the future. I pledge that I would abide by the laws and to stay united as one Singapore.

I would like to tell all Singaporeans to stay united as one. We will do so, by showing empathy and respect to people of different races and religions.



This gallery has brought Singaporeans young and old together in a unique way where the Singapore story is passed on from one generation to another. Despite their differences in age and experience, our older Singaporeans and young participants share one heart for Singapore – for our nation to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and emerge stronger than ever. The well wishes and stories in this time capsule reflect our Singapore spirit of grit and resilient optimism to overcome. We hope this special birthday gift will encourage all Singaporeans to press on together. Like the generations before us who painstakingly built our post-Independence success, we are determined to surmount the odds.- Ms Low Yen Ling Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Chairman of Mayors’ Committee & Mayor of South West District
Our youth are the next wave of pioneers of Singapore’s future, and we can take heart and be confident in them because they have stepped up and displayed tenacity and courage in the face of these unprecedented challenges. To our youth, continue to inspire us all with your passion and drive. Continue to step out of your comfort zones to effect positive change and help us all emerge stronger as one Singapore.- Mr David Chua Chief Executive Officer, National Youth Council
AIC aims to create a vibrant care community for our people to live well and age gracefully. As part of this care community, our youth play a crucial role to understand, engage and support our seniors, whether it is as part of their families, or within the communities. Fostering such bonds will enable us to emerge stronger together, particularly during this challenging period. Our wish is for our youth to open their hearts, extend their minds and reach out their hands to our seniors to help create a Singapore that is one of the best places to age well in and that we can be all proud of.- Mr Tan Kwang Cheak Chief Executive Officer, Agency for Integrated Care
We are happy to partner Art for Cause Singapore in this meaningful opportunity to present the youth’s reflections and pledges, some of which are inspired by their interaction with seniors who have lived through Singapore’s defining moments. These thoughtful artworks and reflections can be a source of encouragement to Singaporeans, to support each other during these challenging times. We hope that our visitors – including our youth – will be inspired to initiate meaningful conversations with their parents and grandparents, to find out more about Singapore’s history through their lived experiences.- Ms Chung May Khuen Director, National Museum of Singapore
Our Singapore Spirit stands on the collective belief that we can overcome all odds and realise our dreams of a better future. It brings us together as Singaporeans, and gives us the strength to adapt, innovate and persevere through good times and bad ones. For as long as the Singapore Spirit lives in our hearts, we can be confident that we did it before, and we will do it again.- BG Tan Cheng Kwee, NDP2021 Chairman EXCO
This year is an opportunity to reflect on our experiences, both individually and collectively. What has this year meant for me; my loved ones, my country? It is also an opportunity for people to look ahead to the future and pledge to make a positive difference. OHFSG represents our hope that people will share these contributions and commitments. Taken together, the project forms our collective memory of this time and demonstrates that as one people, we will emerge stronger and even more resilient. Together, we truly are a Stronger Singapore!- BG Frederick Choo, NDP2020 Chairman EXCO



Category: Artwork, Primary/Sped/Sec

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  1. Readme.docx
    • Summary of docs
  2. Invite to participate.png
    • Soft copy of the invite to participate that was sent to your school
  3. Activity Website.pdf
    • Print version of https://www.ourheartforsg.org/activity
  4. FAQs & Submission Guide.pdf
    • Judging criteria, tips & submission guide
  5. Implementation (pri/sped).pptx      Implementation (sec).pptx
    • Suggested ideas for assignment breakdown / individual and group work: insights from participating schools\
    • Printable & editable worksheet
  6. For submission template: Artist statement(pri/sped).pptx  Artist statement(sec).pptx
    • Printable & editable version
  7. Teacher’s Coversheet & T&C.pptx
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Category: Creative Writing, Primary/Sped/Sec

  1. Readme.docx
    • Summary of docs
  2. Invite to participate.png
    • Soft copy of the invite to participate that was sent to your school
  3. Activity Website.pdf
    • Print version of https://www.ourheartforsg.org/activity
  4. FAQs & Submission Guide.pdf
    • Judging criteria, tips & submission guide
  5. Implementation (pri/sped).pptx      Implementation (sec).pptx
    • Suggested ideas for assignment breakdown / individual and group work: insights from participating schools\
    • Printable & editable worksheet
  6. For submission template: Creative writing piece(pri/sped).pptx     Creative writing piece(sec).pptx
    • Printable & editable version
  7. Teacher’s Coversheet & T&C.pptx
    • Schools to fill this during submission so that certs for up to 40 students can be prepared


Event details: 

1) Date: 7 August 2023, Monday, Morning

2) Venue: The Padang

3) Media will be invited.


Submit entries before: 3 August Thursday, 2PM

Exhibition from: 7 August, Friday


Submit your entries here: https://www.ourheartforsg.org/submit

Email us: afcsg@ourheartforsg.org

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