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Empowering Elders, Honouring Memories & Preserving Legacies with WINGS

Madam Rosalind Seet, 88, had recently passed away in December 2023. But unlike most people’s passing, what made it special for her loved ones were the legacy videos she left behind, all thanks to WINGS. 

To those who are new to the Singapore-based organisation, WINGS is the only non-profit that empowers older women to age well. One such initiative was the Digital Ties That Bind (DTTB) Workshop which ran from January 2022 to December 2023. 

Through a series of 10 workshops and seven successful runs, WINGS has helped 79 older women master digital tools like Zoom, Canva, and creating videos. They have volunteered at Oasis@Outram (a day hospice in Singapore) and MWS Bethany Nursing Home in Choa Chu Kang to create memorable legacy videos for beneficiaries like the late Madam Rosalind. 

Given that most of the participants are ladies in their golden years, it was an amazing feat to have produced more than 240 legacy videos over the span of a mere two years. Learning how to use digital technology for the first time in your 50s to 60s often means a steep learning curve for many. 

Diana Teo and Shirley Chee

Shirley Chee, one of the WINGS volunteers who created Madam Seet’s legacy video shared her experience, “We came from zero background in video creation, so we had to pick everything up from scratch. After we filmed the video, the information was in bits and pieces, and we had to come up with a storyline for the video to make sense. As such, we usually piece together important parts from the various videos filmed to create each legacy video.” 

“We also needed to take care of the sound and visuals to make sure it transits nicely. As older women, this is something new to us,” added Diana Teo, another WINGS volunteer who worked on the same legacy video for Madam Seet.  

Besides learning technical skills, the project also allowed volunteers to value the importance of teamwork. 

“I am glad that we explored the [Canva] app together as a team, and helped each other to troubleshoot issues. We also had unofficial roles in the team, based on each person’s strengths,” explained Diana. “For instance, Shirley is the go-to person for technical issues, while I am better at designing. Overall, I think we had great teamwork, and created a total of 7 videos for Madam Rosalind Seet.” 

create legacy videos to honour memories

More than the collaborative aspect of the project, the volunteers were gratified to see the positive impact of their contributions. 

“We feel honoured to be able to hear about our beneficiary’s precious life experience — from her nursing job in the past to the Japanese occupation. During the filming, Mdm Rosalind Seet welcomed us without reservations and candidly shared her life story. Her life experiences were very wide-ranging: It brought us tears, laughter, and even chills,” reminiscenced Diana. “We are grateful to be able to meet her and film her story at the final part of her life. We feel honoured to be able to create this gift for Rosalind and her family.” 

And it’s not just the volunteers who were heartened by their legacy video-making journey; friends and family of the beneficiaries who watched the end products were deeply touched as well. 

One such person was Madam Rosalind’s son, Lyndon Chew. 

“When I was growing up, I would be in the car when my father drove my mother to and from work, but I knew little about her working life,” shared Mr Chew. “After secondary school, she joined the nursing profession, and she retired as a nurse. She had a lot of adventures and stories to tell.” 

He also sees the significance of his mother’s legacy videos. “If I miss her, I can watch the videos again. If you don’t have something like that, some of the memories get lost,” mused the 59-year-old. 

Angeline Ong Digital Ties That Bind

This digital initiative has been so successful that a newly formed Digital Special Interest Circle (SIC) has now been set up within WINGS. The goal is to continue training more seniors so they can continue the momentum of the Legacy of Love Project. 

As its Digital for Life grant from the Infocomm Media Development Authority has ended, the non-profit organisation has applied to the National Silver Academy for more funding support. If you would like to support this meaningful project directly, you can choose to donate any amount you’re comfortable with to WINGS. 

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