NOTE: This post is part of my 100 WRITERS project.
Eirliani Abdul Rahman speaks English, Malay, German, Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin and Russian. Also, she was featured in the news recently after announcing her plans to walk to the South Pole. No kidding, read about it here. But all that is not why I'm featuring her. She's an active child rights activist, and the co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult survivors & Kin In Need). In the next few months, she'll be putting together a series of creative writing workshops to help children collaborate on an original graphic novel. This will be part of the Singapore Art Museum's annual children's art exhibition, appropriately called Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea. Writing can be cathartic, Eirliani says, because it helps you release pent up emotions and also allows you to explore how you are feeling. Eirliani is looking for volunteers to facilitate the writing workshops. Do email her, contact details below, if you would like to be part of this experience.
Hi! Tell us about what you do.
I served 10 years in the Singapore Foreign Service, quitting in December 2015 to set up my NGO YAKIN (Youth, Adult survivors & Kin In Need). My co-director is Prof Daniel Fung, Chairman, Medical Board of the Institute of Mental Health. YAKIN is on Twitter's Trust & Safety Council.
What have you planned for your coming creative writing workshops at the Singapore Art Museum?
This is very exciting: I hope to create a graphic novel from this series, with each workshop contributing towards one chapter of the book. It will be a first in Singapore, most likely: a graphic novel curated by children for children, on the theme of childhood. Each session will take place on the first Saturday of the months of June, July and August — 4 June, 2 July and 6 August — with two sessions per Saturday: 1.30-3.30pm and 4-6pm. There is a limit of 15 places for children, from between 8-12 years old. The sessions will also be open to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
What sort of volunteers are you looking for?
It would be lovely if you've had experience facilitating a creative writing session with children from the ages of 8-12, particularly if you also know how to draw cartoons. Or you could be a cartoonist with no experience working with children, or you could be a school teacher. You will help me facilitate the workshop. Each session is for 2 hours, for up to 15 children only.
How should volunteers sign up?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thank you.
How can writing stories make the world a better place?
Exploring and creating does, in my view, make the world a happier place!
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