From supporting essential workers performing their duties during COVID-19 to befriending the vulnerable roaming the streets, SCSGT (1) Nur Hazeem Bin Abdul Nasser has proven the depth of his compassion, time and again.

TEXT: ADLINA ADAM
PHOTOS: JAIESH SACHI, JARED NG, DHRUVA REDDY

When the nation announced in February that it was raising the DORSCON alert level to Orange, products started flying off supermarket shelves. The panic buying meant extended working hours for supermarket staff who raced to restock the shelves.

To show their appreciation for these dedicated staff, SCSGT (1) Nur Hazeem Bin Abdul Nasser and his friends from non-profit organisation The Signpost Project wrote notes of encouragement and distributed them to the staff at a number of supermarkets. “They are ensuring that Singaporeans have a constant supply of food and necessities, so it’s only right that we show them some gestures of kindness,” explains Hazeem.

Hazeem is no stranger to working on the frontline. Prior to his NS disruption for university studies, the 21-year-old Neighbourhood Police Officer at Rochor NPC was conducting screenings and attending to cases in the Rochor estate. These experiences proved vital in helping him empathise deeply with COVID-19 essential workers.

SCSGT (1) Hazeem, seen here with his proud family members.

A CARING HEART

Founded by Hazeem in December 2019, The Signpost Project aims to befriend tissue paper and cardboard peddlers, and bring to light their individual stories. Hazeem also acts as an intermediary between Social Service Offices and social welfare agencies to provide financial and social assistance to these individuals.

Through his voluntary work, Hazeem realised that most of the peddlers looking for social support are elderly and usually remain outdoors to feel a sense of belonging in the community. When the Circuit Breaker measures were put in place in April, the peddlers were stuck at home. But that didn’t stop Hazeem from engaging with them. Through phone calls, he checked in on the peddlers and updated them on new policies by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). During Ramadan, The Signpost Project team also used social media to tele-befriend the elderly and keep them company during Iftar (breaking of the fast).

STARTING YOUNG

Having volunteered since he was 15 years old, Hazeem has lent his helping hand in organising various events for the needy. To Hazeem, an act of kindness goes a long way, especially during this pandemic. It doesn’t have to come in the form of donations or other grand gestures—one can begin with a simple “Thank You” or giving up their seats for the frontliners. “In the end,” he concludes, “‘Community’ is not an abstract notion of big groups of people but the tiniest of actions between individuals that make each relationship special.”

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