Capturing the Chai Chee community in photos
It was a subject matter worth capturing for student photographers from Ping Yi Secondary School (PYSS).
In a collaboration with the National Youth Achievement Award's (NYAA) Young Photographers' Network, 19 students were tasked with taking photos in the vicinity of their school for the Chai Chee, Our Home project.
A total of 11,986 photos were taken and 266 of these were chosen to be compiled into a coffee table book, which was presented to Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin during PYSS's Speech Day last week.
The project began in February. The students worked for two months, while coordinators such as English head of department, Madam Saheedah Begum, 44, and allied educator, Mr Isaac Chin Ming Seng, 62, took five months to organise and compile the book with NYAA.
Ng Wei Sing Alvin, 15, a Secondary 3 student, took 431 photos. He said: "We met over five Saturday mornings and focused on different areas in Chai Chee each week."
Meeting a group of elderly smokers was one of Alvin's most striking experiences.
He said: "I was surprised when they refused to allow us to take their photo. They later explained that they did not want students like us to be influenced by their habit.
"I felt touched that these men cared enough to warn us against smoking."
The students also found it important to appreciate the small and sometimes forgotten peculiarities hidden within the Chai Chee community.
Sec 3 student, Bashirah Uzma, 15, took 778 photos.
She said: "I was reminded that Chai Chee has a Chinese temple, a mosque and a church all in the same area. We learn in class that racial harmony is important and it was great to observe this in the real world.
"The training that our teachers and NYAA's Young Photographers' Network gave us was invaluable. I learnt how to capture great moments, with good composition, lighting and angles."
Mr Isaac, who helms PYSS's photography club, said: "The students have become so much braver and confident. They had to challenge themselves and approach strangers to take these amazing photos.
"We are so proud of their passion and the coffee table book we finally compiled together with NYAA."