Quenching the Thirst of Janitors in NTU

As part of NTU-CF’s community engagement efforts, one Small Group (SG) proposed a Pay-it-Forward programme at the canteens in NTU. The project was carried out in collaboration with Canopy Canteens found in Hall of Residence One and Two. It slowly gained traction among the general student population, who participated by paying in advance for a drink. Janitors working in the halls around the canteens could then claim these drinks during their breaks.

Aunty Tan collects a magnet to redeem a cup of hot coffee or tea

The preparation and collaboration went smoothly, especially after we conveyed the spirit of the project to the canteen owners and drink-shop vendors. We did not expect their prompt approval for such a non-profit venture on top of their usual running of the store. The owners replied saying that they were very happy and supportive of such student initiatives, proving that we had worried for nothing!

Throughout this project, the SG also came together to interact with the janitors around the hall premises in the spirit of befriending them. Many of these conversations were also featured on NTU-CF’s Instagram page where we had a “Faces of NTU” showcase featuring two janitors and a gardener around our halls.

This project was born from a simple idea: to allow students to show their appreciation to the janitors around them. However, our SG has some difficulty with ensuring the project’s continuity. To improve our project for the next academic year, we will be rebranding the way the drink-stalls keep track of the number of drinks paid forward. This is important as the current method involves small magnets that end up getting lost or damaged.

Do look forward to Project YumCha v2.0 coming up soon!

Written by
Guok Jia Wei
NTU Civil and Environmental Engineering, Year 3