Once again, GUI faces an uncertain future as our land lease ends in less than 6 months. We need YOUR support to make sure that this Kampung can continue to exist.
Ground-Up Initiative has existed for 11 years in Singapore, and for a good reason. We want to connect urban dwellers to nature through direct participation on the land, especially in an affluent nation like Singapore where it is easy to take for granted the wealth that we have.
Our founder and Kampung Chief, Tay Lai Hock saw the potential of having a bigger piece of land in bringing together people from all walks of life and social enterprises to build a sustainable model of a ground-up community. With this vision, the GUI community fought hard to negotiate for a bigger piece of land from the authorities when Bottle Tree Park’s land lease ended. On 1st September 2014, we were finally granted 2.6ha of land to actualise this vision.
Unfortunately, before he could finish turning GUI around to fulfill this vision, Lai Hock passed away unexpectedly in August 2018. A new leadership team has formed and despite complex obstacles ahead of us, we wish to carry out the work he envisioned, not only to fulfill his legacy, but our collective desire to see a more sustainable future for Singapore.
This is an opportunity of a lifetime for anyone who believes in giving our next generation a sustainable future. We want to put in our best effort to show that a model like Kampung Kampus can work in an urban context to build stronger connections and a more resilient people to weather the challenges of the 21st century.
Our TOL (Temporary Occupation License) expires next year on 17 April 2020, and we also found out recently that our rental fee may be set to increase.
The land that GUI sits on expanded from the beginning 100sqm in 2009 to 26,000sqm currently. This lease is based on a period of 3+3 years, with effect from 31 August 2014, until 17 April 2020.
Right now, we have less than 6 months left to prove our model, along with paying back the infrastructure costs that GUI has accumulated in order to execute our vision for the Kampung. We intend to do everything in our capacity to thrive during this period and we will be seeking an extension to the lease.
|Total (current costs)||S$1,471,661|
|Operational costs (18 months projection)||S$720,000|
|Reserves for land reinstatement||S$500,000|
We do not intend to be dependent solely on community sponsorship for financial sustainability. This is how we intend to recoup our costs and keep GUI running:
Over the past ten years from 2008 to 2018, Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) has transformed lives in diverse ways because of its open, inclusive and multi-disciplinary approach. People of a wide spectrum come together to participate in various activities – in the process shaping careers, fostering leadership, confidence and courage, teaching skills much needed for a climate change driven future, nurturing a sense of rootedness to Singapore, among many other transformative stories:
8 years or so ago, a team of amazing people invested a lot more than one month’s worth of their time, energy, creativity and persistence to build a space that has shaped my life and career in Singapore. They invested in a future that I am benefiting from today, and I’d like a future for myself and the people I care for here, where a space and place like GUI exists in Singapore. – Kia Jiehui, Sustainability Advisor
“Touchwood is a hidden gem in Singapore’s concrete jungle. Any parent who understands the importance of passing on values to their children such as a can-do attitude, problem-solving, tinkering, creative thinking and innovating will appreciate the unique opportunities that a place like Touchwood offers.” – Pang Chiaw Yong, Educator & Mother
“I am a Singaporean. I am benefiting from this nation and her opportunities. I want to ensure we continue to survive and thrive. We need a future ready mindset, an attitude to excel as a nation in this complex world. GUI provides this possibility to nurture and inspire an alternative. At the same time, to impart the values of rootedness and resilience. To inspire the attitude of adaptability and enterprise. To harness the power of community and diversity. To create growth and harmony with each other, community, and with Nature.” – Tai Xu Hong, head of WOW Kampung
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