IMPACT 0282: PROJECT BLOOD: YOUTH RAISE AWARENESS FOR BLOOD DONATION
Project Blood is a youth-led organisation that hopes to raise awareness of blood donation among youth. It was founded by Marie, now 20 and Boyi, now 22 in 2019, after learning about the extremely low rates of blood donation here in Singapore.
They are partnered with the Singapore Red Cross Blood Donor Programme on their Instagram page, @ProjectBloodSG, where they share information and news about blood donation. Today, the creative head of their core team Matz Chan, 19 writes a letter to the Youth.
It all started with a news article in 2019 imploring the public to donate blood in a bid to raise blood bank levels to non-critical levels. Our founders, Marie and Boyi, were appalled by the shockingly low levels of blood in the blood banks, despite its immense importance in the healthcare system.
They knew that they had to do something about the now critically low levels and signed up to donate blood. They called a few friends to join them but discovered that many were apprehensive and skeptical about the blood donation process. Attempting to convince them, the two conducted more research about blood donation and were extremely fascinated by what they found.
It was then that they understood the gravity and enormity of the situation, most notably that one bag of blood saves three lives. With the power of this information, they were able to convince many of their friends to join them in donating blood.
They then realised that this was their opportunity to make a difference in society, and their shot at changing the blood donation culture and landscape in Singapore. So, they emailed the Red Cross for support in organising a blood drive. When the Red Cross replied with a “yes”, Project Blood SG was born.
The vision of Project Blood is clear: it is to maintain a stable blood supply in Singapore with the goal of increasing the number of Blood donations by youth. To do this, we are focusing our efforts on educating youth in Singapore on the process and impacts of blood donation, and creating a community of blood donors. In addition, we are making the process of blood donation more accessible and convenient by bringing these blood drives to the community.
Our greatest challenge came in the form of COVID-19. Because of safety concerns and restrictions, a lot of changes had to be made to our plans. Many people were afraid of donating as they were afraid of visiting healthcare facilities. However, our team was still able to come up with novel solutions.
We did what we could to ensure the safety of our donors and gave them the proper reassurance. We also focused on designing posters and flyers to encourage those who were living nearby to donate on the day itself. We were thus able to not only maintain but increase the number of donors at our donation drive.
Changing lifestyle habits and inspiring others to contribute to this cause is hard work. Every member of the team has had to sacrifice many precious hours of study, sleep and bookout time to ensure the work we produce is of high quality.
A seemingly simple Instagram story can take the publicity team up to an hour to create, as everything from the colour palette to the graphics are designed from scratch and have to be in line with a larger planned theme. The filming and editing of a short two-minute interview can take the creative team an entire day.
Lastly, the biannual blood drives take up to three months of planning beforehand as the events and logistics team have to find sponsors, acquire a location for the drive and ensure the flawless running of the event. The success of our project thus far is attributed to the passionate, creative and intelligent team working behind the scenes.
It is not easy work, but what drives us to continue to contribute is the community we have created. We have a “family” of blood donors who often ask us for the date of the next blood donation drive. It is also knowing the impact and importance of our actions, that a single 500ml bag of red liquid can save a life.
One of the biggest misconceptions that the public has about blood donation is that it is a long and painful process, but that is entirely false. The actual process only takes five to seven minutes, and it is a relatively painless procedure as a local painkiller would be applied beforehand.
If you would like to donate and save not just one but three lives today, head down to our Instagram page @projectbloodsg, for more information on our upcoming events and blood drives.
This article was published on Dec 2, 2021