March 13, 2015


“It’s such a great learning experience for me and my kids. Instead of playing computer games on their days off from school and tuition, it would be better if they continue coming for this! They love it and have started telling all their friends about it!”

“Why do Singaporeans always throw away things?” That remark by her sister who was visiting her from Malaysia struck Cindy hard, especially when they had just passed by a pile of abandoned furniture near the HDB thrash collection point.

It’s not hard to concur; there was some truth in what her sister had said. Cindy was reminded of her childhood back in Ipoh where the habit of repairing before throwing things away was imbued in their daily lifestyle. When she came across the Repair Kopitiam flyer in her neighborhood, she was excited because that was her chance to revive that repair habit and share with her children what it was like growing up repairing things instead of just throwing away and buying new items.

Cindy turned up for the first Repair Kopitiam session at Block 425, Jurong West Ave 1 with her 3 children and a broken stool. The stool came in together with a vanity table and was pretty unique. Its MDF seat base was warped and was giving way. She had brought it for repairs at the furniture shop where she had bought the bedroom furniture but was refused by the shop owner. Together with the repair coaches, they changed the board and stapled foam and fabric cover onto the board. Now the stool looks as good as new!

The excitement brewed and after repairing the stool, Cindy’s children went back to their home to retrieve a tricycle that had a wobbly seat. With the help of the repair coaches, the children learned how to use the sewing machine, make a new seat padding out of an old shirt and fix the mechanism of the seat to make it less wobbly. The joy and satisfaction of bringing something back to life could not be better expressed!