The Ocean Purpose Project (OPP) is a Singaporean social enterprise driving ocean conservation and plastic pollution prevention via disruptive and creative projects with mass scale impact.
OPP believes in disrupting the sustainability sector by thinking out of the box. Its unique selling point is to use innovative technology that is yet to enter the Singapore market, such as “plastic to fuel” and bioplastics. The organisation also holds frequent offline and online events to educate Singaporeans on its sustainability efforts.
When COVID-19 hit this year, OPP was unable to carry out its usual projects as the beaches were closed. This, however, did not deter the organisation from contributing to social causes in Singapore. Its projects that aimed to help the migrant worker community saw it win the silver award in the Marketing Excellence Awards 2020, for the category “Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility”. Its efforts were also recognised in the category of Excellence in Mobile Marketing as a finalist.
During the circuit breaker period, as with many businesses, OPP lost many clients and the beaches were closed for all its activities and projects. Despite not being able to drive its ocean conservation efforts, the team decided to mobilise its efforts towards immediate community needs and pivot its base of volunteers towards COVID-19 community projects. Even though it is an ocean conservation social enterprise, what matters most to the organisation is responding to the community needs.
However, being a small social enterprise with limited resources, OPP had zero funding for any projects, and had to purely rely on collaboration, volunteer community mobilisation and corporate partnerships.
Looking to help the migrant worker population, OPP carried out two projects. The first project titled “3S” aimed to improve the hygiene level in the migrant worker dormitories to stop the COVID spread. The campaign entailed OPP sending soap, shavers and shampoo to four dormitories in Punggol, Shaw Road, Queensway, and Kaki Bukit.
The second project was titled “Makan for Migrant Workers”, which aimed to deliver food to the migrant workers living in the Tuas View dormitory, CDPL Tuas dormitory, Tuas South dormitory.
Both projects saw OPP relying heavily on partnerships. For 3S, it partnered with Inova Pharmaceuticals for the provision of its shampoo. It also leveraged on its media partners and connections with migrant workers to get the items delivered.
As for its “Makan for Migrant Workers” project, partnered with Mayura Catering to prepare and pack food for migrant workers, as well as Pandora Weddings to deliver the food to dormitories around Singapore.
For manpower, it put out a call on Facebook and Instagram seeking food packers who are Singaporean or Permanent Residents to join the team and pack food for the migrant workers. Media outlets such as Mediacorp’s Vasantham channel and Singapore Press Holdings’ Tamil Murasu helped to amplify the message for the team, attracting a diversity of races, faiths and backgrounds of people who stepped up to help. OPP’s partners Mayura Catering and Pandora Weddings also provided a basic allowance to cover transport and a complimentary drink and meal of rice and curry as a meal for volunteers per shift.
OPP also worked alongside Mayura Catering daily, peeling vegetables, cooking and packing the food. The initiative started on 19 April 2020, packing over 1200 meals a day around the clock to ensure that migrant workers will not go hungry.
The “3S” project saw OPP send out 5000 sets of soap, shavers and shampoos to migrant workers in during the lockdown. Meanwhile, the “Makan for Migrant Worker” project recorded 220,000 healthy meals with protein, vegetables, rice and fruit sent to migrant workers in Tuas South dormitory in July 2020.