Projek Kawan (meaning Friends Project) was started by our founder Ricky Soo in June 2014 as a personal project to meet up with friends one-on-one in order to develop new social habits and change his social life.
In the project, Ricky started to take initiative to ask a friend out each time for a chat. In each meeting, Ricky had no other agenda but to to Connect, Listen and Build up friendship with the person.
- Connect – Take the initiative to ask a friend out for chat.
- Listen – Listen to the friend and seek first to understand.
- Build up – Build up the friendship and introduce him or her on Facebook after the meeting.
At the time of writing (3rd August 2014), Ricky has managed to meet with 52 new and existing friends. However, not all friends he asked out could come to meet alone. He started to see a need for friends to meet in group instead of one-on-one.
The first such group called Kawan Gathering #1 was organized on 13th July 2014. 7 of us gathered in Zest Cafe and started our dinner together around 7:30pm which was the time to break fast during the month of Ramadhan.
Though the event was based on Pitch ‘n’ Win event model, it was much more informal. We had casual chat over dinner. After everyone was full of food, Ricky requested everyone to introduce another friend.
Each of us introduced another friend in the gathering, and tried to say something interesting about the friend. In particular, husband-and-wife Alex Lai and Yoong Hui Min introduced and told the group more about each other what we never heard!
Friends meeting up in first Projek Kawan gathering
After one round of peer introduction, each of us was asked to “respond”, “correct” and add on to the introduction given by his or her peer. So, another round of self-introduction went on in the group.
After all sharing, we did a very quick and informal “voting” by pointing our finger to the friend whose sharing each thought to be most interesting. Yoong Hui Min gathered a lot of “fingers” and she had her dinner paid for as a “winner”.
It was a first experiment to do a group gathering under Projek Kawan and it went quite well. Despite the small group, the sharing was fun and interesting. Ricky reckoned that it’s one of the best jobs he has ever done personally as a host.
Incidentally, the event was held on the first anniversary of Pitch ‘n’ Win which experimented the very first Pitch ‘n’ Win event also in Zest Cafe one year ago on 13th July 2013.