Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 5870

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: HOTA, a diplomatic utility
Category: 7. Health and the Environment

School: Hwa Chong Institution
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

4 students, ages 15,16 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 18, 2009. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2006,2007

Classes and Teachers: Paul Ho. Oh, Chai, Chan, Tan

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

We are a team of 4 students wanting to find out more about organ transplant after our Biology lessons this year that talked about kidneys and liver. Due to the recent case of organ trading that occurred in Singapore, we wanted to find out more regarding this topic, and hence we embarked on this project to explore the topic from various perspectives.

Oh – Group leader of the project who ensured that the group was working according to schedules. He also aided in vetting the research done by each member, and compiled the work for the website. Chai – IT professional of the group. He is in charge of creating a website to house our information. Through Chai’s skills in this field, he was able to create a website that would present our information in an aesthetically appealing manner and capture the audience’s attention. Chan – Researcher of the group. He is in charge of digging out all the relevant information to our project, and filtered whatever information that was necessary from the internet. Also, he played a big role in assigning work to the members of the group. Tan – Analyst of the group. He was fantastic in terms of analyzing the subject concerned from various perspectives. Also, he helped to vet our work, making sure that our information was relevant and reliable. Mr Paul Ho, our teacher mentor who has painstakingly guided us in this project. He helped to direct our flow of thought and aided in drawing up of the work plan of the project.

2. Summary of Our Project

The year 2008 saw a new twist to Singapore’s on-going debate towards the legalization of organ trading. Tung Wee Sung, CEO of CK Tang Departmental Store, was found guilty of being engaged in a kidney purchase with an Indonesian Sulaiman Damanik, thereby opposing the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA). Tung was claimed to be very sick at that period of time, and had desperately required a kidney transplant, thus gave the Indonesian a sum of money in return for the Indonesian’s kidney. The Indonesian was said to have made the deal with the devil based on his background as a jobless and poor family man. The incident sparked off interest regarding the legalization of organ trading, and many Singaporeans were involved in posting their views on the internet. There were those that opposed to organ trading for various reasons related to exploitation of the poor and the ethics of such a practice, and there were those who welcomed a new change in the legal system that would give new hope to those in need of a new organ, thereby contributing to the welfare of the state. The Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) was proposed for amendment in 2009, which will bring about a change in light towards the issue of organ trading in Singapore. Key changes include the donor receiving reimbursements upon the removal of a particular organ, a more flexible system of donor-recipient paired matching and an increase in penalties towards middlemen and syndicates. The project examines the benefits that the amendment would bring about, and how Singapore’s revised act can reach out and benefit countries outside Singapore. For this project, the focus is on 3 ASEAN countries, namely China, India and Philippines.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

As the newest amendment bill is still being reviewed in the parliament, we do not have solid figures to justify our arguments. Our arguments are thus based on theory. A pertinent problem is the apathy of general public towards HOTA, organ transplant and relevant issues. The general public is ignorant towards issues outside their lives. Since we covered China, India and Philippines in our scope of project, it must be noted that the governments of these countries face a certain level of corruption. Therefore, official figures that we harvested on the Internet may not be entirely true. This, in a way, affects our judgment of the current organ-trading situation in the aforementioned countries. To overcome this, we referred to as many sources as we can, to get the most accurate possible figures. (Primary sources and secondary sources)

5. Our Project Sound Bite

A project that review, rediscover and reevaluate the possibilities of eradicating illegal organ trading through legal regulations.

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

The Doors to Diplomacy Project is line with our school’s “Project’s Day Competition”, which encourages learning outside the curriculum through the means of project work. “Doors to Diplomacy” provides revenue for students to understand more about diplomacy and international affairs though the means of project work, which is similar to our school’s outline of project work. We learnt how to induce critical thinking into our work and more importantly manage our time. Using the internet has been more effective as it allowed us to access information relevant to our project, especially primary sources and secondary sources for our case studies.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

We used a variety of information tools and technologies including computer software, newspaper articles, oral interviews and the internet. We used the internet to research for newspaper articles for our case study. We use oral interviews with professionals to obtain a deeper perspective regarding our project. We used computer software to create our website.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

To act as ambassadors to our project, we first have to create awareness for our project. This is achieved by creating pamphlets to be given out to the general public. Also, we have created a joint Facebook group for the project, in hopes of drawing attention from the online community. Lastly, we presented our project to the community (students, folks in community centers).

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

In a sense, our project has attracted attention from our peers in school, as they have seen the efforts we have placed in the project. Many have expressed interest in our project, and have, in a sense, contributed to our bag of questions for research.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Our project has definitely enlisted the help of many people outside our project group. First is our coach Mr Paul Ho, for his guidance and patience towards our project. Also, we would like to thank Mr Edmund Kronenburg, for his advice and support towards this project. He has willingly devoted time off his busy schedule to answer queries regarding our project, thus allowing us to gain more insight towards this topic. Lastly, we would like to thank students outside this project that have contributed in one way or another, especially Ang Yu Ann, for his relentless support towards this project.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 5870)

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