Yellow Ribbon Project 2010


The making of the Yellow Ribbon Project Campaign →

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The rehabilitation journey begins with the Prison Officers and SCORE Officers, who are tasked to RESTART the inmates’ lives during incarceration.

Volunteers from the CARE Network help inmates RELEARN the first steps towards starting a new life in a daunting new world a few months prior to their release.

Companies and business owners provide job opportunities for sincere ex-offenders to help REBUILD their careers and their lives with their families.


About the TV Commercial


The story centers around Joe, a 40 year old ex-offender.

Chapter 1 starts with an unrepentant and at times angry Joe, who felt that everybody had given up on him.

Senior Prison Officer Bala, Joe’s Personal Supervisor in prison, first puts Joe into the SCORE Bakery to help him regain his confidence. Joe wanted to give up, given the tough conditions he had to deal with.

One day, Bala came to the assistance of an elderly visitor to the prison who fainted and fell, gashing herself on the right side of her face. Bala was touched by the mother’s instinctive response about her injury as he helped her up: without paying any concern to her own pain, she told Bala not to tell her son about her fall. The son turned out to be Joe.

Bala noticed Joe’s talent in baking and suggested he enter into the Yellow Ribbon Culinary Competition, where finalists get to prepare their winning entries for their loved ones and families in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Mother’s Day. Joe made the finals, but unfortunately, his mother failed to turn up during the finals, held on Mother’s Day. Bala took him aside and broke the bad news to him about his mum’s passing.

Bala told him that in her mother’s heart, she would not care about how good his cake or baking skill was, but how good a person he would eventually change into. And that the most important ingredient in life, is unconditional love.

Chapter 2 begins two months from the release of Joe from Prison, where Clara, an experienced volunteer from the Singapore After Care Association (SACA), was tasked to help a group of inmates, including Joe, relearn all the basic steps of going back into society.

In Clara’s eyes, all ex-offenders, no matter how old they are, are relearning everything all over again, much like a kid stepping out into the world for the first time. Simple things like taking a bus, smiling when greeting people for the first time, and even getting the courage to ask questions are skills that needed to be learnt.

At the beginning, Clara saw a shy and unsure Joe. Through time, Joe opened up more and learnt to be more confident of himself. Interestingly, Joe beat Clara every time at Scrabble, having memorised all the key words in the dictionary whenever he gets the time in prison. Clara advised Joe, that it was not about how many words he knew, but how to use these words correctly and not go back to the past when he used them abusively.

The new year’s eve before Joe’s release, Joe asked Clara why she was not spending time with her family or loved ones instead. After all, he and the other inmates were nobody to her. Clara wanted to tell him, that she never felt that they were outsiders, but treated them like family instead.

Chapter 3 sees Joe taking on the new responsibility of an employee in a cafe. Kenneth, the cafe owner, saw a lot of similarities in the process of building a business and that of building a new life. Both need to gain acceptance and trust. And both needed to work extremely hard from scratch to achieve that.

Joe worked hard as a waiter. And Kenneth, wanting to equip Joe with a lifelong skill that he could use, gave him the opportunity to train as a barista.

It was not all rosy in the beginning. Many times, Joe reverted to his habit in prison of standing at attention each time a superior or Prison Officer walked past him. And Kenneth had to constantly remind Joe that he was now no longer in prison, but had a new identity and new life.

Eventually, Joe learnt the ropes as a barista. And most importantly, Joe finally realised how his own mother felt all along as he began raising his own daughter. The words of Bala, his Prison Supervisor, rang constantly in his ears as a reminder, “… the most important ingredient in life, is unconditional love.”

[ The making of Yellow Ribbon Project 2010 Campaign ]





  1. Daryl
    17 January, 2012

    Not bad, i didn’t saw this on TV. A strategy that hit 2 birds with one stone. Keep it up.

  2. charissa
    22 March, 2012

    excellent videos!


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