FAQ | Our Simulation Programmes | Etch Empathy

Frequently Asked Questions

How do our programmes work? Read a list of our frequently asked questions to learn about the rationale behind our simulations and community activities.

  1. Why do you develop and offer simulation programmes?As the Chinese proverb puts it: ‘I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.’ Participants find “experience” far more impactful and lasting than talks and documentaries.

    We invite participants to walk in the shoes and see through the lenses of others. As one participant told us after participating in a poverty escape simulation, “Researching online or reading books would not have taught me what I learned in the past hour”.

    We offer simulations for those who wish to empathise with social challenges other people face. We also hope to empower them to turn this empathy into thoughtful, meaningful and effective action.

  2. What do you aim to achieve by offering simulation programmes?Education:We hope to give participants greater knowledge of social challenges.Empathy:We hope to engage the heart, head and hands of our participants.

    Reflections:We explore ways during our debrief for participants to learn from each other.

  3. Are your simulation programmes realistic?It is always a challenge to portray a social issue in a sensitive way. A simulation can only mirror the real thing to a certain extent. In this, the simulation format faces the same challenge as other forms of communication: movies, documentaries, living museums, speeches or written papers. All may fail to give a 100% representation of the social challenge discussed.

    However, if designed appropriately, each simulation can portray their subject matter in a way that allows participants a deeper identification with the subject matter and a fuller understanding of ways to solve them.

    To help guide this process, when we seek to represent any particular need through simulation, two imperatives are of critical importance to us.

    Firstly, we work alongside people who have faced or are facing the issue we are addressing so that we can best represent the issue through the simulation.

    Secondly, we work with VWOs/NPOs who champion the social issue.

    These two groups help steer the development of our simulations: the story line and its trueness to life, the props and set that best reflect reality, and the points they consider of critical importance for participants to take away.

  4. What is the typical outcome of your programmes?We have been exploring simulations, designing and running them since 2014 and have observed participants becoming more motivated and better able to relate to the social issue when they are doing their community service. We hope our Empathy Experience simulation can inspire more social projects and further engagement in the community.

    To learn more about the outcome of our programmes, kindly take a look at our research study conducted in partnership with the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

  5. What is the intensity of the simulations?The intensity varies with each individuals but some simulations could be more intense than the others. Our simulations are checked for safety and participants can be assured that they will not come to any actual harm. At any point during the experience, if participants feel they cannot manage, they may step out of the simulation and speak with our experienced staff. As of date, no participant has requested that.