Duration of Service component: December 2015 to March 2017 (16 months, 214.5 hours)
The Domino Challenge! for Me Too! Club, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled in Singapore (MINDS)
Team of instructors for NTU Welfare Services Club – high & low elements for the The Singapore Association for the Deaf
Letters and gifts received from participants of Haven Home during True Hearts 10th Anniversary 2D1N camp
Team of instructors for high elements for troubled youths – Youth Guidance Outreach Services
Pre-programme discussion for Youth Employment Achievement Hub (YEAH) laser combat programme
Rafting activity during 3D2N camp for Asian Women Welfare Association (AWWA)
Team of instructors for Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) carnival at Nanyang Junior College
Additional Pro-bono programmes:
- Singapore Children’s Society (SCS) Family Day
- Basic Instructor Course 45
Being a pro-bono instructor has opened my eyes to the various communities in Singapore that require assistance. It has showed me that even though Singapore is a 1st world country with a rising economy, there are still people in the country that are struggling to make ends meet or find their place in our society. Take belaying for the deaf association, for example. I would never have expected being able to manage a high elements session with the deaf as I would not be able to communicate messages to the participants by shouting and noise. Instead, I needed to communicate information with a sign language translator who would translate my instructions into sign language for the participants. It made me reflect on how fortunate I am to be able to retain my sense of hearing, as well as the smallest things in life which I did not think about before. For example, in the True Hearts programme, I conducted an outdoor cooking session with the participants of an orphanage/home, Haven Home. Seeing the participants and mentors cooking for one another has tugged my heart strings and made me appreciate my family and friends who were constantly around me and supporting me in all my endeavors. This was the starting point for me to reflect on myself and my actions in many aspects of life and a motivated me to do more for the community.
Monthly Food Distribution [with Social Hearts and Actions for the Needy (S.H.A.N), previously unnamed; a collaboration of Chia Leng Kong Temple and Mummy Yummy]
- Volunteer on every 1st Saturday of the month (approximately 2-3 hours per session)
- Distribution of vegetarian bee hoon to various needy households in Tanjong Pagar region of Singapore
Website for S.H.A.N: https://www.shan.com.sg/
Website for Mummy Yummy: https://www.facebook.com/Mummy-Yummy-Singapore-679826295399303/
Team of volunteers from S.H.A.N before food distribution
Going door to door with my family to deliver vegetarian bee hoon to needy households
Monthy distribution of vegetarian bee hoon with S.H.A.N has widened my perspective of the ageing population in Singapore. Most of the households we deliver food to are either elderly living alone, elderly whose families have left them, the physically disabled, or families facing financial difficulties. Being in this part of the heartlands has showed me a very different side of Singapore and exactly what these elderly residents are facing on a daily basis. Their lack of companionship has caused them to appreciate even the few minutes of interaction with us as we deliver food to their doorstep. Yet, many of them still choose to stay positive in life despite their difficulties.
Light House Programme at Kampong Kapor Family Service Center (KKFSC)
- Under Singapore Polytechnic School of Chemical and Life Sciences (SP CLS)
- Mentoring and tutoring every Tuesday evening for 6 months (2 hours per session)
- For under privileged children between 10 – 14 at KKFSC
Team of volunteers from SP CLS
Since my pro-bono programme with True Hearts, I was inspired by the mentors who gave the children so much encouragement and inspiration. I decided to take on the role of a mentor with KKFSC when the opportunity came. I mentored a primary 5 boy named Ridzwan at the family service center and made friends with a few other such as Hans, a primary 6 boy. Tutoring every week and sharing conversations with these ‘children-going-teenagers’ have since been a very enriching experience as I was able to empathize with their struggles in school and support them academically, as well as a person they can talk to to share their difficulties. Although my time with them was only a short 6 months (due to commencement of night classes), I formed friendships with them and took away a lot of lessons in giving back to these children. I was able to be a role model to them and am thankful to know that they are doing well in their studies since my departure.
Other Side Programmes
Volunteers from Class DBS/FT/1A/01 Singapore Polytechnic Flag Day 2016 – raising funds for the President’s Challenge outside Raffles Place MRT Station
Team of volunteers for Lakeside Family Services (LFS) September holiday 1 day programme to impart the value of integrity to children aged 7-10. We participated in various station games and activities planned by LFS in the vicinity of the center.
Advance Leadership Training Camp for Ngee Ann Secondary School which imparts leadership skills to student leaders. Student leaders take on a community service activity during the camp (The aNASing trip) where they went to various locations around south-west Singapore to perform tasks such as collecting drink cans for the uncles and aunties for recycling, interviewing about the challenges of the hawkers in hawker centers, and clearing tables for cleaners in hawker centers.
This 12-month long journey has been nothing less than inspiring for me. “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”. This quote cannot be more true as I took on youth and community work through these months. I learnt that compassion and empathy cannot be taught through textbooks and in theory. Compassion and empathy can only be learnt and appreciated through performing in acts of service. Since the conclusion of my NYAA service section, I continued to volunteer for pro-bono programmes, volunteered monthly with S.H.A.N, and supported CIP events initiated by my CCA in school. This 12-month stint has fueled me to help others in my community, as well as reinforcing my ambition to be a medical doctor in the future – to help others in need.