Singapore Seva Update for March 2019
Youth Children’s Dental Screening
A dental screening was organised for children with developmental delays at the Fei Yue Early Intervention Centre for Children in Singapore on March 31, 2019. The morning began with volunteers arriving early to set up the equipment, decorate the room and put out fun costumes and props for the children and their families to use when taking pictures. When the children arrived with their parents, the youth immediately broke out into huge smiles. The children’s cute waddles, innocent smiles and endearing hellos filled the heart with love and joy. The youth spent their day greeting them at the registration station and later drew and colored pictures with them. Every child had unique characteristics - some were shy, quiet and did not talk throughout the entire session, while others could not wait to tell everyone they met about their favorite hobbies, their favorite cartoon characters and more. Their enchanting laughter and delightful chatter filled the entire room with bliss!
The youth loved spending time with each child they met. They thought it would take a while for them to warm up to strangers, but even the shiest child was so easy to befriend. Despite being labeled as “autistic” and “different”, they shared the same curiosity and potential to learn and grow beautifully, as every other child they met.
The whole morning was filled with pure love, joy and peace. There are no others words to describe the time spent coloring with a child and seeing a smile. Although the youth went for this event with the intention of helping children with developmental delays and autism, they quickly realised that they were the ones who had gained the most, because nothing compares to the love that is felt when time is spent with a child and to watch them enjoy those small moments!
Poor health and mental illness isolate Singapore’s elderly from society, making social isolationism a serious threat to the well-being of Singapore’s elderly population. On March 16, 2019, the youth from 1Youth decided to bring 15 elderly residents from SWAMI Home out for a visit to the Singapore Zoo. The motivations for bringing out the elderly were simple: help combat social isolationism that the elderly are facing, while allowing them to exercise themselves both mentally and physically.
On the day of the actual event, the youth were not sure about what to expect. It was hard to imagine that they would really make a difference in the lives of the elderly since they were just a youth group accompanying a group of Senior Citizens to the Zoo. But, while speaking to the elderly, the youth were taken by how appreciative the elderly were of the event. Maybe, it was the loneliness that they live with, or it was being out at a vibrant place like the Zoo, surrounded by nature and animals; they opened up and shared stories from their younger days and experiences of visiting the “Old Zoo” where they made fond memories while visiting with family and friends. Throughout the day, it become increasingly evident that the elderly are incredibly youthful in spirit, regardless of their old age. They were selfless enough to take care of the youth by advising them to look at the bigger picture in life, even though they were the ones who were in wheelchairs!
The outing to the Zoo, taught the youth that happiness can exist despite discouraging and diminishing health. The rewards of volunteering is a two-way street. Not only were the youth able to put a smile on the faces of the elderly, but they were also able to grow as individuals.
Youth Chinese New Year Hospice Visit
The Youth visited the palliative care ward at TTSH over the Chinese New Year period to spend some time with the elderly who are terminally ill and in the last chapter of their lives. One of the volunteers brought her guitar and they offered festive songs during this season, hoping to bring some joy and love to these patients. One of the patients broke down and thanked the youth for their love. Unlike most of the other patients, this elderly man was all alone. In that moment, the youth truly felt God’s presence. They thank God for the opportunity to experience such a pure human connection with another being!