|(Above): “Awareness Cards” were made by the children and given out to members of the public, explaining the work of The Salvation Army’s Child Care Centres.|
I walk around the centre, I see the SMU volunteers and the children wearing warm smiles on their faces; evidence that they were indeed connecting to one another. Children are so special and can connect with us when we sincerely reach out to them. I remember thinking to myself, “What amazing joy these volunteers bring” as I saw them hugging the children, kneeling down to the child’s level as they chatted, holding their little hands and giving them genuine touches of love. And the connection was echoed by Enqi, a freshman SMU volunteer who described the experience as “meaningful and refreshing”.
|(Above): Interview with Cheryl, |
one of the starringSMU student
I soon found out that this was one of the four projects that took place in The Salvation Army’s Child Care Centres across the island. And this was to be the third and final day of the project in the centre. This got me curious, I wanted to know why they had chosen to work with children, especially with such a big group of children, which could be challenging for someone not trained to work with children. Nonetheless, they were doing such a great job I couldn’t hold back my curiosity. I approached a volunteer in a white starringSMU T-shirt with the word “EXCO” on it. Her name is Cheryl, meaning dear one, beloved or darling. Indeed she is a beloved child of God. Cheryl was in-charge of the activities at the Tampines Child Care Centre. She shared that the group has previously came two other times and conducted games and craftwork with the children. She shared her deep-felt thoughts and feelings on volunteering for this project. “I want to start from home, from Singapore. Why go overseas when there’s a need to be met here in Singapore already?” She believes that it is vital to meet the needs here where she belongs- even if it’s just a simple need. Thank you, Cheryl, for adding a new perspective towards volunteerism.
When I went over to the children to ask if they like the “Jie Jie”s (Chinese term for elder sisters), the children nodded without hesitation, giving such sweet smiles. What better way to hear it than from the children themselves? Cherie and May (in the picture above) told me that it was purely out of interest that they chose to volunteer in this project and affirmed that they enjoyed working with the children.
With the awareness cards all done and packed up and lunch served, we soon gathered the children onto the buses and travelled down to Raffles Place. You could sense the excitement in the air. This was what I saw just before the flash mob started. Amazing isn’t it?
|(Above): Volunteers and children with all smiles as they fanned one another, took photos and hugged each other.|
Soon came the time for the flash mob as the volunteers and children “invaded” the park and danced to the upbeat mash-up of familiar National Day songs, attracting the attention of the Shenton Way lunchtime crowd. And I enjoyed every moment of the flash mob.
|(Above): Volunteers and children trying to get a nice group shot while trying to keep the sun from shining into their eyes.|