THE FIRST EVER NPS SERVICE NEWSLETTER!
In keeping with its mission statement, NPSI aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, caring young people, who recognise their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet and help create a better world. This newsletter showcases the various service activities our students are effectively engaged in order to hone their personal growth and interpersonal skills.
Ren Ci, a local healthcare that is devoted to nursing elderly citizens in need of constant care. The students of IB Year 1 volunteered their help to this hospital and during this time they interacted with the residents in multiple ways including playing board games, taking them out on a stroll or simply conversing with them. These interactions compelled us to step out of our comfort zones as most of the patients did not speak English. It was a positive experience that taught us different types of interactive engagements and figure out a form of effective interaction.
As a part of our annual Diwali Celebrations, secondary students decided to extend this year’s celebration to the residents at SASCO, a senior citizens home. The days prior to our visit were spent preparing a special art activity for the senior citizens involving flower making. Furthermore, we prepared an interactive Zumba where we danced with the residents to the tune of a lively song. This was followed by a delicious dinner. The most heart-warming aspect of this event was the genuine joy and excitement expressed by the residents in response to our activities. Feelings of gratitude and satisfaction stemmed from us and a promise to continue this tradition in years to come.
Singapore is regarded as a clean city and it becomes our responsibility as residents to maintain its cleanliness. The students of NPSI decided to contribute in their own way and took part in a beach cleaning activity. They realised that our coastal area has a lot of pollution which could have a negative effect on the marine life and the importance of cleanliness.
Our experience at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) was both eventful and interesting. Here, we had the opportunity to tackle yet another challenge and the key learning outcome from this opportunity was patience. Planning activities and executing them was always easier when done in groups. The inputs from everyone in the group helped make the activities more creative and enjoyable. It taught us how to cooperate efficiently and have desirable outcomes in our course of action. Celebrating festivals such as Diwali, Christmas and Chinese New Year drew us closer to the patients. The journey here has been long, but the students learnt how a little perseverance could go a long way.
The students of NPSI had an enriching experience at Acres. Looking after rescued turtles and other reptiles, cleaning shelters and preparing their food was both fulfilling and enthralling. Planting trees or cutting them, we quickly got ourselves busy and were able to do them best with the help of several helping hands. Doing these tasks was very exciting and self-motivating as everyone strived to do better. We learnt to appreciate nature and were also made aware of the hardships faced by animals in their ecosystem. The primary reason for their difficulties were not the predators but instead the greed and insensitivity of humans. Knowing and seeing all of that, helped us to develop an emotional attachment to the animals there.
This experience was a unique one. The senior citizens who came for a free eye screening test escorted by us to the testing area. We learnt how to work in a team and to help others in every part of life. Despite the glaring language barrier, we managed to communicate with them. With several hands at work, we were able to finish off this event efficiently. Overall the purpose of this experience was to help the elderly and reach out to the community.
PROJECT LOVE HAMPER DISTRIBUTION
During the month of January, as a part of the Chinese New Years' celebrations. Students gathered to pack and distribute food hampers to the needy residents, as part of Project Love, an annual community project. The MP of Jurong, Mr. Ang Wei Neng had also come to help and motivate all the other volunteers.
We carried the hampers containing food items and other necessities to the residents which had been packed earlier that week.
It was satisfying to see the faces light up when the residents received the hampers. It was the most wonderful part of this whole experience, and even made up for the muscle cramps in our hands!
THK SENIOR HOME, PIPIT ROAD
At the senior home, we had the opportunity to interact with the pioneer generation of Singapore and we revered at the wealth of information they had to share. We conducted a multitude of entertaining activities for them, including a dance and singing performance, playing scrabble with them and a listening session where they talked about their lives. Through this eye-opening experience, we encountered issues such as that of abandonment and loneliness in their lives.
KK Women and Children’s Hospital
Being part of the KK CAS group always has a profound effect on students, as it is not only joy inducing and extremely fun to play with the children, but also reveals a lot about diseases and their effects. Our role at KK is to entertain the children in the Neurological and Cardiac clinics while they wait for their appointments to come, and this includes fun activities such as coloring, origami making and even playing games with us! This is done with the intention to make the hospital visits less stressful for both parents and children alike, and to hopefully help them have a good time during their visit.
SERVICE TRIP TO CAMBODIA
As part of the IB Year 1 service trip, students went to Cambodia and volunteered at ‘Free The Bears’ foundation, a foundation that aimed to save bears in illegal captivity. Expecting a multitude of cute animals, we were not disappointed by the plethora of tree-climbing bears and exotic animals like gibbons and were happy to interact and play with them. However, it was not until the second day when we truly understood the extent of pain that these animals may have felt when we were told exactly how they were ill-treated and how they were rescued. It gave us a sense of happiness to note that they were in much better conditions and motivated us to help them.
We were involved in many activities including cleaning up the sanctuary and making food for the bears. It would be safe to say that not only was this an enriching trip but it also opened our eyes to the cultures of Cambodia and the initiatives of individuals to combat animal cruelty.