(This story is from our archives of NextStep Magazine. The Magazine has since been renamed to AIC With You)
Volunteering might not be a teen’s idea of a typical date or day out with friends. But for Republic Polytechnic student Claire Lim Zi Hui, 19, she enjoys volunteering together with her boyfriend and friends.
Claire shares more about the social side of volunteering and how it makes an impact on her.
Together is Better
It all started when Claire’s boyfriend, who is an SG Ambassador, asked her out for a date, only to realize that he took her out to volunteer. Since then, volunteering has become a regular date idea. Occasionally, they may be paired up to meet seniors for house visits.
“We bond as a couple through this uniquely different and meaningful activity. It also gives us a chance to understand each other better,” shared Claire.
Spending Time with Friends
Claire has an active social life just like all other teenagers. On her free days, she goes to the movies, cycling or caféhopping with her friends. Claire also invites her friends to volunteer with her, sharing with them her experiences and stories of the seniors she interacted with.
While volunteering, she learns to be more patient towards others and has become more open to different views. This helps her to work better with her project teammates at school.
Making a Special Connection
As an SG Ambassador, Claire gets to bond with the seniors she meets. They would treat her like their own granddaughter, sharing with her their life stories. During one of her visits, she met a senior couple who advised her to start thinking and planning for her future. This advice stuck with her as just like them, she hopes to live a fulfilling life in her golden years.
Engaging seniors not only slows down the pace of Claire’s usual daily life, she finds peace during her interaction with them and has now become more positive.
Claire hopes that more youths would volunteer and feels that social media is a good platform to reach out to them. “Volunteering can be a part of our social life as we can ask our friends along.”
What do SG Ambassadors like Claire do?
The Silver Generation Office (SGO) brings together SG Ambassadors who actively reach out to all Singapore Citizens aged 60 and above to share with them on the programmes and services under the Community Networks for Seniors, and help them apply for assistance schemes.
Through house visits, SG Ambassadors explain government policies and schemes that are relevant to the seniors’ needs.
These include the Community Health Assist Scheme ,MediShield Life , Pioneer Generation Package and the Merdeka Generation Package. The SG Ambassadors also connect them to health services and activities in the community, such as Active Ageing Programmes, health talks and meals delivery.
To find out more, follow SGO on their Facebook page.