After being caught for theft with his friends, 16-year-old Muhd Nor Fadzly Bin Mohd Talib wanted to turn over a new leaf to do his family proud.
And on Jan 26, he got the opportunity to do what he described as a “good thing” — by helping out in a carnival for the less fortunate in Singapore.
“My parents encouraged me to try it out,” said Fadzly, who was approached by his social worker to help out as game master at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Students’ Community Service Club (CSC) Day.
Fadzly was one of 14 youth beneficiaries — comprising those at risk and girls who suffered from abuse — who organisers of the CSC Day sought to reach out to with their carnival.
The event brought together volunteers as well as CSC beneficiaries from the elderly, terminally ill, intellectually disabled, children and youth.
For the youth, specifically, the NUS undergraduates wanted to get them involved in the running of the carnival.
The aim, said organisers, was to encourage the youth to offer a helping hand to society and to discover the joy in volunteering.
For the other beneficiaries, activities were planned to get them to interact “to raise awareness of different types of beneficiaries among themselves”, said CSC Day Project Director Siah Peiling, 22. As such, the 99 participants were placed into eight groups, each consisting of four elderly participants, four youths and four who were intellectually disabled.
“It is not often that children, youth and elderly are exposed to the intellectually disabled,” noted Ms Siah
“We just wanted to gather the beneficiaries, as well as existing and new volunteers of CSC, and let them have lots of fun together,” she added.
Assistant Project Director Joshua Goh, 22, said: “As an organisation, I think it was a good chance for us and others to know more about our beneficiaries and volunteerism.”
With a total strength of about 4,000 student volunteers, CSC members reach out to about 500 beneficiaries from its various programmes.
And their efforts to inspire giving time to others appear to have paid off.
“I would like to play even bigger roles, like that of the organiser,” said a beneficiary, Joshua Koh, 15, who served as a station master. “I would like to introduce even more games to the needy and let them have fun experiences that they may never have had before.”
The experience has also inspired Fadzly to dream bigger: “I don’t want to do stupid things like last time (and) follow friends in doing the wrong things. (I want to) do good things like we did today at CSC Day. It’s more worth it.”