Preserving Traditions, Embracing Change


At Heartware Network, we are privileged to receive volunteers who aspire to change the world, make a difference, and leave an undying mark in the community. We aim to help these aspiring youths be even closer to their goals by giving them comprehensive and holistic trainings.

Last year, our training sessions equipped the volunteers with essential skills that helped transform them into competent leaders in the various areas that they served. It helped them build greater empathy towards others, and made them into better persons. This year, we kept these traditional yet vital skills in our training curriculum, but added new twists to inspire our volunteers into becoming the best versions of themselves.

For instance, the Support Our Pioneers (SOP) programme training sessions now teach volunteers how to operate wheelchairs and walking aids. Tuition Programme (TP), on the other hand, introduced in-depth revisions of the school syllabus and goal-setting.

Throughout all of our programmes, we included thought-provoking simulation exercises provided our volunteers knowledge on some of the issues they might face on the ground. Problem-solving discussions nudged volunteers to think out of the box when resolving issues, and have a greater sense of ownership to their respective programmes. Here are some photos from the training sessions:


Support Our Pioneers Programme


We did the Whisper Challenge to see if the volunteers are able to lip-read. The volunteers were mouthing Heartware’s tagline “If it is not from the heart, it is not worth doing”.


Our volunteer, Claudia, tried out the proper usage of a 4-legged walking aid.


Our volunteers listened intently to De Jun, one of the volunteer leaders this year, on his past experiences volunteering with the Support Our Pioneers programme.


Tuition Programme


Volunteers listened attentively to Heartware staff, Denise, who eagerly briefed them on the Tuition Programme.


Our volunteers engaged in team discussions.


Our volunteer facilitator and ex-intern, Syafiq, shared on the MOE Math syllabus to the volunteers.


National Day Parade


Heartware Network Founder, Mr Raymond Huang, encouraged the volunteers to be resilient, and reminded them of their purpose in joining the National Day Parade.


Our volunteers performed a candid version of the Beatles’ walk on Abbey Road Crossing at the Havelock Road Crossing.

This year, we witnessed an increasing number of volunteers returning to volunteer with us once more.

Here from them here:


Cheryl Lim (in red) posed for a photo with Mdm Lily, one of the elderly we visit.

“I chose to come back because of why I started: The desire to do something for the community, albeit how cliché it sounds. Looking back, the faces I never knew have now found a place in the back of my head. In other words, I found new friends; ‘friends’ whose wisdom and experiences abound, there is never enough what we can discover from them – on all aspects of life. In fact, to say I have learnt from the elderly is an understatement, for in them I have found myself. When interacting with them I question and witness how much value they see in their lives, but I too question the values I hold dear as a person. With every visitation I learn new values, old ones become less obscure and more refined.

Also, over the course of 2017, I have learnt the transience of youth. Life before the silver age is so short-lived. I have understood to not take it for granted, and one way to appreciate this asset before inevitably losing it is to learn from the elderly, listen to them just like how I’d listen to a friend.

I never question how much an impact I HAVE made on an elderly, because I don’t want to know that, but I try my best nevertheless, because of the very fact I don’t know how much an impact I COULD make.

The biggest challenge I face as a volunteer leader this year is managing the volunteers, in part because I have to ensure that both volunteers and the elderly are taken care of during visitation sessions. Last year, I merely had to focus on having meaningful sessions with the elderly. Now, I have to prioritise yet ensure that there is a balance between managing both groups of people.”

-       Cheryl Lim, 20 years old


After the meaningful time I had last year — not just as a tutor, but also as a friend to my tutee, it is no wonder that I feel the strong urge to join HTP again this year. The individual fulfilment of being able to fill even a little of the gap in the support these children have is beyond words. Through TP 2017, I have learnt more about my strengths and limits than perhaps through any other experience, but more importantly, I have gained a deeper understanding of the less advantaged side of our society that may too often be overlooked.

The most rewarding change in my tutee has been his improved effort to take his studies more seriously. He began attempting the homework I gave him on top of his usual assignments not long after the first session, and made visible effort to stay focused on learning every session and avoid being tempted by external distractions. It was heartening to watch his progress and I hope that I can ignite it in others as well this year.

That said, I have faced problems in handling the tutees, such as when boredom becomes quite infectious among them and when the tutees’ conflicts with one another or with their tutors begin to affect the sessions. These issues are partly why I am determined to join TP again. A fresh start means new opportunities for me to find different ways to deal with the challenges I have faced last year, and to better learn from the ways other tutors alongside me navigate this journey.

-       Alicia Tay, 18 years old


Trainings-12 Ashley Ang (in blue) presenting in the training session.

“I joined NDP 2018 as I felt that I want to break my own limits and create new limits. I also want to do my part to serve the community. Another thing is that there were some things I saw when I was a General Volunteer which I felt could be improved, so I wanted to join this year to make a difference. I have seen changes in myself in terms of leadership skills and I now have the initiative to speak up. My past experiences each time were different which allow me to learn something unique. I want to make improvements in various areas: timing of food, training, as I think we should focus more on bonding and situation training.”

Ashley Ang, 19 years old


Traditions are to be preserved, but change is to be embraced. We continue to retain meaningful traditions while continuously improve our programmes to help our volunteers become community champions who can make a real difference.

To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, click here.