The Power of Volunteer Synergy

Sep 05, 2018   |   Qawiem As'ari and Joanne Liew

Share this post:

Learning doesn’t finish when the bell rings, and teaching doesn’t end at the school gates. Anyone who has guided us and lent support are our teachers: parents, colleagues, and even friends. But because a student typically spends 8 hours in school and 20 years in educational institutions if we count pre-school, the time spent with teachers is particularly impactful.

Students from Marsiling Secondary “professing their love” to their teachers with our gifts!

In support of President’s Challenge, the project was a collaboration with Kampung Senang Charity and Education Foundation. Children beneficiaries took to colouring the back of the Teachers’ Day gift cards with Heartware volunteers from National Junior College – an unprecedented initiative for an organisation that typically designs materials in-house from start to finish.  At the same time, our corporate partner Sheng Siong Group Limited also supported the collaboration by sponsoring apples fresh out of the freezer.

In a funny role-switching session, the volunteers became teachers to the children! They were entrusted with the responsibility to guide the children through colouring, writing calligraphy, and helping turn the children’s creative visions to reality.

The colouring template gave the children freedom to express their creativity, a break from everyday school work. They penned heartfelt messages for their teachers with the help of the volunteers. Though shy at first, seeing the children break into wide smiles and cheeky laughter made our day! Listening to the children sharing why they adore their teachers invoked precious memories from school, where teachers were committed to ease our troubles and clear our doubts in learning.  

Each completed template showed off the personalities of the children, and it would amaze you at how they turned something simple to be marvelous, flamboyant, and brimming with energy. We picked 10 impressive designs, and furnished them onto the back of the gift cards that would eventually be printed and reach the hands of more than 3 thousand teachers island-wide.

NJC volunteer Minhan helping a child with the card decorations.

A wide array of colouring and decorative materials were available for the children’s use, so that they could express themselves creatively.

See the rest of the coloured cards here!

This beautiful piece made by one of Kampung Senang children beneficiaries was amongst those picked for the final back card design of our ‘We Love Our Teachers’ gift cards. The gift cards were printed and sent to schools nation-wide, thereby showcasing the children’s talents.

We were also grateful for the 14 experienced Heartware volunteers who spent three full days with us preparing, packing, and delivering 3.5 thousand gifts. The process was smooth as our volunteers actively covered for one another and solved problems by putting their heads together.

Volunteers made a chain to pack apples donated by Sheng Siong Group Limited.

The end product of our packing!

Volunteers spent a full day delivering apples to the schools.

Our dedication was rewarded when we as volunteers visited the schools to join the Teacher’s Day celebrations on 30 August, and witnessed students lovingly presenting the apple gifts to their teachers. To see pictures streaming in from the dozens of schools which received our apples was a virtual pat on the back. The appreciative smiles of both teachers and students told us all that we needed to know.

See: The full album of Teacher’s Day gift presentations here!

We were specially happy for the children beneficiaries of Kampung Senang Charity and Education Foundation, whom through this project, got to showcase their colourful talents to places beyond their everyday life. Who knows if they gained some self-confidence too from our mini play!

The time engaging the children beneficiaries was sufficient to lay a platform for them to express themselves and increase their sense of worth. Just imagine how huge the effect would be if this was turned into a frequent, sustainable volunteering! That is what we hope and aim for for all projects under Heartware Network and the President’s Challenge Volunteer Drive.

And we, too, turned a vision into a reality, and made a fruitful contribution back to the community through this wholesome project. Thank you volunteers, and thank you teachers!