Volunteering with Heartware Support Our Pioneers Programme
Xinyi serves as a General Volunteer in our Heartware – Support Our Pioneers programme that targets seniors who are socially-isolated and are often from the lower-income wage bracket.
Every other Saturday morning, Xinyi, with a group of dedicated volunteers, visit seniors in their homes along Jalan Kukoh. When they first started the programme, the Xinyi and her team went to each home to get to know the residents. Part of this initial phase involved surveying the seniors to better understand their needs.
The experience of conducting surveys stretched Xinyi’s social skills as it forced her out of her comfort zone and helped her overcome her apprehension of interacting with strangers. At the same time, she learnt not to take rejection personally when a senior refused a visit. Additionally, Xinyi found that the volunteering experience had a positive impact on her undergraduate studies for she found that she could now confidently conduct interviews for her fieldwork.
Of the myriad interactions she’s had with the seniors, one interaction stands out for Xinyi. She fondly recalled a visit with an elderly uncle that spanned almost thirty minutes – a far longer interaction than most. During that visit, the older gentleman generously shared with them lessons he had learnt from his life and the goals he had set for himself to achieve, even in his sunset years.
Knowing how to speak in Mandarin dialects or having a lot of experience interacting with seniors are not prerequisites for signing up for the programme. Shared Xinyi, “If anyone is worried about a lack of experience, I would say, give yourself a chance to learn and participate in this meaningful cause. Taking the first step is often the most daunting move. However, if you overcome your initial apprehension, you will soon experience a sense of fulfilment that comes with volunteering. And do not forget, you will always have a team of passionate volunteers around you to help and support you.”