"How fortunate we are"

Noridayu Samsuri, an RCY Club Member, shares with us her experience being part of a team of 18 volunteers who went to Roxas City, the Philippines on an Overseas Humanitarian Programme (OHP) from 13 to 24 June.

Opened to RCY Cadets, RCY Teacher-Officers, RCY Chapter Members, and RCY Club Members, the OHP was aimed at refurbishing two school premises to enhance their outlook through the painting of murals on the discoloured walls and educating the students on the importance of school safety, personal hygiene and basic first aid in their schools and communities. In addition, teams exchanged technical knowledge and learnt about the cultural differences.

1. Why did you choose to join OHP?
I have always wanted to explore different culture and learn from it. This is definitely the best platform for me to begin with.

2. Where did you go and describe some of things you did?
We stayed in Grand Gazebo, visited Santa Monica Church, Robinson Mall, Ivisan and Libas Elementary School. Some of the things we did at the schools included, painting, teaching basic hygiene and distribution of the hygiene packs.

3. What are some of the preparation you had to go through prior to this OHP
Preparations for my group were a lot more concentrated on the logistics. Since my group was in charge of hygiene, I initially felt the research part was a bit mundane.

Later on, we decided to add in rhymes for the handwash song. It was something different, yet innovative so that learning could be more enjoyable for the children.

4. List 3 most valuable lessons from this OHP?

1) Be humble when i see my own mistakes. Courageous to admit them, and wise enough to correct them.

2) What I have learnt from the students is that happiness can be achieved in the simplest form. And you can occupy your time with anything at all! The children we interacted with were always actively participating, asking us questions all the time!

3) They may be poor in wealth, but rich in knowledge and etiquette.

5. Could you share with us most memorable experience or life changing moment from this OHP?
We don't usually realise about how fortunate we are, to be able to live with more than mere basic neccessities. Here in Singapore, we often complained about how food don't taste good or not savory enough or having nothing to wear when our cupboards are full of clothes! This is really different compared to the lifestyles of some of the children we visited, who lived with simple food, with just rice and salt.

6. Describe this OHP in 3 words
Such wonderful trip!