My nenek is a volunteer!

So says the granddaughter of Mdm Rosnaini Achmad, who volunteers at the Singapore Red Cross’ Day Activity Centre for the Disabled. This is her story.

We all walk different paths in life. And in our own ways. Our hero today is super nenek* Mdm Rosnaini Achmad. The 65-year-old grandmother is a devoted volunteer with the Singapore Red Cross’ Day Activity Centre for the Disabled (DAC). The path she walks is one of love, compassion and patience.

Mdm Rosnaini paid a visit to the DAC in March 2019 after her neighbour had encouraged her to join. It did not take long for the clients to win her heart over. Engaging the clients in art and craft and assisting with therapy activities and feeding duties, Mdm Rosnaini would go to DAC twice or thrice every week. 

Admittedly, she faced a roadblock at first. It was not easy to understand the needs of the clients, as they could not verbalise their thoughts. There was no manual. And each resident communicates differently. It took time for her to observe and understand their body language. Mdm Rosnaini soon learnt what to look out for. 

“I cater to their needs to the best of my ability. I do not get angry when communication fails, as it is not anyone’s fault. It is important to exercise patience in our service,” she explained, in a motherly way. 

Volunteering as a family

Before COVID-19 plagued our little island, Mdm Rosnaini would sometimes bring her 10-year-old granddaughter to DAC to interact with the clients. 

When Mdm Rosnaini returned to the DAC in early October 2020, the clients asked about her granddaughter as they missed her. Mdm Rosnaini is heartened they remember her, and intends to bring the child in when the restrictions are lifted, once it is safer. 

Mdm Rosnaini understands that the DAC provides respite to the client’s caregivers and families, so they could earn a livelihood, do their chores or get some to unwind while their loved ones are at DAC. Thus, taking care of the clients has become a priority for her. 

She shared tenderly, “I recall sitting by the clients, holding their hands and consoling them when they cried. I want to love and care for them so they feel they are at home surrounded by loved ones.”

Despite living with a heart condition, Mdm Rosnaini said she wants to help in every way she can, for as long as she is well enough to walk. She finds real value in DAC’s care for persons with disabilities, and she witnesses the impact of the social, recreational and therapeutic activities on the clients. 

Spurred by the spirit of altruism, Mdm Rosnaini exemplifies kindness and graciousness through her volunteerism, and inspires action for humanity.

By Abigail Tan, Volunteer

* Grandmother (in Malay)

The Singapore Red Cross’ Day Activity Centre engages persons with disabilities in daily and community living skills to maximise their independence. Dedicated caregivers and therapists run meaningful social, recreational, and therapeutic activities for the clients. Find out more. Volunteer with us.