• LOCAL SERVICE

WHAT IS IT?

Local Service is for those looking for local, flexible, and hands-on service opportunities in Singapore.  These opportunities include cooking meals for migrant workers, accompanying children who live with food insecurity to purchase groceries for their families, and volunteering to read and lead activities for children from low-income neighborhoods in Singapore.  We partner with local organizations like Children’s Wishing Well.  These volunteer opportunities are typically one-off and are the perfect way to serve the community without a long-term commitment.

Aside from befriending patients, we hold various activities at the Hospice including: 

  • Hosting choirs, dance groups, and yoga instructors to lead our events. Some of our partner performers are The American Women’s Association International Choir, The Jitterbugs dance group The Cantonese Opera group, and The Casa Flamenco dancers.
  • Arts and crafts activities. 
  • Annual field trips. We’ve toured the Sports Hub, the SEA Aquarium, and Gardens by the Bay.
  • Cultural appreciation days were hosted by various nationality groups from UWCSEA e.g. the Korean Community offered fan dancers, the Japanese Community made sushi, and the Nordic Community celebrated Lucia at the Hospice. 
  • Festival celebrations include Diwali, Christmas, and CNY. 

For the last two years, with the pandemic, we have not been allowed to visit the Hospice Center. Nonetheless, we continue to support the patients by:

  • Donating groceries.
  • Contributing meals to the patients.
  • Sharing inspirational and entertaining videos from volunteers and performers.

With the restrictions lifted during the course of 2021, we have gradually resumed our in-person visits – mainly doing exercise routines with the patients. We were also able to celebrate the various festivals by contributing meals with 5 people only. We are slowly returning to our previous level of activities with the HCA Day Hospice and also exploring new partners to volunteer with here in Singapore.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL SERVICE

Local and global service is a key component of our children’s holistic education at UWCSEA. With the work we do with local charities, our children are able to see that we are also putting into practice the UWCSEA values in our personal time – just like they do.

From my personal experience, the lack of a shared spoken language, as most patients speak Chinese, creates an initially awkward and intimidating experience. But I always encourage others to persevere and forge this effort into a commitment. Speaking of commitment, several parents of alumni continue to visit when they are in town and/or are available. Some of us may not speak the same language but the personal relationships/connections forged are strong and very much evident. Without fail, the patients happily greet the volunteers when they arrive. Some give us big smiles. We get high fives. And there is that one patient who is quick to show you a note to inform you that she cannot speak nor hear before she proceeds to eagerly squeeze your hands and touch your face. This is the only way for her to express her enthusiasm and this is her way of thanking us. It is always such a heartwarming experience.

I stumbled on PACE almost incidentally, as I came across a note advertising a volunteer trip to the science museum with people from the HCA Hospice. During the trip, not only did I get to meet mums from both campuses, but really enjoyed interacting with the excited patients at the museum. This trip marks the beginning of my journey with PACE and the HCA Hospice. Since then I have been going regularly to the HCA Hospice to meet patients once or twice a week. Being a westerner, I did sometimes struggle to communicate with them due to the language barrier, as most of them don’t speak English, however, I easily overcame this by using facial expressions and hand gestures, and in addition, the nurses were very helpful in lending a hand.

From my personal experience, the lack of a shared spoken language, as most patients speak Chinese, creates an initially awkward and intimidating experience. But I always encourage others to persevere and forge this effort into a commitment. Speaking of commitment, several parents of alumni continue to visit when they are in town and/or are available. Some of us may not speak the same language but the personal relationships/connections forged are strong and very much evident. Without fail, the patients happily greet the volunteers when they arrive. Some give us big smiles. We get high fives. And there is that one patient who is quick to show you a note to inform you that she cannot speak nor hear before she proceeds to eagerly squeeze your hands and touch your face. This is the only way for her to express her enthusiasm and this is her way of thanking us. It is always such a heartwarming experience.

I stumbled on PACE almost incidentally, as I came across a note advertising a volunteer trip to the science museum with people from the HCA Hospice. During the trip, not only did I get to meet mums from both campuses, but really enjoyed interacting with the excited patients at the museum. This trip marks the beginning of my journey with PACE and the HCA Hospice. Since then I have been going regularly to the HCA Hospice to meet patients once or twice a week. Being a westerner, I did sometimes struggle to communicate with them due to the language barrier, as most of them don’t speak English, however, I easily overcame this by using facial expressions and hand gestures, and in addition, the nurses were very helpful in lending a hand.

UPCOMING EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Walk Through WWII Battlegrounds at Bukit Brown

30 November 2022
08:30 am - 11:30 am
The Battle of Singapore was fought from 8-15 February 1942. Though short, it was a week of intense fighting before the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese forces. Meandering through Bukit Brown, an expansive beautiful park rich in heritage, join us on a guided walk that will take you back to one of the most turbulent times in Singapore! We are deeply honoured and thankful to Claire Leow, for guiding us and sharing her valuable knowledge with us on our Walk Through War Time Singapore. Clair has been a journalist for over 21 years and loves photography, community projects, travel and visiting historic sites.

NEW EVENTS & ACTIVITIES COMING SOON

WANT TO GET INVOLVED?

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WE WOULD LOVE TO MEET YOU!