In the next few months, we'll be looking at the learning experiences of students who have volunteered to share about their internships at our partner VWOs. We'll start off with Josh, Fiorina and Fiona in VWOs with seemingly disparate beneficiaries but with one common thread: their service not only impacted VWOs with whom they worked, it also changed them in more ways than one. Perhaps the adage is true, you cannot give without receiving something in return.
I learnt that there are different ways of achieving goals, and what I was doing was helping HCSA in the near future with the foundation on which they would be able to find and request for organisations to donate or contribute towards their cause. I also realized that the people who were dedicated to this cause were incredibly resilient, and were striving onwards despite the tough situation that they were in.
This experience also helped me to discover that my administrative skills had improved considerably, as I was able to maintain my search online and offline for different organisations to tap on. Overall, I learnt more of what I could do and handle, while gaining awareness of the charity organisations and how they run them.
Josh, James Cook University HCSA Community Services
It was overall an eye-opening and enriching experience... truly eye-opening as it gave us a head start on the lifestyles of the physically disabled clients, the ways in which they interacted and their growing needs that could be worked and improved upon. I really enjoyed interacting with the clients and the trainers. The experience reflected the importance of values such as patience, compassion, humanity and emphasised on the notion that human touch is the best therapy. Observing the trainers was also really heart-warming as it showed me how these individuals have dedicated their career in helping and making a significant difference in the lives of the clients with such passion. As I intend to pursue my career in a similar field, it was very inspiring and further motivated me.
Fiorina, National University of Singapore
Serving People with Disabilities (SPD)
My internship at Playeum was short but a valuable experience as it gave me an opportunity to conduct an entire study on my own. More importantly, it was a study requiring natural observation which I have had no experience doing since I had only ever conducted experimental studies in school and as such, the experience was unique and rewarding. I gained a better idea of what observational studies entail and while I was put out of my comfort zone in having to write a report that was vastly different in style to the usual experimental reports written in school, it was an experience that I treasure because I feel that it made me more comfortable in being willing to step up to the task entrusted to me and doing the best I could even if I was not comfortable with it.
Fiona, National University of Singapore Playeum, Children's Centre for Creativity
Photo credits: Gianandrea Villa