Mr Lai Chong Kian

RSVP Volunteer of the Year 2015
Volunteering with RSVP since 2013

   

Becoming a volunteer was a natural decision for me. After serving 30 years in the police force, I continued working as a security officer until 2012. I got to know about RSVP Singapore through the Senior Volunteer Week 2013 where I attended a volunteerism talk. After attending several training workshops, I found RSVP programmes to be very structured and meaningful. I started with the Mentally Disadvantaged Outreach Programme (MDOP) in 2013 and have not looked back since. Today, I keep myself busy with volunteer activities for four RSVP programmes – MDOP, Mentoring Programme (MP), Enriching Lives of Seniors’ Programme (ELSP) and Cyberguide.


Volunteering keeps me active in inspiring ways such as taking up new skills like line dancing and singing and even IT skills, which I then utilise to make the volunteer activities more interesting for the beneficiaries. When I see the smiles on their faces, I feel satisfied and happy.The most memorable experience I have of volunteering was during my work with the Mentoring Programme where one of the parents actually approached me to thank me for the change in his child – the child learned how to be polite under the programme and also learned how to apologise.


As a Pioneer Generation ambassador, I often visit fellow Pioneer Generation citizens and encourage them to lead a more active life as a volunteer in various activities. I would regularly face excuses, with reasons such as “no time” or “too tired from caring for grandchildren”. But it is important to take that first step because you will only get to understand the true value behind volunteering after you have tried it for yourself. Over time, as you get to know the beneficiaries better, you become friends with them, blurring the line between volunteers and beneficiaries.

I would like to encourage more seniors to take up volunteering as being a volunteer will motivate you to lead a meaningful, healthy and happy life.


Read more on Chong Kian's amazing volunteering journey:

27 September 2015, Lian He Zao Bao
Reaching out to Silver Volunteers

5 August 2015, MyPaper
Senior Volunteers “dive” to celebrate Golden Jubilee

4 August 2015, Channel NewsAsia Online
Seniors take the plunge in SG50 ceremony at Underwater World

 

 

对我来说,成为一名志愿者是一个很自然的决定。我在警察部队中服务了30年,后来我转行从事安全人员的工作,一直到2012年我才正式退休。2013年,我参加了RSVP新加坡所主办的义工讲座,认识了其组织和义工服务。参加了几项培训课程后我发现,RSVP的义工项目很有规划而且富有意义。于是我加入了心理障碍外援义工项目(Mentally Disadvantaged Outreach Programme, MDOP)。除了MDOP,我还参加了另外三项义工计划 – 督导项目(Mentoring Programme, MP),丰富乐龄人士生活项目(Enriching Lives of Seniors Programme, ELSP)以及电脑资讯科技辅导项目(Cyberguide Programme),每天我都过得既忙碌又充实。


志愿服务让我更积极、更活跃,我开始学习新技能,如排舞,唱歌和IT技能,然后我把所学到的知识带入义工服务中,让活动更有趣。当我看到受益者脸上的笑容,我便感到满足和快乐。
而让我最难忘的经验是当我在督导项目提供义工服务时,有一名家长主动上前感谢我帮助他的孩子,让他变得有礼貌,还学会了如何道歉。


此外,作为建国一代大使,我经常探访建国一代民众,并鼓励他们当义工。然而,他们通常都会以“没时间”、“照顾孙子太累”等理由来推辞我的建议。我认为迈出第一步是非常重要的,因为只有当你尝试后,你才会明白志愿服务背后的真正价值。久而久之,你会更加认识受益者,和他们结成良友。


我想鼓励更多的乐龄人士加入义工行列,因为当义工能够激励你,让你的生活更具意义,更加健康和快乐。