Volunteering with RSVP since 2013
Khartini Longpoetih first started volunteering at the age of 62. She had just retired from her job as a personal assistant to regional senior management in an MNC, and after a short break decided to volunteer as it was always in her mind to do so at some point.
Khartini was accompanying her new teammates to a mentoring session at Lakeside Primary School, where RSVP volunteers serve as mentors to primary school children from low income families and those who may lack parental support. This is a three hour programme held at the school premises, after-school hours. Mentors will engage the students through activities like story-telling, art & craft and role-playing to impart moral values such as Perseverance, Responsibility and Empathy.
Khartini recalls her first time walking into Lakeside Primary School — a little apprehensive of what to expect. After only a short while, she began connecting with the children. “That day, I really understood that even one volunteer can make a difference.” says Khartini.
Now a 65-year-old, Khartini has been volunteering with RSVP Singapore ever since. have met and interacted with a wide spectrum of people (buddy volunteers as well as clients) that have changed her perception of life. “I have learnt to understand people better and am able to see their points of view from a different perspective.”
Aside from the Mentoring Programme, Khartini also volunteers in the Enriching Lives of Seniors Programme (ELSP), where she enables lonely seniors in senior community spaces to enjoy social activities and to be more active and self-reliant through handicraft and light exercises. Khartini likes that she gets to hear so many stories through volunteering — but more importantly, she likes the laughter and joy her volunteering brings to others.
“Nothing brightens my day more than to be able to make someone who’s going through something beyond my understanding smile,” says Khartini.
Khartini has one piece of advice for those who have never volunteered. “Go for it! The best part of your retirement life would be to set aside some time to volunteer - it's something very special and meaningful and you will feel the fulfilment in your heart at the end of day.”