Volunteer Stories

Volunteer Stories

Ms Mary Lye

As Mother Theresa once said: “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” As a cancer survivor, Mary’s ordeal has enlightened and taught her so much about life. Upon retirement, Mary joined RSVP Singapore as a volunteer and works closely with beneficiaries in the Mentally Disadvantaged Outreach Programme (MDOP).

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Ms Fan Li Hua

Li Hua believes in pursuing an active lifestyle and giving back to society. She is now an active volunteer in our MyBuddy Programme where she conducts regular visits to socially isolated seniors. Her family and friends all agree that she has become “younger” and more vibrant ever since she started volunteering!

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Ms Ng Soh Kheng

Upon retirement, Soh Kheng embarked on her volunteering journey and joined RSVP Singapore in 2003. She enjoys the different volunteering work she does in RSVP Singapore and believes that volunteering is an opportunity for her to connect with like-minded volunteers and forge lasting friendships.

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Ms Fatema Saifuddin Gandhi

A full-time homemaker and an avid volunteer, Fatema always had the motivation to volunteer as it is something fulfilling for her. Although she is currently involved in many volunteering programmes, she still volunteers her time in Mentoring and Senior Guiding Programmes at RSVP Singapore.

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Ms Jenny Lieu

Jenny started volunteering with RSVP in April 2019 after her retirement in March. Her retirement gave her the opportunity to sign up with RSVP and participate in various IT workshops as well as episodic activities. She then continued to volunteer her time in Mentoring and Senior Guiding Programmes.

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Ms Yak Lay Lian

Lay Lian has always wanted to contribute back to the community when she semi-retired two years ago and the opportunity came when she learned about RSVP Singapore at our roadshows. Since then, she has been an episodic volunteer and participates in various programmes.

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Ms Caroline Lim

Caroline’s volunteering journey was facilitated by her son – he wanted her to be active and relevant, and hence went on the web to find a suitable opportunity for her. Since then, Caroline has found her passion in helping the community.

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Mr Kumar Udaya

Kumar’s involvement with MDOP gave him an opportunity to empower the disadvantaged community. As the sessions progressed, he was heartened to see the beneficiaries looking forward to visits. It was challenging at first, but over time they persevered and managed to build rapport with them!

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Ms Basrai Mahjaben Sabbir

Helping others has always been an important part of Basrai’s life. Now a retiree, she spends a fair share of time volunteering and encouraging those around her, such as her family members, to do the same. Basrai considers herself a lifelong learner, and loves meeting new people, especially friends from RSVP.

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Ms Sheila Lim

Sheila first started volunteering in RSVP’s Cyberguide Programme and the Mentally Disadvantaged Outreach Programme (MDOP). Through volunteering, Sheila got to learn much more about people’s lives, which has enabled her to develop more empathy towards the community.

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Ms Sundaram Iyer Seethalakshmi

As an avid reader, Seetha often read about the lives of world leaders and people who have made a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Now, as a volunteer from the Mentoring programme, she makes a difference in others’ lives by sowing and dedicating her time departing her wisdom to children.

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Ms Kendra Ong

Having been both a commercial and volunteer trainer, Kendra found that volunteering fills her with a sense of satisfaction at the end of every volunteering session. As a Cyberguide trainer in RSVP, she now helps equip seniors with the IT skills necessary in this increasingly digitalised world.

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Ms Dorothy Loh

Dorothy feels that she is empowered when she gives back to the community. Ever since she started volunteering in RSVP in 2012, she has participated in numerous Episodic Volunteering activities and big scale community projects, such as “Fu Dai Packing with Standard Chartered Bank and Comchest”.

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Ms Bina Amul Subnis

Having retired at a fairly young age, Bina felt that she should contribute the wisdom she had gained over the years to the society. Inspired by a friend of hers who is currently an RSVP volunteer, Binu joined the Mentally Disadvantaged Outreach Programme in June 2016.

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Ms Joyce Tan

Joyce was exposed to volunteering at a young age by her father, who was a volunteer at the Singapore Red Cross. Ever since she started volunteering in the MyBuddy programme and the Volunteer Learning Centre, she finds that there is great joy in befriending seniors from all walks of life.

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Ms Lily Chan

It is Lily’s passion to set her heart and energy to do what she loves most, which is to help the needy. As a former lecturer, she also testifies to the growth she sees in her students after they volunteer. She now uses her skills to develop new and innovative programmes for seniors in RSVP.

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Ms Janet Teoh

Janet had worked as a nurse for all of her life – giving and caring for people. Having retired and now that she is almost in her 80s, she wanted to still continue to serve the society. In August 2014, she started her volunteering journey in RSVP Singapore, despite not having any prior volunteering experience.

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Ms Harriet Seah

Harriet was first approached to help with administrative work for RSVP. She was happy for a while, but felt her contribution did not directly benefit the recipients. She wanted something more challenging and had a direct impact in the beneficiaries’ lives. Hence, she became a Cyberguide trainer.

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Mr Hansen Han

Hansen believes that the switch in career path to health care has equipped him with the expertise for him to better help seniors and contribute back to society. The Episodic Programme provides a variety of volunteering opportunities for him to try out at a flexible pace as he is still working part time.

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Mr Simon Tung

Simon started off his volunteering journey during his working days, joining volunteering opportunities organised by his company whenever he could. He officially joined RSVP Singapore after he retired and after training, joined the Enriching Lives of Seniors Programme (ELSP).

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Ms June Low Peck Choo

June first heard about RSVP in the local newspaper. Upon her retirement in 2007, she decided to find out more about RSVP and get involved in volunteering. She now befriends socially isolated seniors in SACs under ELSP and leads drawing classes at RSVP’s volunteer centre.

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Mr Vincent Lee

Before retiring, Vincent never knew what volunteering was. It was his old boss who encouraged him to start volunteering – he wanted Vincent to still contribute due to his experience in the healthcare setting. One day, Vincent chanced upon a poster calling interested parties to come down to RSVP. What he learned surprised him.

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Mr Sium Yeap Tong

When Yeap Tong finally retired in 2017, he wanted to give back to society. He participated in a wide range of programmes to not only keep himself challenged on different levels, but also to learn and open his mind to new experiences.

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Mr Gurdip Singh

Some grandparents, through their actions, also weave experiences and values for the younger generation to think and act upon. This is Mr. Gurdip Singh, grandfather to three young children and a 67-year young passionate volunteer.

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Mr Bardin Jean-Michel Francois (Jimmy)

Having recently retired, Jimmy’s advice to his fellow seniors is to be active. Don’t let his age fool you. He was not into sports when he was younger, but now he is able to run in The Straits Times Run and the vertical marathon!

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Ms Ho Soo Pong

Soo Pong shares her motivations behind setting up her own YouTube channel teaching Hainanese cuisine. She also talks about her experience volunteering and sharing her knowledge as a Cyberguide and in Gourmet Activity Circle with RSVP.

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Ms Martha Ee

Martha shares a special connection with the seniors she “buddies”. She acknowledges that it is not easy to look after the elderly and that one must have patience, passion and endurance. But she tells herself that she is these clients’ “third ear”. Martha is one of RSVP’s volunteers in the MyBuddy programme.

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Ms Malligesvari d/o Krishnaraj

A people person, Malligesvari wanted to help in any way she can. She started volunteering as a Senior Guide, where her knowledge of various languages came in handy with visitors. She then branched out into the Mentoring Programme, helping at-risk youths in primary school.

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Mr Ling Lik Kwok

Lik Kwok found joy in volunteering before he retired, when he was working in operations at a supermarket chain. As part of the company’s CSR culture, he and his colleagues were engaged in several community programmes. After retirement, he joined RSVP in 2017 and now wears many hats.

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Mr Koh Juay Meng, PBM

Influenced by this father’s selflessness when he was younger, Juay Meng has made it a point to actively volunteer by contributing his knowledge, skills and services to several professional bodies and organisations for over 30 years. He now sits on the Board of RSVP Singapore as its Chairman.

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Mr Sunny Chan

Sunny Chan is a familiar sight at RSVP.  In a day, he could be taking apart old computers, discussing IT issues with volunteers, and enjoying lunch purchased from a nearby coffeeshop. But once you manage to catch the ever-busy man for a chat, he would regale you with the wonders and possibilities for IT.

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Ms Linda Quek

Linda confesses that the joy of volunteering may be a foreign concept to admin professionals like her who spent most of their time behind a desk. Nonetheless, she feels inspired and encouraged when she sees others who have very little but still giving what they can.

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Ms Khartini Longpoetih

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…..

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Ms Elaine Teng

A self-confessed perfectionist, Elaine cooks to please and nourish people. She is passionate about creating time-tested recipes and sharing them with friends and family. Her keen interest in cooking led her to be one of the pioneer members of RSVP’s Gourmet Activity Circle (GAC) in October 2013.

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Ms Malar Kandasamy

A golfing accident in 2011 left Malar close to paralysis. Doctors said she had only a 10 percent chance of walking again. But less than a year later, she was doing more than just walking – the energetic lady was dancing at Ang Mo Kio Thye Hua Kwan Community Hospital’s annual Christmas celebration.

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Ms Evelyn Tan Sock Wah

After retiring in 2015, Evelyn decided to find a part time job to stay active. She decided to do more for herself, and wanted to keep herself occupied. Realising that her schedule did not allow her to volunteer regularly, Evelyn decided to volunteer through ad-hoc activities under RSVP’s Episodic Volunteering programme.

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Ms Noorjahan Kamaruddin

Volunteering is part and parcel of her life. Even when Noor decided to take up an early retirement from a hectic work-life at the age of 46, she wanted to keep herself occupied and active. A multi-faceted person, Noor contributes her skills as a trainer and guide to RSVP’s Cyberguide and Senior Guiding Programmes.

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Mr Morni Sulaiman

After retiring from his hectic work life in 2002, Morni wanted more free time for himself. At the same time, he wanted to be healthy both physically and mentally, hence volunteering was a good option. He was introduced to RSVP by his son and daughter-in-law in 2011, and has not looked back since.

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Mr Lai Chong Kian

Chong Kian knew about RSVP after attending one of its events. After serving in the Singapore Police Force for 30 years, he now finds joy in befriending socially isolated seniors in SACs. To him, volunteering keeps him active as he has to take up new skills such as line dancing and singing!

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Mr Chan Pit Seng

After his retirement in 2005, with persuasion from friends and relatives, Pit Seng decided to give back to society. The former lab manager at Changi General Hospital now is an active volunteer at RSVP, be it leading the karaoke activity circle, or being the emcee for RSVP’s many events.

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Mr Lim Bock Seng

Upon retiring from the civil service in 2010, Bock Seng thought to himself: “Since I don’t have any financial burdens and have plenty of time on my hands, why not do volunteer work?”. This led him on his volunteering journey befriending elderly patients who have been discharged from hospitals.

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Ms Grace Ng

In 2008, Grace read about the Silver Infocomm Day held at Singapore Polytechnic in the newspaper and went to RSVP Singapore to register for the Basic Computer course. A year later, Grace became an Assistant Trainer in RSVP’s Cyberguide programme, guiding seniors much like herself in IT.

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Ms Cheow Chin Wang

When Chin Wang initially attended computer classes at RSVP, she was a computer literate, and felt lost most of the time. But with the help of the trainers, she was able to pick up the skills gradually. In late 2007, she has come full circle and now teach seniors like herself as a Trainer in RSVP’s Cyberguide programme.

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Ms May Young

Through volunteering as a guide, May has had the chance to meet people from all walks of life. She enjoys helping others in need, and seeing them happy makes her feel happy too. In addition to keeping her mind active, May has made a lot of friends and learnt a lot along the way.

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Mr Chee Chat San

In 2008, Chat San joined RSVP Singapore. He felt that many volunteers are like him and wanted to be part of a country which they had a part in building. Having spent many of his adult years working, it never ceased to amaze him just how much the country has grown and evolved.

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Mdm Amidah Binte Rajab

Amidah had wanted to volunteer but due to family commitments, she was unable to commit the time. In 2014, when she had more time on her hands, she chanced upon RSVP in the local paper and immediately volunteered in three of its programmes. One of the programmes she volunteers in is MDOP.

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