Mr Goh Yong Piou

Mr Goh Yong Piou, 50

Volunteering since March 2021, Mentoring Programme

After working in the real estate industry for more than 15 years, I decided to take a break to see what else I could do. I stumbled upon RSVP on the website and I was attracted to the wide range of volunteering opportunities available, from befriending to ad-hoc episodic programmes. I felt that RSVP has a good structure and framework in place to support and train the volunteers. Furthermore, there are chances to be an observer first to see if one is comfortable with the programmes.

Currently, I am volunteering in the Mentoring Programme at Yishun Primary and AMKFSC (Sengkang). I chose to join mentoring as I enjoy working with young children – it allows me to “feel younger”. Although it can be challenging at times, it is a joy to work with the children and make a small difference in their lives. There is a sense of satisfaction when they remember you and look forward to the activities every week. These children will also ask about my whereabouts if I do not turn up, and that just shows that they are really caring and sweet, which makes you feel good as well, knowing that they appreciate what you do.

A memorable session I recall was the first time we did virtual mentoring via Zoom, where I was tasked to lead the children in some exercises. In hindsight, I felt it could have been a little too strenuous, as it was right after lunch, and the children had their masks on as well. So I thought that I needed to cut back on the intensity for future sessions.

To me, volunteering has provided a platform through which I can give back to society and be of service to others while also broadening my social circle. I am also glad to be able to inspire my loved ones as well – my daughter has been inspired by seeing what I do with RSVP and has also started on her own volunteering path. I am more than proud and happy to see that!

I hope that more volunteers will be able to join us. There is a need for engagement with school children, especially those who are from at-risk families or those who need more help and attention – Such as those who do not have guardians or parents at home. So this could be a way for senior volunteers to give our love, time and attention to these children. When they see that we are there every week, I think they know that we do care about them, which is important. During the pandemic, Singapore launched the Singapore Rediscovers vouchers to rediscover Singapore. Similarly, why not give volunteering a try?

Maybe you can rediscover something about yourself and feel good about it!