Mr Bardin Jena-Michel Francois (Jimmy)
Volunteering with RSVP since November 2018
I worked in Singapore as Chief Operations Officer in a bank and I found Singapore so lovely that I decided to retire here. Once I had completely settled as a retiree, I started looking for volunteering activities.
I browsed the Internet to look for volunteering organisations active in mentoring youths. RSVP met my requirement and I went to attend its open house session.
I currently volunteer in the Mentoring Programme twice a week in two different primary schools – Yio Chu Kang Primary and Naval Base Primary.
My best memory is when I see the children happy when they manage to complete on their own tasks which they thought they were unable to do at first.
Supporting children is sometimes challenging, especially when it comes to children with a difficult background. But to me, it is my way to give back to the society what it gave to you.
My advice to seniors is to be active. Beyond RSVP and taking care of my home, I sing in two choirs, I learn Mandarin and I exercise regularly. I was not into sports when I was younger, but now I am able to run in The Straits Times Run – 18.45 km in less than 2 hours and climb the 64 floors of the vertical marathon in less than 20 minutes.
I am surprising myself. It’s the best way to stay physically and mentally healthy. I am 66 this year but I still feel young in my mind.