Mr Kumar Udaya

Volunteering since 2018

I started my volunteering journey with RSVP in 2018, having retired in 2017 after a career spent in the precision engineering and ship building industry. After my retirement, I first tried to take up part-time jobs, and subsequently explored volunteering as I wanted to give back to the society. I came across RSVP during one of its roadshows at Jurong East and learned that RSVP was offering courses for seniors. Being an avid learner, this piqued my interest and I joined the Open House to learn more about RSVP.

I first participated in the Episodic Programme to gain exposure into volunteering. Thereafter, I committed to both the Senior Guiding and Mentally Disadvantaged Outreach Programme (MDOP) as I wanted to consistently contribute my time for a meaningful purpose. The concept of seniors empowering seniors was appealing to me. I believe that as seniors, we understand each other a bit better, and therefore can better relate to each other.

At the Indian Heritage Centre, I am involved in facilitating craft activities in events such as Deepavali Open House and Pongal Festival. At times, visitors identify with the craft activities and these evoke many memories of their childhood pastimes! I also enjoy connecting with tourists and sharing our local cultural experience with them while learning about theirs.

My involvement with MDOP gave me an opportunity to empower the disadvantaged community. As the sessions progressed, it was heartening to see the beneficiaries looking forward to our visits and keeping up with the exercises we taught. It was challenging at the start, but we persevered over time and managed to build rapport with them!

Volunteering provides me a sense of fulfilment and keeps me connected to society, even after retirement. I believe that learning never stops and I am humbled to receive as much as I give back to society. Through these programmes in RSVP, I have gained much understanding and appreciation towards Singapore’s past, present, and future. These experiences have truly enriched my life!