Ms Khartini Longpoetih
Volunteering with RSVP since 2013
I first started volunteering at the age of 62. I had just retired from my job as a personal assistant to regional senior management in an MNC, and after a short break decided to volunteer as it was always on my mind to do so at some point.
I started as a mentor at Lakeside Primary School, where RSVP volunteers serve as mentors to primary school children from low income families who may lack parental support and those who seek personal interaction and a listening ear. This is a three-hour programme held at the school premises after school hours. Mentors will engage the students through activities like storytelling, programs that integrate and learning, art & craft, and role-playing, to impart moral values.
I recall my first time walking into Lakeside Primary School — a little apprehensive of what to expect. After only a short while, I began connecting with the children. That day, I really understood that even one volunteer can make a difference.
I have been volunteering with RSVP Singapore ever since that day. I enjoy the Mentoring programme tremendously and have mentored at Yew Tee Primary, Da Zhong Primary and is currently now at Marsiling Primary. I feel volunteering has changed my perception of life. I have learnt to understand people better and am able to see from a different perspective.
Aside from the Mentoring Programme, I also volunteered in the Enriching Lives of Seniors Programme (ELSP), where I befriended socially isolated seniors in senior community spaces, engaging them in social activities and encouraging them to be more active and self-reliant through handicrafts and light exercises.
I enjoy hearing so many stories through volunteering — but more importantly, I like the laughter and joy volunteering brings to others. Nothing brightens my day more than to be able to make someone who is going through something smile.
My 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.