Ms Sundaram Iyer Seethalakshmi
Volunteering since 2014
I always dreamt of becoming a social worker. But destiny turned me into an educator. From 1959 to 1990, I was a full-time primary school teacher with the Ministry of Education for 30 years teaching English, Mathematics and Science. I then headed a kindergarten till 2000 before I retired.
When I was younger, I was always fascinated by the stories of volunteer work, done by dedicated volunteers. As an avid reader, I often read about the lives of world leaders and people who have made a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. I realised that I truly enjoy volunteering and thus sign up to volunteer in organisations such as AMKFSC and SINDA.
During an Active Ager Award Ceremony where I was a recipient, I was approached by one of RSVP’s Committee members who invited me to join the RSVP. I read up on RSVP and decided to sign up as a member. Initially, I was only a passive member as I could not decide what I wanted to be involved in. After attending RSVP’s “Be an Effective Volunteer” workshop, I set my mind to join the Mentoring Programme.
Since 2014, I have been a volunteer at Marsiling Primary School under the Mentoring Programme (MP). I choose to join MP as it’s my forte and I could share my knowledge. My most memorable experience mentoring in Marsiling Primary School would be when a group of mentees who were then in lower primary the year before, came running to us, upon seeing us at the school canteen. They told us how much they missed us and requested for a hug. It always moves me to tears. I get so much satisfaction when the students I mentored made remarkable progress both academically and socially.
For me, volunteering has been very fulfilling. Volunteering keeps me young, healthy, active, and fully engaged; leaving me with little time to idle. My family fully supports my involvement and many of my friends’ kids tell their parents to emulate me. My grandson was the one who nominated me for the Active Ager Award in 2011. I strongly encourage all seniors to be volunteers to expand their time in.
As the saying goes, “The more you give the more you will receive”. My life has been enriched by the various opportunities that came my way to serve the community at large. I am ever grateful to the wonderful lovely people who have helped to make my life meaningful till today.