02 Mar 2017

Contentment in Caring for Others

The love for backpacking and travelling has led Goh Chee Wee to the world of volunteerism. During his trip to the Indonesian island of Flores last year, our winner of the 2017 Goals Facebook Contest stumbled upon the Bena and Wago villages where he spent his days with the locals and visited their homes. Through his interaction with the villagers, Chee Wee realised that more needs to be done to improve the living conditions of such communities.

Chee Wee spending some time with the kids of Flores, Indonesia.

Chee Wee spending some time with the kids of Flores, Indonesia.

"I realised that financial support is not enough, physical action would be more practical and meaningful," wrote Chee Wee in his contest entry. According to him, physical involvement not only creates a bond with the communities, but also offers moral support and hope. He also believes that education plays an important role in improving the lives of such communities. Providing proper education and guidance to children from these societies will help shape them into more independent and self-sufficient individuals who can in turn help to elevate the living standards of their communities without relying much on external assistance. He hopes that this will create a ripple effect on the generations to come and spur continuous growth for the community.

Although Chee Wee contributes to various charities and donation drives financially, volunteering is a new experience for him. Inspired by his recent volunteering stint, he looks forward to participating in more volunteering programs such as those by the Tzu Chi Foundation. He is also keen to join a non-government organisation (NGO) so he can contribute more to communities. Chee Wee believes that the beauty of volunteering is in its ability to turn those seeking help into those offering help.

If you are thinking of volunteering, here are 3 tips on how to get started:

Know your skills and interests

Matching your skills and interests to a project not only allows you to have a truly rewarding and valuable experience, but it also ensures that the project and communities are benefiting from your involvement. 

Set aside time

Think about the amount of time you are willing to commit. Be realistic about what you can provide to be fair to yourself and the volunteering project. 

Start small

If you are unsure of what you can do, start small by participating in community projects at your neighbourhood community centres or places of worship. They offer plenty of volunteering activities. 

Volunteering not only benefits the communities receiving it, but it also rewards the volunteer physically, mentally and spiritually. 

Inspired by Chee Wee's story? We certainly are and we hope his story has brought out that spark in you to make a difference.