Today I want to talk about something that will make some of us feel afraid. It’s about initiatives I’ve brought to RGS upon graduation and have been working on since the start of the year end holidays in 2013. To fully understand what I’m doing you’d have to read the origins of where this all started, because the roots of a creation are practically just as important as what it has become today and HERE is where it all started.
I have now found two teams to embark on this journey with me but today I will just talk about one; please bear with me through the technical bits of the story before I give you some food for thought:
The Community Problem Solving Team Project Cats in Hats has been hard at work since the start of 2013, working at after school care centres in primary schools, creating resources to conduct exciting sessions with the children there, helping them attain a higher command of language and teaching them to express themselves comfortably. You can support them and find out more about their work here: https://www.facebook.com/projectcatsinhats I was particularly impressed by this team when they approached me with great interest after we met once to discuss the possibilities of a collaboration between their team and Room to Read – Singapore Chapter.
The Chapter hopes to, with our Imagining Possibilities Campaign, reach out to local students and cultivate in them a sense of empathy towards others through the understanding of social issues as the ones that Room to Read works on. And upon discussion and much thought, Project Cats in Hats today is working on a collaboration with the chapter to bring sessions that will enrich the local primary 4 students in terms of understanding and managing their emotions while cultivating a sense of empathy in them. The sessions are planned to begin at the end of March till mid May and as we continue to meet up with interested Primary Schools to discuss the programme, the sessions will tentatively be held of 5-6 weeks, once a week requiring commitment of 3 hours each time. Volunteer Leaders play a very important role in making this project a success because they practically execute what the team has planned and dreamed of throughout the holidays- and hence will be required to attend a 4 hour training session on one day of their choice during the March holidays.
The success of project will be defined by the hopefully long term lessons that will stay in the local students as we leave from our last session and consider possibilities of sustaining the programme. What we hope to teach these children is more than giving them exposure to global issues essential to their understanding of how fortunate they are, it is very much about cultivating a sense of empathy in them so they grow up as human beings who know how to feel for others, who understand how to manage their emotions effectively.
The value in that is only seen when we recognise what an unfeeling society we can possibly become if numbers, wealth and fame become increasingly important; the value in that can only be understood if we recognise the potential of the younger generation and the important of cultivating a sense of empathy in them in their growing years.
And here comes the food for thought: I say this is something that would make us afraid because of the number of new things there are involved- for one, the idea of a volunteer experience completely organised by 16-17 year olds is new, the idea of teaching something so abstract instead of just academics is new and the idea of sacrificing time to something that sounds more challenging than rewarding is new too.
But here’s where I tell you that the rewarding part of your participation will come from the spirit in which you sign up for this experience- it’ll take a whole of courage and belief in the cause for you to click the sign up link below and even more later then to commit. I promise you, though, that all he things we felt like the education system was possibly lacking, this is a small step you can start with. And you aren’t too far away from the 16-17 year old age range, and I don’t suppose you think you’re completely incapable and unreliable, so what makes you think the group of us initiating this are. We’ve taken our first steps to being the change we want to see, now we need your help.
Give it some time and thought, all enquiries may come to me or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up today to join the mission: bit.ly/CIHvolunteer