More than a hundred volunteers from Team Nila brought smiles to the faces of residents of Thye Hua Kwan Chai Chee, Thye Hua Kwan Sembawang, Singapore Anglican Community Services and Sunlove Abode for Intellectually-Infirmed with their new year goodies and fun-filled activities. Photo: Sport Singapore
Cheers of lou hei and the sound of Lion Dance drums filled the air as residents of four different homes were treated to Chinese New Year festivities by the Team Nila volunteer force on Saturday (February 16).
For the first time, over a hundred volunteers from Team Nila brought smiles to the faces of residents of Thye Hua Kwan Chai Chee, Thye Hua Kwan Sembawang, Singapore Anglican Community Services and Sunlove Abode for Intellectually-Infirmed with their new year goodies and an entire morning of fun-filled activities.
A resident trying his hand at the origami lesson involving red packets. Photo: Sport Singapore
30 lucky residents of the Singapore Anglican Community Services in particular also enjoyed a fitness workout that included a Bollywood dance routine led by SportSG friends from the Pasir Ris Sport Centre. This was followed by an origami lesson teaching residents to make magic out of a simple red packet, and finally lou hei, but not without the God of Prosperity paying them a visit.
Residents of the Singapore Anglican Community Services also enjoyed a fitness workout that included a Bollywood dance routine led by Sport Singapore friends from the Pasir Ris Sport Centre. Photo: Sport Singapore
For 69-year-old Ivan Chan, a volunteer with Team Nila since the 2011 Sea Games, he considers helping out at these events as a way of keeping young at heart.
“I love that we get to make friends while serving the community. This is my way of having fun when I’m not at work,” says Mr Chan.
Team Nila volunteers entertained residents at Sunlove Abode with a wide range of activities. Photo: Sport Singapore
Meanwhile, at the Sunlove Abode for Intellectually-Infirmed, more than 200 residents were entertained by 80 Team Nila volunteers. Students from the Saint Joseph Institutions (SJI) CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) programme and Team Nila leaders came together to plan a wide range of activities for the residents. The programmes included dances, lion dance, calligraphy, Chinese New Year (CNY) songs sing-a-long, origami and colouring activities for the residents.
For most of the volunteers, it was a new experience because this was a rare chance to interact with the intellectually-infirmed.
For 17-year-old Rovin Thomas, it was a memorable experience for him to be an emcee for a CNY event as a non-Chinese.
(L-R) Team Nila volunteers Rovin Thomas, Finian Saw and Ernest Chow. Photo: Randi Ang/ Team Nila
“In terms of planning, some of the things like Chinese New Year songs, or the names of the food items, I just know what was Lo-Hei but I’m not sure of the ingredients inside. When it comes to things like that, I have to get the help of my team mates because I can’t do those alone. It was a good learning experience trying to be an emcee for an event although I am not absolutely knowledgeable about Chinese New Year.”
Ernest Chow, 17, SJI, said: “We just have to be aware that we have to be patient with the residents and that there will be obstacles along the way. We need to be patient and know that it is for a good cause and it’s worth the experience.”
Team Nila leaders came together to organise a wide range of activities for the residents of Sunlove Abode, including calligraphy. Photo: Randi Ang/ Team Nila
Finian Saw, 18, SJI (CAS Leader, SJI), shared: “I would definitely encourage more people to come and help out, to organise events particularly for these residents. A lot of people have a lot of preconceived notions or stigma about the intellectually-infirmed, like they cannot talk to you but a lot of them actually are able to converse and share with you. They are just like you and me, they just want to have fun and celebrate Chinese New Year.”
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