Thursday, February 14, 2013
YAG CIP Session: Amanda's experience
As promised, here's Amanda and her thoughts :)
On the 2nd February, a group of us volunteered to go do some House Maintenance CIP . We were split into groups of 11-12 to go to two different houses to help the beneficiaries to tidy up their house & do a little bit of spring cleaning as they might not be able to do it themselves due to health issues.
My group went to a house at Telok Blangah Drive. Where Mdm P, the beneficiary, is staying together with her daughter. Mdm P has various health conditions like not being able to see properly, having mental health and physical issues. She has a son who works and is uninvolved in the household chore maintenance, a daughter who is intellectually challenged and has limited ability to take care of the household chore, a late husband who suffered from stroke (Beneficiary has to take care of his daily living such as bathing and cooking for the family).
When we first entered the house, we all thought that it was already pretty clean. Most of the work left for us to do is probably just to clean up the slightly dusty racks and wash up some parts of the house such as toilet, kitchen and the room.
I volunteered, together with dawn, one of our group mate, to clean up the toilet. it was done rather quickly as it was already pretty clean to start with. After which, we went around helping the rest with whatever that was left to do. From cleaning the Toyogo drawers to mopping the floor to arranging the stuffs back to its original places.
A few of us noticed, that Mdm P have been sleeping on her late husband's hospital bed which is left at her place. We all thought that that might be a cause why she might not have let go of the past, living in sorrow. Some of us also noticed her sitting just outside the room, staring into the hospital bed from outside. We were deeply saddened by the sight of it.
At first when we first entered the place, we were all too focused on doing our jobs, the atmosphere was still really tight. Till Roy, one of our group mate, decided to crack some jokes with his friend. Laughter filled the place, and we see how it was spreading everywhere, even to Mdm P. She eventually started opening up and chatted with us. She even got her daughter to head downstairs to get some drinks for us. Her daughter was really helpful too. When she came home halfway thru our work, she immediately find a rag, & started helping us with the cleaning. She didn’t wanna stop cleaning. Even when the stuffs are already cleaned, she would still clean it again and again, to make sure that it is really clean.
Just before we left, we took a group photo. When we asked if Mdm P is comfortable to be in the photo or would she prefer not to, she replied brightly, in mandarin, "Yes, of course i want to! Why wouldn’t i want to take a picture with all of you?" It was heartwarming to see how our little actions could make them smile. Their smiles, of course, made us all felt that all those hard work are worth. A quote I came up with right after we left that apartment that day "A good deed a day, keeps those bad frowns away." I'm glad I was part of the reason behind their smiles, I'm glad my actions helped a family live in a better conditioned house and i'm happy that at the end of the day, everyone learnt how we should appreciate what we already have cause there are people out there living a life that's much worse of than our's.