Tuesday, February 12, 2013

YAG CIP Session: Dawn's experience

On 2nd February, while Wufeng and Tessa shared with the youths about anger management, some of the other members of our youth group volunteered with Shan You Counselling Center in a home care maintenance programme.

Here's Dawn, sharing with us her experience during the session.

On the 2nd of February, a bunch of compassionate and enthusiastic youths from the Singapore Buddhist Mission (youth) joined a project called the ‘Home Care Maintenance Project’ to provide help to beneficiaries of Shan You. They helped by repairing appliances, helping them to clean their house, etc. We were told that the beneficiary of whom I had helped had wished to have her house cleaned before Chinese New Year, giving her a new start, and I am really happy to be provided this chance to help her out and am honored to be part of the team.

We gathered at the Kallang Mrt Station early in the morning at 9.30am, prepared with mops and cloths, ready to get into action. After getting a debrief on our to dos and not to dos, we were divided into two teams for two different houses. Being well-equipped, we were ready to face any challenges met. Arriving at my destination after a short 15-20 minutes drive, we made our way to the house of our beneficiary, going through complicated structured buildings and narrow corridors. In the house, there was only a small living room, a narrow hallway leading to a small room, and a kitchen in the further back of the house.

Although the condition of the house was not as bad as I had thought it would be as it was actually neater than in my imagination, there were still many cleaning up to do. Boxes were stacked up in front of the partially closed windows in the living room, making the room look dull with no sunlight shining in. The lower part of the shelf that the television was sitting on was untidily packed with a mass number of cds.

The wires connecting the television to the power plug were also left messily. Along the hallway were two stackable and portable drawers, along with a 700 x 800 table arranged by the wall. An old-looking big shelf was left at the corner of the small bedroom; in the centre of the bedroom was what shocked me the most. A hospital bed was there, in replace of a bed. I suppose our beneficiary, Mdm X, slept there while her 34 years old but mentally challenged daughter slept outside. In the kitchen, there were no shelves on the walls, but only a short refrigerator with simple necessaries on top like the salt and sugar.

We were greeted by Mdm X very politely when we entered and I could see that she was grateful to have someone to help her tidy up the house, due to her legs hurting and the limited amount of housework her daughter can do. After the assignations of jobs were made, we all started to work. Some took things out from drawers to clean them, letting them be free of dust while some arranged the messily stacked cds and boxes. For me, I was to clean the toilet with Amanda, a friend from SBM.

Pails were pushed to the corner of the toilet, making the space appear small and untidy. Clearing out the things in the toilet made it easy for us to clean, pouring soap and then scrubbing the floor, toilet bowl and the wall were all we needed to do. 30 mins later or so, we were sure that the whole toilet was definitely cleaner than before. Satisfied, we headed out to help the others. While clearing the things in the drawers. I even found magazines that were ‘ancient’- since 1997!

Finishing up at about 3.30pm, I noticed the now tidily arranged house and felt fulfilled. I may all be tired physically, but surely not mentally! I’m sure that Mdm X has felt our positive energy and believe that she herself could get a new start in this new year. i am also happy to help Mdm X as well as grateful that i was given this chance to help others and learn from this project – to appreciate what i have and be thankful for it.

Dawn Wang Yinji

P.S. Keep a lookout for Amanda's reflections coming up next! :)

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