Moving into a foreign country often result in one feeling lost and this was no exception for Yu Feng and his family. In 2018, the family had officially moved to Singapore from China. Their first few months in Singapore was a struggle – they could not understand the Singapore culture and thus, were unable to make friends. Thankfully, Yu Feng had a caring colleague, Angela, who advised him to volunteer in community projects as this would give him the chance to interact with more Singaporeans and familiarise himself with the culture here. His family was very supportive of the idea and his wife even agreed to join him.
The first volunteering activity that Yu Feng took up was to pack porridge in a Muslim Mosque during the fasting month, together with fellow South East District Adult Network (SEDAN) volunteers. During his time there, he acquainted himself with the other volunteers and managed to make a few friends. As they talked, Yu Feng learned about the various Malay cultures and traditions. This experience piqued his interest in learning more about the different cultures in Singapore.
During this experience, I was able to better understand festivals such as Hari Raya, of which I find it very meaningful.”
This experience encouraged Yu Feng to continue to volunteer. His second volunteering experience was at the Digital Clinic. The volunteers in the programme would teach the senior citizens in the community on smartphone usage. Yu Feng was quite surprised by the programme as he did not expect that there would be people who do not know how to use their smartphones. As he interacted with the seniors, they shared that there is usually no one at home to teach them how to use their smartphones. Their children were either busy with work or have other commitments that resulted them in having no one to turn to, in figuring out how to use their smartphone. This has led to them attending the Digital Clinic.
“I would never imagine that basic things like texting in WhatsApp could be so foreign to these seniors. They truly need our care and concern,” Yu Feng exclaimed.
Now, Yu Feng is an active volunteer in various programmes to help different groups of people. To name a few, he has volunteered for Purple Parade and the Terrarium Making. Via the two programmes, he met and gained awareness of people with special needs and engaged residents to use recycled materials to build their own terrarium, in hope to build an environmentally friendly Singapore.
His volunteering experience has greatly widened his horizons and has gotten him more accustomed to the Singaporean culture. He has made many close friends and intends to spend more of his free time, volunteering. Ultimately, he hopes to use his newly acquired knowledge to motivate his kids to volunteer with him.