Sie sind auf Seite 1von 18

ESN Times

A tribute to volunteers working in the eldercare sector in Singapore

By promoting volunteerism in the elderly sector in Singapore, we hope

to spread the message of healthy and active aging - adding life to the
sunset years of the often forgotten elderly in our society, be it the lone
elderly or the elderly in nursing homes or shelters.

With this newsletter, we would like to share that volunteering with

elderly can be a fun, exciting and life-transforming experience, and in
the process forge life-long friendships.

Join us on this journey to touch the lives of others!

The debut issue

ESN Times
ESN Carnival 2009 Feature story :
Interview with Moi Moi
For 15 years, she has given selflessly
to the lone elderly at Kreta Ayer
Banda Street Blk 5.
Don’t miss the
sharing by this Interview with
veteran volunteer
Jeslyn Tan
From ESN as we walk
Our volunteer first-aid
together with her
Chairperson into the lives of
trainer, who has helped us
trained many volunteers
Message from the elderly …
since 2004. Check out
chairlady Josephine what keeps her motivated.
Ang for year 2010
3 10-13 16-17

Spotlight :
All Saints Home (Hougang) Connect with Us
NPOs who wish to connect 14
Want to volunteer? 14
9 Calling for articles 15
Voices 15
From ESN Chairperson 3 Spotlight 9
About ESN 4 Feature Story : 10 Share a story
A Starfish Story 5 Interview with Moi Moi A Starfish Story 5
ESN Carnival 2009 6 Notice Board 14
Subscribe to us for event updates
Announcements Editorial 15 The debut issue
and future issues of ESN Times
ESN Networking Camp 8 Interview with Jeslyn Tan 16
2 Open House 8
ES son
rom per
F r

More than ever, eldercare sector in Singapore is confronted

with a shortage of volunteers. Nevertheless there is a
company of dedicated individuals who give unstintingly to
the community and contribute meaningfully in bringing joy
and love to the elderly voluntarily.

Elderly Sector Network 2010 will be looking at ways of being

creative and effective to mobilize and engage volunteers
from various agencies to working and training together,
supporting and appreciating the contributions of time and
resources that one another brings to the agencies.

ESN 2010 hopes to provide a wider channel for learning and

sharing of thoughts and ideas between different volunteer
agencies, volunteers, trainers and veteran volunteers by
organizing non-profit workshops.

Additionally, ESN hopes that by encouraging participation

in events such as carnival, networking camp and agency
open house, will raise awareness of volunteerism and bring
out the passion in each volunteer.

In year 2010, ESN will be as magnetic, passionate and grand

as a tiger does. Go fellow volunteers go, let the spirit of
volunteering glows and grows!

Josephine Ang Cuixian

Who we are We officially became a volunteer work group
under Volunteer Circle of National Council of
The Elderly Sector Network (ESN) is a non- Social Service in 2004. In 2006, ESN went
profit, non-religious gathering of volunteer independent and formed a management
leaders & representatives from various elderly committee to identify more areas of
related VWOs (home or club based), coming cooperation. Our policy is non-interventionist
together to tap on combined manpower and and participating volunteer groups can
expertise, in the areas of benefit by leveraging on the combined
(1) volunteer training & development, resources, expertise and manpower in the
(2) networking, network, which are often scarce for volunteer
(3) event management and groups operating on their own.
(4) resource sharing

Synergy in action
The origin of the group can be traced to the
Volunteer Networking Camp organised in ESNians share the belief that through
1998. Networking began when a group of networking, synergy is created which will
camp participants from several VWOs initiated bring about greater benefits for the
visiting each other at their own agencies. beneficiaries in the aged homes and senior
citizen programmes in Singapore. Our group
The visits further led to exchanges of hope to raise the awareness of volunteerism
skit/singing performances. From then, a in the elderly sector, in addition to providing
platform was established which facilitated opportunities for interaction between elderly
sharing of ideas/experiences among several from different agencies, between elderly and
elderly volunteer agencies. volunteers, and between volunteers from
different agencies.
It’s all about sharing

Via this platform, the idea of Hungry Ghost

Festival Auction/’Getai’ was shared with other
agencies. The idea grew and almost all the
agencies in the network are organising the
event for their beneficiaries.

Volunteers from other agencies were also

called upon for big events when manpower
was needed. In 2003, the group started to
focus on providing training for volunteers. The
name Elderly Sector Network was coined in
the same year.

About ESN
A Starfish Story
adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his
writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a
human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone
who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what
he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the
shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the
somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't
throw them in, they'll die.“

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize
that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile?
You can't possibly make a difference!“

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into
the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But
the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. --Mother Teresa 5
ESN Carnival 2009
An annual gathering of fun, laughter, friendship and love

The Inter-
Inter-Agency Carnival is the brainchild of Lim Shao Guang,
Guang, ESN committee member, also a
volunteer of Moral Angels. First started in 2007, its main objective
objective is to provide an afternoon of
beyond volunteering experiences of fun, food, joy and company to the ah gong and ah ma by
the combined efforts of volunteers.

Individual volunteer group manpower are often challenged and organising meaningful funfairs
and carnivals are usually beyond a single volunteer group capacity.
capacity. Combining volunteer
strengths from all participating agencies, we managed to bring together
together 175 elderly from 12
agencies, with 15 games and food stalls in the carnival on 5th Sep 2009. Minds MYG volunteers
and beneficiaries also joined us in bringing a dance to the elderly.
elderly. Many thanks to the principal
and staff of Yishun Junior College who has been so supportive in providing venue and and
manpower for this event!

ESN Carnival 2010 will be here soon, keep a lookout for notification
notification if you would like to bring
your elderly beneficiaries to participate in the carnival or if you wish to help out in the event.

Check out Blog entries: Pandemonium at the ESN Carnival (2009) ESN Carnival 2009 in Yishun JC

ESN Times
Mahjong Matching Game
Food Glorious Food
Participant for
Singing Competition

Winners of Elderly Singing Competition

Guest performance from Minds

MYG beneficiaries

Casino for elderly

“…But all these hassles were worth it. For the regular volunteers at All Saints Home (ASH), I believe you have
come to understand that the residents at the home do not regularly
regularly get the opportunity to go outside of the
home to attend outdoor activities. This type of event has come to
to be a rare form of luxury for the residents at
ASH. As most residents at the home are either bedridden or wheelchair
wheelchair bound, it requires a significant
number of nursing staffs to accompany the residents, and provide them with any necessary assistance.

Furthermore, transporting the residents from the home to the venuevenue of the event is no easy feat either, as it
calls for volunteers and nursing staffs to cautiously carry each individual resident onboard the chartered
buses. I have forgotten the number of times I felt utterly dejected
dejected when I saw residents at ASH, such as auntie
Puay Lin succumbed to morbid pessimism due to inactivity from the confinement
confinement to her bed.

Events such as the ESN Carnival provide them with the opportunity
opportunity to venture outside the home and
preoccupy their minds with activities. Thus, despite the strenuous
strenuous amount of planning and coordination, the
volunteers at ASH will always strive to ensure that the maximum possible number of residents from the home
could attend events such as the ESN Carnival…”
Carnival…” - Fum WeiZhong,
WeiZhong, ASH volunteer

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. - Mother Teresa 7

ESN Networkin
g Camp 2010
After 5 dormant years, the Volunteer Networking Camp (previously
organised by Volunteer Management Workgroup under Volunteer
Circle, NCSS) is finally back!

ESN will kick start Networking Camp 2010 on 31st July 2010. The main
objective of this camp is to infuse sense of bonding as a community
community of
volunteers, to promote sharing, interactions and learning among
volunteers, as well as to groom the potential volunteer leaders.

This will be a marvelous opportunity for volunteers to network, share

ideas, foster lifelong friendships while enjoying lots of fun amidst
amidst a
nostalgic campfire!

Invitations had already been sent to volunteer coordinators and

leaders of selected NPOs.

Date: 31 July (Sat) & 1 August (Sun) 2010

Venue: Camp Christine, 71 Jalan Bahtera,
Bahtera, Singapore 719922

y O pe n Ho us e 2010
A g en c
Date: 18 August 2010 (Wed) 7- 7-9:30 pm
Venue: Henderson Aged Reachout Programme (HARP)
Blk 129, Bukit Merah View, #01-
The agency open house is conducted once a year where a volunteer
group hosts volunteers from other agencies, while carrying out their
routine service. The objective is to create opportunities for exchanging
ideas on weekly activities, events/outings organizing and volunteer
AOP 2010, HARP invites other
volunteers working in the
eldercare sector to their
clubhouse for a night of games,
singing with the elderly at
Henderson area.

Let’s learn & share from one

another’s volunteering
Volunteers from other agencies joining in the
fun during the exercise session at Kreta Ayer
VSG, Agency Open House 2009


All Saints Home (Hougang)

A relatively new volunteer group in Northeastern part of Singapore
Singapore - All Saints
Home's Volunteer Group was set up by Edmund Quek on 6th Sept 08, when a
group of volunteers joined the Volunteer-
Volunteer-A-Day 2008 programme,
programme, jointly
organised by Volunteer Initiator Person (VIP), Volunteer Management
Workgroup (VMW) and (NVPC) National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. Centre.
There are 140 elderly in this home. As a new volunteer group, we we are looking
for more new volunteers to join us on alternative Saturdays from 2.30pm-
in elderly activities, mass games, handicrafts, outings and festive
festive events.

Come and Join us in this meaningful volunteering journey:

If you are interested in joining our volunteer service on alternate

alternate sat, 2.30pm-
6pm, please contact:

Edmund at 97813499 or email

Address: 5 Poh Huat Road


I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or
any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not 9
defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. --Mahatma Gandhi
INTERVIEW with Moi Moi

It was seemingly impossible to steal a moment from Moi Moi’s packed

schedule on a Wednesday night as she busied herself with the house
calls on the elderly which was under the care of Banda 3 of Kreta Ayer
Volunteer Service Group.

Not to mention the frequent friendly “interruptions” (warm greetings)

from the residents at Blk 5, Banda Street on this service day, even 10
seconds seemed a luxury. In her fluent multi-dialect returns are always
words of genuine concern and a simple touch, that though simple on its
surface, encompasses trust, faith and kinship from the residents.
A veteran volunteer, Choy
Moi Moi, who has been Opening ‘Closed’ Doors
volunteering since 1996,
selflessly sharing her love, To these elderly who have weathered many hardships in life, many of
time and concern for a them live in their own solitude and shun away from the public in general
group of lone elderly in the and are wary of strangers. How did she manage to let the elderly put so
Kreta Ayer area. much trust in her? What did the volunteer group do to gain their
acceptance? On my mind were many questions ...

To let these elderly ‘open’ their doors and their hearts

to you is no easy feat. Moi Moi recalled 1 elderly that
Chinese New Year visitation they took care of, simply refused to open up to the
Banda 3 Zone, Kreta Ayer VSG volunteer group, verbally abused them and threw out
things that they brought for him. Moi Moi did not give
up on him. It took a long time and strong persistence
before the elderly finally saw the sincerity of the
volunteers and opened up to Moi Moi and her group.

Seeing the smiling faces of the elderly (when they saw

the volunteers calling on them) is more than enough
evidence to show the great work done by these
volunteers and the deep relationships established over
the years. I was sometimes given the luxury of
stepping into their 1-room rented flats. As the elderly
bustled to get drinks and food to offer me as if I am a
VIP, I can only attribute this honour to the trust the
elderly have in this volunteer group, which have been
taking care of them for many years.

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to
10 serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart
full of grace, a soul generated by love. --Martin Luther King Jr.
Little gestures of love

While doing her rounds (no mistakes, it is not

dissimilar to the rounds that doctors conduct during
their duties), Moi Moi checks out not only the
physical but the overall well-being of each elderly.

One of the residents had a stomach upset, Moi Moi

simply sat down with him and laid her hands for
about 10 minutes on his abdomen. After sometime,
the Cantonese uncle said, ”Moi Moi, I am feeling
much better now, the pain has relieved … Moi Moi,
you can be a doctor!” Though seemingly
unfathomable to us, it could just simply be a touch of
love, ‘familial’ warmth which helped ease the anxiety
of the elderly when they are sick or helpless. No
doubt about it, many of the elderly simply look upon
her as their own daughter. House calls
Banda 3 Zone, Kreta Ayer VSG
One volunteer was particularly touched by Moi Moi when they went about the rounds. There was an
elderly who was sick and declined to go down for the weekly activity. Moi Moi did not simply walk
away after inquiring after the elderly, she asked the elderly to stretch out his hand so that she can just
hold on to him for a while. These little gestures which are often overlooked by others, demonstrates
the meticulous care and concern Moi Moi has for the elderly.

How it all started

Moi Moi started volunteering in 1996. With a simple motive to help others, she joined Lion Befrienders
during a Monthly Orientation Talk at NCSS and was assigned to help out with the volunteer group
caring for the elderly in the Kreta Ayer area, which subsequently evolved into the current group she is
volunteering with now. In 1997, she readily became a volunteer leader of the group. To her, it was a
super short learning curve. She recalled in the early days how she had to use a typewriter to type out
the elderly list for the house calls as she was not computer-proficient then.

Besides the weekly house-calls, the volunteer group also organised regular stamp-cutting activities,
handicraft sessions, birthday celebrations, festive celebrations, outings etc. The volunteers also visited
the elderly when they were hospitalised or when transferred to nursing homes. Before the Chinese
New Year, the volunteers also helped the elderly in spring cleaning.

Besides the regular activities, there were many times when the volunteer group was faced with
dilemmas in situations, especially when the elderly are sick and helpless, and are unable to take care of

An emotional struggle

There was a wheelchair-bound Indian elderly who was under the volunteer
group’s care. This Indian elderly was frequently bullied by the flatmate and
conned of his money. When Moi Moi found out the dire situation of this
elderly, she wanted to do something for this elderly who could not take
care of himself and steer him away of further harm inflicted by his flatmate.
They went about finding a nursing home for this elderly. It took them
sometime before they found a suitable home for him.
However, nearing the days before his move to the nursing home, the elderly became withdrawn
because of the attachment to Moi Moi and the volunteers, and the fear that he might not see them
anymore. “I know you don’t like me and want me to go … I know what to do …”, the elderly cried. It
was a moment of struggle for Moi Moi and the volunteers ... For fear that the elderly might do
something silly, on the night before the shift, Moi Moi carefully kept all the knives and sharp objects
and made sure the windows were all fastened before going home, though with an unsettled heart.

The next day, the volunteers rushed down and escorted the unwilling elderly to the nursing home. It
turned out that after 2 months stay at the nursing home, the elderly adapted well and thanked Moi Moi
and the volunteers for helping him out and that he was happy with his new home where he is very well
taken care of.

Good begets good

Moi Moi recalled once when she was running the flu, and one elderly got to know about it when she
was doing her rounds. Before long, the elderly came back with a special concoction and brought to
Moi Moi in a porcelain bowl with feebly hands and ask her to drink it. Moi Moi was very touched by the
incident. Another elderly helped to massage her hands when her hands were feeling sore …

Though these are simple acts of kindness, it shows just how much
the elderly cared for her, perhaps in return for her good deeds, but
perhaps more aptly, this is reminiscent of deep kinship, albeit it is
between people who are virtually unrelated.

There were many incidents when elderly passed away that Moi Moi
and her volunteer group helped to take care of the funerals.

There is no profound theory to her ways of life, but simple

manifestation of true love and sincerity. “When you don’t think of
rewards and just do what you can with love, you will get bigger
rewards in life.” she said.

Helping on domestic matters

(House calls)
Banda 3 Zone, Kreta Ayer VSG

Challenges in volunteering

When asked whether she has at any point (in her close to 15 years of
volunteering) wanted to give up on volunteering, Moi Moi reflected
that it is the deep relationships with the elderly and volunteers that
keep her going. She shares that it is important to manage your time
well, take care of one’s family first and find a balance point so you will
have peace of mind when you volunteer.

Volunteering has changed her life, from which she found new energy and motivation, to help others
around her, especially the elderly for whom she feels that they are often forgotten or misunderstood
by others.

In our forever ‘progressing’ and meritocratic society, where everyone is constantly caught in rat
races, forever justifying for higher ranks or bigger pay packets, when even high ranking staff of some
charitable organizations are soliciting for their own gains …

It is indeed a humbling experience to see simply a dedicated volunteer (without a single cent), who
spent countless hours volunteering and ‘contributing’ love in her own little ways to people totally
unrelated to her, without asking for any return. Isn’t that the most fundamental ‘ingredient’ in
making Singapore a more humanistic and caring society?

Moi Moi has inspired many others in her simple down-to-earth ways, ‘get your hands’ dirty approach
to help the needy elderly. Her ‘concept’ is simply that the elderly or beneficiaries will sense it if you
do it with a sincere heart with love.

This article does little to pay full credit to all the

good work that has been done by Moi Moi and all
the other volunteers in her volunteer group. In
fact, most of the touching stories are still on an
audio recording that we did at a rowdy dessert stall
at Kreta Ayer.

For those who wish to know more of these stories

and how you can be a part of this group, just pop
by on a Wednesday night at the Senior Citizens
Centre at Banda Street Blk 5 and look for Moi Moi
or the volunteer group there, you are bound to
uncover for yourself many stories of friendships
and simple kindness …

Moi Moi with other dedicated volunteers of

Banda 3 Zone, Kreta Ayer VSG

Notice Board
Volunteer Netwo rcare
vo lunt ee r grou ps working in the elde
We welcome management
tw or k w ith us to share the volunteer to
sector to ne
pe rie nc e, particip ate in ESN events or
ow-hows’s’ and ex ect with
lu ntee rs fo r ou r training programs. Conn
send your vo
Email us at elderlyse

s are also
from other sector
Volunteer groups e on
e to ne tw or k wi th us too. We can shar
welcom ow-hows’s’ to
be ne fit s of ne tw or king and the ‘know- e
the fo r the sector you ar
ni ng fu l ne tw ork
form a mea bers!
ee rin g in . It’
It’s al l ab out strength in num

Volunteer Recruitmen
Calling for volunteers
- get your friends, relat
classmates, colleagues ives,
to join you.
Whether it is cookin
g for Elderly / Befrien
Gardening / Karaoke ding /
/ Handicraft / Hair-cu
Stamp-cutting/ Musica tting /
l Therapy / Taiji / Mah
Festive Celebrations jong /
etc or you can even
your own activity to create
bring joy to the of
forgotten elderly in ou ten
r society.
Email us at elderlysec
we will link up with yo m and
u immediately on a su
volunteer group near itable
your home!

Calling for articles ne great
are ma ny vo lun tee r gro ups out there who have do
or wo rking wi th eld erly beneficiaries. However,
jobs in serving amount
a reg ula r ne ws let ter to document requires huge
put up
of effort and time.
share :
prov ide a pla tfo rm he re for volunteer groups to
nces by your
we lco me sto rie s of memorable experie and
ou p, int rod uc tio ns of your volunteer groups
volunteer gr ganised
ac tivitie s or ev en ts yo ur volunteer group has or
special and
your pen and
, do not hesitate, pick up
for your beneficiaries etc .com
send in your articles to: eld
issues of ESN
blished in the following
Selected articles will be pu
lik e to ou tre ac h to mo re people who may not be
We would able
are able
in En gli sh . If the re are volunteers out there who
to rea d us
th tra ns lating ou r news letters to Chinese, do drop
to help us wi
an email too!

Share with us your
thoughts or voluntee
experiences - your fir ring
st experience at an
home, some voluntee eld erly
r you would like to th
making your day at vo ank for
lunteering, someone
taught or shared somet wh o has
hing meaningful with
you ...
Keep your notes to
about 100 words. Se
notes will be publish lected
ed in the following iss
ESN Times. Let’s hear ues of
from you!
Email us : elderlysecto

ESN Times
INTERVIEW with Jeslyn Tan Lay Har

Jeslyn is our first external volunteer trainer. I am a full time First Aid Lecturer, my main job is
When we first started and was looking for a to conduct first aid training to the working
trainer to help us conduct first aid training for adults on the management of injured when
our volunteers, Jeslyn willingly took up the role accident arises. Also very involved in
without asking for any renumeration.
renumeration. conducting first aid examination including
course coordinating and assisting in
Since 2004, she has helped conduct many administrative work.
workshops for ESN. We are grateful to her for
helping to equip many volunteers through the In what areas do you volunteer besides helping
years with basic CPR and first aid skills. ESN in carrying out basic first aid training?

As I am no longer in the uniform unit of St John

Ambulance Brigade, I am trying my very best to
give back to society by helping out in the
continuous life support trainings as well as
helping to enlighten the youths by means of
judging in yearly First Aid competition in
different zones

The initial motivation to volunteer in ESN

training workshops came from Shaoguang who
leads a team of volunteers, hungry for more
skills in order to value add their services to the
needy during their free time, I am just
contributing my little bit of time to transfer my
skills to them.

16 No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. --Aesop

How do you stay motivated all this years?

It is 'Appreciation' , that simple, Shaoguang and his

team always express appreciation upon my
presentation and during the talks, has motivated
me to go on helping them whenever my time
allows. The word 'Thank you' is the biggest reward,
and the challenge I guess is the lack of energy to
do much and when you see some public taking us
for granted.

Are there any moments that you wish to give up

and what made you stay on?

Have not think of giving up totally, but I have to

apologize and turn down some request in order to
have enough rest due to my busy work load and
spend more time with my family.

Is there any message you wish to say to existing

and new volunteers?

Bravo to all volunteers out there, keep up the

noble spirit!

We welcome external trainers who would like to

help us conduct workshops to equip our volunteers
with skills required in their volunteering service.

Just send us an email and we will link up with you.

Email us :

Volunteer groups who are particpating in ESN events
or networking with ESN
All Saints Home (Hougang)
All Saints Home (Tampines)
The evergreeners at Brighthill Evergreen Home
Heartwarmers at Christalite Methodist Home
Henderson Aged Reachout Programme
Moral Angels at Moral Home
Kreta Ayer Volunteer Service Group
Joy Gathering at Singapore Leprosy Relief Association
Sree Narayana Home

Our members: Our associates: ESN web portal

Carolyn Tan Ang Teck Ee
Fum Weizhong Choo Meng Kwee
Tan Czek Xing Lee Woei Shiuan
Wong Kee Teck Eric Cheong
Edmund Quek Jean Quek
Josephine Ang Cuixian Poh Hwee Hian
Molly Chan
Lim Chung Tat Our friends and supporters:
Shermin Lim
Stephanie Chua Foo Say Thye
Ler Lay Guat Kenny Teo ESN is on facebook
Hong Jinxiong Volunteer Management Workgroup
Lee Huiquan Volunteer Initiator Persons
Lim Seow Kuan
Ng Jek Mui Our volunteer trainers:
Lee Siew Weng
Honey Chan Jeslyn Tan Lay Har
Lim Wenhui Ivy Chua Lee Kheng
Jordy Neo Andee Soh
Ben Tan Ting Inn Shyan


Verwandte Interessen