Interact Club RSLE
During the December holidays, 30 Interactors from the Interact Club went on a Regional Service-Learning Expedition (RSLE) to Nurul Islam Orphanage, Bintan, Indonesia. Everyone was very excited and determined to carry out the fun-filled activities that had been meticulously planned for the children.
When we first arrived at the orphanage, the children were smiling from ear to ear but also looking at us with curiosity. It was later explained by the local tour guide that it was the first time the orphanage was receiving guests from Singapore. After greeting them, we organised ourselves into our sub-teams – teaching and construction teams – to start our project.
During the two days at the orphanage, our teaching team engaged the enthusiastic children in craft activities and interactive games, and taught them simple English. Initially, we faced a language barrier when interacting with them and could not convey our intended messages well. However, we did not stop trying and managed to overcome this challenge with the help of our guides and the children even helped to correct our pronunciation! We also made several impromptu changes to our planned programme and included more outdoor games which the children loved, as we felt that it was more important to bring them joy. The teaching team also reused plastic bottles to plant seedlings, providing the children with a gardening corner. Our construction team also completed painting a mural despite last-minute plans to the design due to on-site constraints. There were also several hiccups during the process such as accidental spilling of paint. Fortunately, we were composed and eventually tackled the problems with teamwork and creative adaptation.
It was an emotional moment for many of us when we had to leave and bid farewell to the children but we strongly believe that although the time spent together was relatively short, the memories that we have forged will be etched in our hearts. We were also contented with the fact that the children had so much fun and even grew a sense of attachment towards us.
All in all, we have learnt to better coordinate with one another and be more flexible towards unexpected changes so as to meet our objectives and needs of the children during the trip. Most importantly, our perseverance and determination have made this RSLE a successful and fulfilling one. We hope that RSLE will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of future NYJCians and their beneficiaries.