Originally Posted On January 28 2007 at "Media Singapore" (http://kcarclubsg1975.spaces.live.com/)
As we stepped into the large multipurpose hall (more like a canteen), 45 pairs of eyes turn to us.
Those looked of appreciation, happy yet sad, envy, curious and even redden eyes.
We unloaded our things fast as we know we have 45 kids waiting eagerly for us to distribute our "gifts".
We brought with us loads of instant noodles, rice, chocolates, canned drinks, sweets, soft toys, books & even clothes.
The kids queue up quietly and in an orderly manner, as one by one came to the distribution table, they received the gifts with both hands and "thank you" is heard every few seconds.
Then the "mingling" session started. I chatted with this 2 girls today, Gina, 11 & Christy, 13. Gina is from a single parent family whose mum is sentenced to 24 months for some offences and a regular face at Singapore Women Prison. Her Dad is no longer in this world. With no one to take care of her, she got sent to this HOME by her relatives who refused to take her in. Christy’s parents abandon her since she was a baby, se has totally no idea how her parents look like or know who they are. She believed that there is no point looking for her parents as they might have forgotten about her. We chatted about Chinese Pop Groups, Singers, favourite food to their favourite books. These are not ordinary girls, mind you. They are great fans of Stephen King & Agatha Christie, the latter being one of my favourite author. I am sure girls of their age outside the HOME (Your everyday Teenager) do not even read as much as them or half as mature as them. They have a complete definition of life and the way they face their roots are courageous and commendable.Lunch came as a fun affair as we were all formed into Groups and cook our own lunch. My lunch consists of instant noodle, M&Ms, mentos, Chicken-in-a-biskit…etc and flush down with syrup water made by the kids, haha, too sweet anyway kids,
After lunch, we have a talk by a Social worker who came with us. FT was an orphan himself and he spoke of the things he faced when he was growing up. Being alone is bad enough, having to bear crude remarks and the "look" of people made it quite bad. But he faced it up and took things in his pride. He outperformed his peers in schools, won scholarships and even made it as a President’s Scholar. When he graduated, he came back as a Social Worker in one of the Counselling Centre. Today he is a well recognised figure and even answers question to teenagers in local magazines and online advisories for teens.
After the talk, we have a D-I-Y session where we were again broken into smaller groups and made things using recycled materials. My team of 2 boys and 2 girls made a "remote control holder" using cardboards and paperclips. Even though it looked more like an badly constructed Ashtray, we had fun. Yes, it is fun when we try to do things as a group. From drawing the project, to discussing the materials to actually building it and painting it. We didn’t won the creative prize of a chocolate hamper, but we have had serious fun. The 2 boys (W & A) were cheeky and humourous, the 2 girls (K & B) were extremely chatty.
Dinner came. It is a fully sponsored dinner by KFC. The whole canteen smells like KFC in an uptown outlet. Only lacking is no air-con, but all of us had fun! After dinner, the kids proceed to their own dorms where some of us were to coach them in their homeworks, some to clear & clean the canteen (i was 1 of the unlucky few), some went to report to the Home Master about the handing over…etc. We even sweep & mop the whole canteen! When its time to leave, the kids came out to bid their farewells, neatly in a row.
I tried hard not to look into those eyes, but no matter how hard I resisted, I looked at those eyes in the end. My eyes teared up as I was walking out, those eyes are super sad. They hate to see us go just as much as we hate to leave them. We promised to return again once we have enough sponsors, meantime, we gave them our email address to stay in touch. (We are not allowed to give them our mobile numbers, part of the rules). We are their favourite "Uncles & Aunties" among other volunteer groups as we always made them the happiest I was told.
As we reached our vans & lorries, we waived our last goodbyes and my Sunday has passed. Passed meaningfully and unforgetable.
Time to quickly get home, Monday is creeping in…………..