Kirti // Beyond Awesome Volunteering

Kirti has been serving with our #BeyondAwesome program since the very beginning.  Pretty much almost one year ago.  We started our program at the bottom floor of a housing estate in the Henderson community of Singapore.  When it rained, our students had to make do with soggy artwork and dirty flooring.  When we were setting up, our team had to disinfect tables and chairs as it was a communal space - cigarettes, trash and odds and ends were a common sight.  At the midway point of our session, the garbage men would come like clockwork and empty out the community bins leaving many of our students (and team) having to pinch their noses while attempting to read a book.  When we glanced around us we spotted an uncle (respectful local term for older man) drinking beer, a group of senior citizens getting their hair cut right next to us and various kids and youth running around screaming at the top of their lungs.

Kirti stuck around.

 

We then relocated to a new facility - indoors, a place to call our own.  It wasn't much - white walls and flooring, an old photography studio.  It was dusty and plan but it would do.   We had no furniture, no inspiring artwork on the walls, no shelving and no 'life' in our space.

Kirti stuck around.

 

We then set about creating a space for our students.  Shelving sponsored by another WCA in the community, Sandra - we bought bits and bobs from IKEA and had it set up.  We got donated tables and chairs from an Italian restaurant looking to undergo their own makeover.  We got colorful rugs, put up artwork created by our students, set up a library.  We were inspired and motivated by another member of our team, Lexie, a teacher with over 25 years of experience from Australia - who felt like Mary Poppins to us.  Oh how we transformed our space.

Kirti stuck around.

 

So looking back at the one year mark, we wanted to spend some time to hear the stories of our support community.  Kirti shares,

I signed up to serve with Blessings in a Bag’s ‘Beyond Awesome’ program. It is nearly a year now that I have been working and serving.

I now have the privilege of not only working as a #WCA Community Champ (Volunteer Co-ordinator for the program) but I also have worked actively on the leadership and planning team which has also involved me in a variety of opportunities. I am incredibly grateful for the rewarding insight ‘Beyond Awesome’ has given me and the great networking (and friendships!) that occurs organically.

The team works super-duper hard behind the scenes and we work as one to bring about awesome transformations within our students. Every time I volunteer, I know that I will meet at least one child who will either touch my heart, make me smile or give me something to reflect upon.

I look forward to making a difference, no matter how small of a contribution it is. I know that at the end of every day, I have made a significant impact on the students we outreach to and have contributed to building a strong, sustainable Country.

This experience has been the most rewarding experiences of my life. I would highly recommend volunteering to anyone with an interest in making a difference.

Before my time at Beyond Awesome, I was a stay at home mother. I wasn’t sure whether I was ready to get back out there. But I took this opportunity and I haven’t looked back since - everything and every single day is full of adventure and excitement. To all the mums who are on the fence about serving with our program, I would highly encourage you to join. Not only will you get to meet other mums, you will also be able to bring your own kids to serve together with you. It is also important for you to carve a bit of time out for yourself, to do something fulfilling and to also walk away knowing that you have made a difference to the kids and youths we reach out to.

We've come a long way in just under a year and we've got so many awesome things in store for 2017!