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Serving with Passion in Unprecedented Times

Written by: Ng Chen Fong (22S63) and Camille Goh Shuen Ying (22S7E)

Interact Club's Holiday Arts & Crafts Programme (Photo by Darrius Tan, 21S7F)

Covid-19 has forced many physical activities to be cancelled or shifted online – and Interact’s activities have been no exception. Nonetheless, Interactors have gamely risen up to the challenge of providing timely support to their beneficiaries using virtual means.

To Interactors, volunteering during Covid-19 has not lost any meaning. One deeply fulfilling volunteering experience was with Pertapis Children’s Home, which provides children with a history of domestic abuse residential care. Club Service Director of Interact Club, Chloe Lee (21A14), recounted that in pre-Covid times, it was already challenging to establish a connection with these children. With Covid-19 restrictions preventing face-to-face interaction, it made it even more difficult to connect with them.

Regardless, Interactors were spurred to be more adaptive and flexible to the circumstances in order to successfully engage with the children virtually. President of Interact Club, Darrius Tan (21S7F) also related that during an outbreak at the Home, Interactors wrote letters to the children who contracted the virus to cheer them up. “Separation makes us appreciate the time that we spend together a bit more,” Darrius reflected. Despite Covid-19 restrictions prohibiting nearly all face-to-face volunteering opportunities for almost two years, Interactors refused to let the restrictions dampen their strong passion towards service. Instead, they rode on new possibilities for service, which arose during these unprecedented times.

For instance, they swiftly pivoted their activities online to resume volunteering with various beneficiaries. Although many might not perceive online volunteering to be as meaningful or successful as face-to-face volunteering due to the lack of human touch, Interactors took the leap of faith into virtual volunteering to expand the outreach of their activities.

International Understanding Director of Interact Club, Chaoton Cheong (21S6E) shared that in 2020, they organised the Asia Clean Project - an international project where they reached out to girls in Sikkim, India. He explained that Interactors organised activities such as mask sewing and soap making, which were aimed at broadening the girls’ awareness towards the coronavirus and its implications.

Asia Clean Project (Photo by Darrius Tan, 21S7F)

When faced with the arduous task of planning for volunteering activities during a pandemic, the Interactors chose to face the challenge head-on and think of creative solutions to enhance their volunteering activities. Their strong passion towards service certainly knew no boundaries. In the words of Koh Ding Xuan (21S7G), Vice-President of Interact Club, “We don't just see the coronavirus as a challenge we skirt around, but rather a new need to be fulfilled.”

In the midst of all the chaos that was brought about by the pandemic, it was definitely heartening to see a group of fiercely dedicated individuals doing all they could to make a difference in society. To Interactors, Covid-19 wasn’t just an obstacle in their pursuit towards their goal, but also a learning opportunity for all of them to improve their volunteering techniques and activities. Their tenacity and desire for continuous improvementwere extremely commendable and something that everyone of us should be striving to achieve as well.

All Masked Up and Ready to Serve (Photo by Darrius Tan, 21S7F)

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