From a Volunteer's Diary: #SeedsFortheFuture

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

To this day, I can vividly recall how some of our school trips and activities changed my life – the excitement, the new people I met, the new things l learned – each memory was truly priceless and I owe my College a lifetime of gratitude for those opportunities. Last Saturday was a chance to pay it forward with #SeedsForTheFuture! 

One of my friends is a public school teacher (a very passionate one I must say). He's known for his strategy of breaking from traditional learning in the confines of the classroom; thus, he takes his class to different places for varying educational activities. To cap off the school year, they organized a school trip to KidZania. When it was ambitious to take a bunch of children to such an expensive facility, thankfully, (I’m assuming) whole lots of guts, grace, hard work, patience, planning and crowd funding pulled it off. Now, this gave me the chance to volunteer simply by spending a day of fun and learning with the children.
Learning By Doing
Have you ever pretended to be an adult when you were a kid? That was the whole concept of Kidzania. It was a microcosm of the real world, and kids get to interactively experience how it is like to be a grown up. Our task as volunteers was to guide and look after them. It was a privilege for me to be a big sister/ stage mumma to my girls - Ara and Princess. The whole activity reminded me of my own childhood, I was only seven when my parents allowed me to go to the bank to deposit my savings, to queue and pay my tuition fee, to buy school supplies on my own, etc. Well, this is as old as Aristotle, as he once said, "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." Experiential learning is always the way to go!

Perseverance + Purpose
I was so fascinated watching the girls enjoy "working" so hard. They had been pharmacists, store managers, cashiers, caterers, pastry chefs and artists. They jumped from one stall to another to earn more Kidzos even when they had the option to spend them. I find the activity to be something visionary, even symbolic to the hope that we aspire for the next generation (sorry for cliches, but plain hard truth). We all got used to that popular question for the children: What do you want to become when you grow up? I learned that there are more important questions that must be asked and instilled to them: In what way would you love to contribute to your community? Who do you want to help? What gifts and interests do you have that you want to share to the people around you? In what aspect of society do you want to make a difference? (Kid be like, whaaaat? Hahaha!)

Sowing & Reaping

At the end of every volunteer activity, I always wonder how far will the efforts go, or how much impact will it make, how much change will it bring... This is also posed by my desire to see instant results. However, God promised that for whatever we sow, we will also reap. There will always be results, maybe not now, and not exactly tomorrow; but in its right time, we will reap. I guess this also had been the message of #SeedsForTheFuture, plant seeds now and start them young. "Seeds" may signify little, something small. But it is okay, because no labor is in vain and no effort is put to waste especially when it is devoted to the purpose of God. It's those small things that make a huge difference. Moreover, the moment I saw the smile on their faces and light in their eyes while they were there, I have reaped more than expected. Next time you find an opportunity to sow, do it. Sow for the future, sow for the people around you and sow for the purposes of God. 
"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap...And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone." Galatians 6:6-10

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