Sixteen SIM University (UniSIM) full-time students have been presented with the Outstanding Volunteer Appreciation Award by Pertapis – a voluntary welfare organisation that runs socio-education, welfare and rehabilitation centres, and engages in self-help projects for the betterment of the community's welfare in Singapore – in recognition of their dedicated service-learning efforts.
Driven by their strong belief in inculcating the importance of education in youths, the UniSIM students had formed the 'Learn.Love.Live' service-learning group and initiated the 'Pertapis TAJ Tuition Project'. This project sees them conduct a weekly tutoring and mentoring programme for primary and secondary school level students from low-income families served by the Pertapis Welfare Trust Fund. Besides helping them improve academically in the English language, Science and Mathematics subjects, the UniSIM students also aim to empower the children to build optimism and perseverance in everyday life, through the building of bonds and by serving as role models.
On 5 March 2016, seven members of 'Learn.Love.Live' attended the Pertapis Volunteer Appreciation 2016 high tea event, held at the Raffles City Convention Centre, where they received the award from the Guest-of-Honour Mdm Halimah Yacob, Speaker of Parliament. This award honours groups and individuals for their support and dedication to Pertapis, and for their sustained contributions to meet the needs of Pertapis’ beneficiaries in the long run.
At the event, Mdm Halimah shared data on a worrying decrease in volunteerism and service once individuals enter the workforce. She encouraged Malay-Muslim organisations to find more ways to promote volunteerism by appropriately matching individual and group volunteers with community needs.
In a positive contrast to the current trend, Ms Naseera Hidayathullah, a Service-Learning Leader of 'Learn.Love.Live' and second-year student in the Bachelor of Accountancy programme, shared her group's thoughts on receiving the award: "This award was unexpected and has definitely motivated us to do more. It has also reminded us that volunteering or doing service should not be based on the amount of leisure time we have, but rather, is something we should include in our everyday lives."
(From right) Mdm Halimah Yacob presenting the award to Ms Naseera Hidayathullah and Ms Amanda Chiam Hui Juin,
both Service-Learning Leaders and second-year students in the Bachelor of Accountancy programme.
With them is Mr Hussaini Abdullah, President of Pertapis.