I had attended this program after listening to the seminar on the needs of bereaved families. I was deeply moved and wished to bring happiness to the children. It was also my first opportunity to volunteer inside a hospital, and I wished to understand more about social work or a psychology career.
Before attending the trainings, I thought that the in-school sessions would be learning about the emotions or communication techniques we could use with the children. I was surprised to know that we would be learning more about ourselves before we would learn about others. During the trainings, we were encouraged to open up and share our ideas with each other, and take turns to let other people know about our personality types, such as doing a 16 personality test and identifying our dominant love signs.
The training sessions were extremely rewarding. All of the members were from my grade, but we didn’t know each other very well. I befriended a transfer student who joined the program after I found out she lived near me, and we have been going home together ever since. There was also a classmate whom I did not know well in S4, but we got a lot closer after going to the training session together every time after classes ended. In general, the group has become very open and welcoming and is a place that we can trust. We formed a lot of new friendships that I never thought would be possible.
The training sessions also helped me to gain confidence. I was always portrayed to be a shy and antisocial person as I couldn’t fit into my class. I had stage fright and had failed miserably at a leadership camp back in primary school. But in this program, I was able to take the initiative and speak out, gaining trust with my group mates. I found out that I was able to open up without fear of rejection or being ignored.
During the activity, our group worked together for the project and bought each other snacks. I was very touched that they would discuss and encourage me when I felt I couldn’t really communicate properly with the children I was looking after during our first meeting. But it improved a lot the next time, and I was very impressed with how mature and thoughtful the child sounded. He was only 10, but he felt concerned for his classmate’s wellbeing, who had failing grades and was being bullied all the time. I was very glad to have met him.
After the bronze level training, Phoebe, our mentor asked if we wanted to continue to the silver level. We accepted it instantly. A meaningful experience like what this program promises does not come easily. We are very happy and honored to be involved in giving service to the children. Thank you very much for putting so much thought in organizing this program for us!
Naomi Chow, F.5 Student, Diocesan Girls’ School, 2019-2020 Silver Level