A Volunteer’s Experience With +Venture

Here's some heartfelt words from one of our volunteers after the Photography +Venture @ Chinatown on 1st March 2014.

Had a great time today! I’ve been out of the volunteering scene for a few years due to various work and personal commitments, but I decided to join today’s activity due to a friend, and boy, I sure don’t regret my time spent this morning! Not only did we befriend and bring the children around on a photography trail, volunteers ourselves found out more about the cultural history of Singapore.

As a Singaporean, there are so many places I didnt knew existed in Singapore – I didnt know of a 200-yr-old mosque in Chinatown area, or an old Chinese physician clinic transformed into a pub while preserving its original look. Much of our local history was learnt through my school days, where we read Singapore history and social studies. But I learnt that reading is not enough, sometimes you have to experience it for yourself to realise the meaning and significance behind the efforts in preserving our historical buildings and culture.

Something interesting was that the photography trail was done entirely on film cameras. As a film enthusiast myself, I love the idea of film being developed into photos, and the anticipation of waiting for the roll of film transforming into beautiful pictures greatly excite me. During breakfast, I taught 3 little girls how to load films into their cameras and the logic behind film photography. It was easy, so they picked it up in no time. It was also encouraging to see that after I taught my participant and then empowering her to guide her 2 friends on how to load their cameras, she took so much pride in ensuring that their films are correctly loaded.

Through today’s activity, I’m sure everyone learnt that film is precious (because there is only 27 exposures on the roll) and that they need to put some thought into taking each photo. In this digital and ever-changing world, it is also important that the kids learn about our past and ensure that such knowledge is not lost in the future generations. I treasure such knowledge transfer and was heartened that The Volunteer Switchboard saw its importance too, and chose to introduce an valuable art – film photography – to the participants.

Volunteering is not just about helping the needy or unfortunate or spending your time doing something worthwhile, it is a way to open your eyes. Not only to the world, but also to your journey of self-discovery – letting you realise what you hold dear and important to you, and making sure you treasure what you already have.
— Yongxin Hong

Thank you Yongxin (pictured on the right) for sharing your thoughts on the Photography +Venture @ Chinatown trail! We are soooo very heartened by what you have shared and we hope to see you real soon again!