Priscilla Chang, 19, is an international student currently in her second year at a polytechnic in Singapore. Shortly after arriving in Singapore, she became involved with a local community club. It was there that she had the opportunity to meet volunteer leaders from the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and learnt about Red Cross Junior, Red Cross Youth and Young Hearts. Driven by a desire for personal fulfillment, a meaningful life, and a positive impact on society, she decided to join these humanitarian causes. Since that moment, she has remained dedicated to her volunteering journey, never looking back.
Journey with Red Cross Junior/Youth
Priscilla Chang, 19, is an international student currently in her second year of studies at a polytechnic in Singapore. Shortly after arriving in Singapore, she became involved with a local community club where she had the opportunity to connect with volunteering leaders from the Singapore Red Cross (SRC). Through these interactions, she learned about the Red Cross Junior and Red Cross Youth. Driven by a desire for personal fulfillment, a sense of satisfaction in life, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on society, she decided to join both organisations. Since then, Priscilla has remained committed to her volunteer work and hasn't looked back.
Working with children can be tiring, requiring a lot of energy to keep them engaged.
"I find fulfillment when I see the children's happy faces. It keeps me motivated to continue volunteering. I am passionate about helping children understand what to do in emergencies and teaching them humanitarian principles," she says.
Priscilla also highlights that, unlike many other volunteering opportunities, Red Cross Youth is not about managing day-to-day chores, nor does it have a fixed cadence.
"Red Cross Youth is about igniting a spark and nurturing the next generation by raising awareness of emergency situations and humanitarian efforts," she says.
Young Hearts - A Platform to Embrace Empathy and Inclusivity
Priscilla has been volunteering with Young Hearts, where she assists students on a weekly basis in establishing a support structure and being a positive role model for them. Many of these children are fairly independent, while some receive assistance from social workers to access support. A significant number of these children are facing challenging circumstances, putting them at risk. Therefore, volunteers like Priscilla would choose their words carefully during interactions and demonstrate empathy to boost their morale.
Most of Priscilla's time at the Young Hearts Center in Tampines is spent helping children with their schoolwork and playing fun games. Riddles are especially popular among the kids.
Nurturing Young Hearts and Minds
"Young Hearts not only nurtures compassion, empathy and patience, but also encourages mindfulness and teaches effective communication, to be inclusive and create positive impressions on children, making them feel special," Priscilla says.
Priscilla's key advice to potential future volunteers of Young Hearts is that consistent weekly engagement is essential for forging genuine connections and providing the children with the much-needed stability they deserve.
Creating Sustainable Team of Future Volunteers
Priscilla is determined to create a sustainable team of future volunteers for SRC. To achieve this goal, she has taken the initiative to establish a formal Red Cross Youth Chapter within her polytechnic. This initiative will provide a structured and accessible platform for young individuals like Priscilla to embark on their volunteering journey at a younger age. It aims to bring a more personal touch to building community resilience on our 'little red dot.'
By Mohit Agarwal, Volunteer
Copyedited by Nitisha Venkatachari
Inspired? Volunteer with the Singapore Red Cross.