On 13 February, clients from COH Toa Payoh, excitedly gathered to start their day in the Multi Purpose Hall.
This was no ordinary day.
Anticipation filled the air as they came together for their Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations!
COH Staff, Catherine Tan and Zou Jing Yi, opened the day with a festive song and clients took to the stage to greet everyone Gong Xi Fa Cai.
COH Board Member, Elizabeth Tan, and Volunteer, Pastor Rodney Lee, joined the clients in the opening dance!
Everyone listened as Rodney brought his message home to one and all, about the importance of reconciliation and to take the opportunity to mend relationships between families and friends during the 15 days of the Chinese New Year.
He encouraged COH clients to greet their friends and relatives, and suggested that they give their guests greeting cards or paper cuttings, made at the Centre, as gestures of goodwill and love.
GREETINGS, GAMES, AND GOODIES
COH Executive Director, Samuel Koh greeted his enthusiastic charges who were ever ready to shake hands, interact and chat with him. He joined in the Yu Sheng Lo Hei –a Singaporean tradition of tossing slivers of fresh fish and shredded vegetables, with various condiments to signify abundance and blessings, that kicked off the scrumptious buffet lunch spread prepared for all present.
COH Executive Director, Samuel Koh, spent individual time with clients and joined staff and guests for Yu Sheng Lo Hei.
After lunch, COH staff and some volunteers performed several impromptu dance items to which the clients happily joined in. Bollywood-inspired dance moves garnered the loudest squeals and applause. Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
In the afternoon, Volunteers, Alfred Chia, Jennie Teo, and Chua Sian Keng, led the fun with word games. Classes were pitted against each other and challenged to form New Year greetings in Mandarin. The fastest team to form the greatest number of phrases won the game.
Exuberant and uninhibited, the clients participated in the day’s activities with gusto. Each received a package of tangerines with Ang Pow, as well as a bouquet of craft flowers to take home.
Here’s Rodney on the right posing with his token of appreciation with the gang! Right to left are Teacher Harjit Singh, Rodney Lee, Client Cheah Tat Hiang and Teacher Vivien Lee.
WELLNESS AND WHOLENESS
COH’s Senior Executive, Hoi Kok Fu shared, “Life for many of our clients revolves around home and the centre they attend. They don’t get to meet many people. And they look forward to meeting volunteers.” His wish is for more people to visit and get to know the clients better as unique, warm and giving individuals. He added, “Volunteers enrich their lives.”
Jennie has been helping out at the Centre once a week for the past two years. She has come to know some of the clients well and holds them dearly in her heart.
Here’s Elizabeth on the left with her former student Jimmy. She was a Teacher Aide at COH in the mid 1990s.
She shares that today she’s working and praying towards the outcome that year upon year, COH clients will grow and develop into their full potential.
About the Author: The COH Resource Team comprises volunteers, content writers and experts, including psychologists, counsellors, educators and social service professionals.