Tampines “Invaded” By Transformers!

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From 16 – 20 February 2009, a group of extraordinary young men and women came to COH to give of themselves and their youthful energy in spending time with our clients and helping our programme staff conduct the activities planned for each day.

These youths were part of a group called Transformers, taking part in SERVE 2009, a Diocesan Youth Board program.

Here they share with us, snippets of their time with us:

“Christian Outreach to the Handicapped… I have a feeling that this place and all the people in it will always have a special place in my heart now that our attachment is officially over. When I first heard that my group was going to COH which had clients who were intellectually and physically handicapped, I was frightened. On hindsight however, I am now embarrassed I felt like that.

I am 19 years old and I had never fully learned to accept such people so different from me; those who are not in mainstream of society in terms of thinking, IQ and EQ. I guess in a way, time slowed down for me during those 5 days. I broke away from my fast-paced life to gaze into their uncomplicated world and the result was that I found more meaning here than in my days spent at Junior College.

I found that just helping with basic table activities, arts and crafts, walking the clients down the stairs or to brush their teeth, opened my eyes and heart. The way some of the clients treated us astonished me. Though all are older than me, they have the likability and innocence of little children. They do not dismiss anything we do as childish or weird but rather find much enjoyment in simple things like in the kicking or passing of a ball.

I had a major mindset paradigm shift through interacting with COH clients. They have conditions like Down’s Syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder and Cerebral palsy, but they are God’s precious and pleasing creations nonetheless, and therefore deserve as much love and attention as we do.

They have great potential and should be given a chance to be successful in life. All of us in society have a part to play and a responsibility to help them get there. I thank COH for helping me see the world around me from a new perspective through these wonderful clients. I hope to return to COH soon to learn even more! Thanks so much, COH, for allowing my group and me to visit!”

Sarah Tso.

“I have learnt to be contented with what I have, to give encouragement to those around me and to be patient with everyone. Even a little encouragement brightens up their day.’

Juanita Kong

“The clients really appreciate everyone and anyone that comes to help. This caused me to reflect on my own life, the times when I was not appreciative to those around me, the times when I am always demanding for more. I realized we are always not happy about something. We are always complaining, living our life, dreading this and that, missing out on the things that God has planned for each and every one of us’

Valerie Cheng

“I will remember this week for the rest of my life’ ~

Kenny Khairon

“This one week at COH has taught me a lot. Not to judge others based on what you see, and also to be more sensitive towards peoples’ feelings and moods. I believe that we now act as ambassadors for these people, and we should let the world know more about them’

Ng Jun Kai

“In this one week, my perception of the intellectually handicapped has changed. They are neither as helpless nor as boring as I always believed them to be. I am now able to appreciate and love each individual client for whom he or she is as God’s unique creation’

Hui Shan

“We should be doing stuff to help less fortunate people’

Kirby Ong

“I realise how stressful it must be for the staff. To continually have the learning of the clients in mind, with every daily task being an opportunity for learning and practising. It truly takes an exceptional person to be able to care for others with this kind of determination and love’

Matthew Tay

“Jesus reached out to people of all conditions and background and was not prejudiced against anyone. As Christians, we should emulate Him in treating everyone equally with love. It is definitely demanding and challenging. I hope that each staff will remain strong in their faith for God so that they can depend on Him and persevere everyday’

Michelle Tan

“I have learnt that life does not just revolve around school work. We really do need to get in touch with our compassionate side. We can make a difference in lives of others and our own’

Rachel Lim

“Their definition of joy is so simple. It just amazes me how easy it is to make them happy’

James Ng

“I have learnt to look for the strengths in people and not just focus on their weaknesses. I also greatly admire and respect the staff at the centre for their desire to help these people’

Clara Loh

“I am very encouraged by the work that COH has been doing, and I would definitely love to come back to do some volunteer work again when I have the time’

Andre Ang

“Everything we do will affect the world somehow or other but whether we want to make this place a better place it’s up to us’

Walter Tan

First Published in Courier of Hope

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