The trip to volunteer at COH was an eye-opening experience for me and my fellow students from the Interact Club of the Tampines Junior College.
When I first met the clients of COH, I was afraid because of my experience with my second cousin who has autism. Many of us who do not have first-hand experience of people with intellectual disabilities, will often stereotype them as people who cannot express themselves well, are difficult to understand and totally different from us.
This is not true because the trip to the NEWater Visitor Centre showed that the COH clients were no different from any one of us. In fact they were normal, just like us. I was paired up with Johnson and he changed my outlook of such persons.
During the journey to the NEWater Centre, I did not talk much to Johnson. Perhaps I was afraid, but when we reached the centre, I was more relaxed and talked to him about the NEWater. He understood everything I said and even gave me a high-five. I was kind of sad when we had to go home because time passed by so fast when we were having fun.
Volunteer From Tampines Junior College Interact Club
First published in News Flip 2008.