By helping those in need, we can change a person’s life for the better.
I can still vividly recall the day when my close friend, Zawiyah, shared about the volunteer work which her family had been actively involved in. Her stories opened my eyes to the world of volunteerism and how selfless, ordinary people went out of their way to change lives for the better. In September 2013, when Zawiyah told me that she needed volunteers to build a school for 35 children in Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia, I thought it would be a good opportunity to see for myself what it was all about.
Together with the volunteers, we raised funds for the school through bake sales and bought some book shelves and appliances such as standing fans. We spent the next 3 days cleaning the place and painting the walls. We even did mural paintings to brighten up the place!
Other than spring cleaning, we continued to raise funds and donate items that the school would need from time to time. One part of the trip which I held close to my heart was to see the excitement and the big smiles of children whom we surprised with a birthday cake.
Now that my passion for volunteering was ignited, I embarked on my 2nd overseas trip to support a school which educates children from a poor rural village in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We collected and bought clothing, toys, toiletries and medical appliances such as automatic blood pressure and blood glucose monitors for the school. During our stay, we taught the children and the staff about personal hygiene and conducted basic health screening. In one of our health screenings, we managed to detect a teaching staff with high blood sugar. We were glad that the early detection has allowed him to seek early treatment for his condition.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was caring for Covid-19 positive patients who were mostly foreign workers from the dormitories. Many of them had no belongings when they were admitted. Knowing that it would be a long road before they could return to their dormitories, I started another donation drive to help our patients. Many of my friends donated generously and more than 100 toiletry kits, snacks and prayers mats were collected. Some even donated dates for the Muslims to celebrate Ramadan! Together with my nursing colleagues, we then distributed these items to our patients.
My volunteering experience has been very fulfilling and it gave me a sense of purpose. I strongly believe that by helping those in need, we can change a person’s life for the better. I hope to be remembered as someone kind who gave her best in whatever she did in life - as a friend, a nurse and as a volunteer.
Norhashimah Binte Hashim
About Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH) are members of the National University Health System (NUHS), a leading academic health system and one of three public healthcare clusters in Singapore.
Known as the JurongHealth Campus, NTFGH and JCH are Singapore’s first integrated healthcare development designed and built together from the ground up. Designed around the patients’ needs, the twin development enables NTFGH patients who no longer require acute care to be easily transferred to rehabilitate and recuperate in JCH. Both hospitals are also managed by one healthcare team to facilitate integration at all levels to enable better patient care, greater efficiency and convenience. NTFGH is also the first in Singapore and ASEAN to attain HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7, with JCH at HiMSS EMRAM Stage 6 – an achievement which recognises hospitals with the highest level of adoption and utilisation of electronic medical record functions.
As part of an integrated academic health system, NTFGH and JCH, in collaboration with partners in the healthcare continuum, aims to transform healthcare to deliver holistic and seamless patient-centred care.
For more information, please visit www.ntfgh.com.sg | www.jch.com.sg | www.nuhs.edu.sg
Delivering ‘Incredible care and health, together!’