Touching Hearts, Touching Lives

On the 8th of February 2020, students of Form 4 Theta along with 4 accompanying teachers, Mr Felix Alla, Ms Thian Siaw Hui, Ms Goh Mey Lih and Mr Ambrose Tai visited the Sarawak Cheshire Home. The Home is a non-profit organization that provides residential care, general nursing care and medical attention, training and guidance with disabilities and those who are ill who have limited means and resources.

The main objective of this social outreach programme is to help clean the Home to provide a better living environment for the people there. In addition, we hope that our presence there would lift a smile on the faces of the residents of Cheshire Home apart from brightening their day in conjunction of the Chap Goh Mei celebration.

Students were required to meet at Cheshire Home at 8.30 a.m. We were then gathered at the main hall at 8.45 a.m. for a briefing by a staff in charge of running the Home. Students were then divided into groups. Each group was given a different task – some cleaning the windows of the dining hall, some in-charge of cleaning the rooms, some sweeping and mopping the hallway while others were tasked to remove weeds from the lawn, unclog the drains and sweep the compound.

As for me, I was given a simple task to sweep the leaves around the compound and remove weeds from the plants and to unclog the drains. By 10.30 a.m., the place was cleaned and it was time for the next activity which the residents were all awaiting.

My friends and I brought the residents on wheelchairs to the main hall in which we had a few performances lined-up for them. The first performance was a solo done by Brian Christopher Johan who sang an English and Chinese song entitled ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and ‘Tian Mi Mi’ respectively.

It was then followed by a group performance by Declan Chan, Mark Shim, Sharon Ho and Jeslyn Sim dancing to the song entitled ‘YMCA’. The next performance was a solo performance by Farrell Ng who strummed his guitar to one of the most famous pieces of classical music ‘Canon in D’.

Next was Elaine Su who performed a hit song entitled ‘Top of the Word’ on her ukulele. The performances ended with the class singing ‘Da Tuan Yuan’. We can see that the performances brought smiles to the residents who clapped for us and we were delighted that we were able to touch their hearts.

After the performance, the teachers and students of St Joseph’s Private School along with the community of Cheshire Home celebrated Mass that was presided by Father Francis Lim, SJ. The programme came to an end at 12: p.m. We wheeled the residents back to their room. Before we left for home, we took a group photo as a memory of our visit.

At the end of the day, I felt truly blessed for who I am, what I have and where I am. I thank God for the daily blessings He has showered upon me, for giving me a perfect family and with all things given upon me. I learnt the significance of gratitude. We should not complain on petty matters but to treasure the present and to make the most out of it.

I also learnt that the things done today are simply not found in our textbooks i.e. the values what life has to offer, as the saying “a little goes a long way” appropriately sums it up. Such invaluable experience is something that none of us could find in any regular classroom setting. Therefore, I will try as much as possible to help the less fortunate in whatever ways I can in the future. I believe that even through a small action, it will mean a bunch for those receiving it.

by Katherine Law Hui Ning

There were 35 students from Form 4 Theta and 1 student from Form 4 Phi together with  four teachers at the Sarawak Cheshire Home at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching for Social Outreach Programme on the 8th of February 2020.

The Cheshire Home is a place for the disabled, e.g. those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society. 

We were then divided into four groups of nine students in each group.  Our group consisted of Sharon Ho, Daphne Wong, Elaine Su, Chloe Bong, Serena Chai, Teo Jia En, Chloe Chai, Jessica Wong and myself (Jeslyn Sim).  We were allocated different areas to work on.  Our group was assigned the task of cleaning the windows and washing the mosquito netting.  In addition, we also assisted in cleaning the toilets and mopping the corridors.

After I had completed the above chores, I had the opportunity to talk to one of the residents, Cik Benita.  She informed me that she’s from Bau and she had been staying in Cheshire Home for 35 years.  She is handicapped and she needs a wheelchair to assist her in her movement.  I wheeled her into her room and we had a short conversation.  She requested me to read a prayer for her and translated some of the English Bible verses into Bahasa Melayu for her.

Our class performed five items, that is, one solo singing, one played ukulele while singing, one played the guitar, four of us performed a dance and a group choir.  Then Fr Francis joined us and we had a Mass.  After Mass, we wheeled the residents to the dining hall for their lunch and we were dismissed.

This is my first visit to Cheshire Home.  After visiting the residents, I felt that I could have done more to help them.  I will try my very best to help them in one way or another.  I am so fortunate and grateful that I am not handicapped, and can live a normal life.

I have learnt that we should help the needy whenever we can.  We should be grateful for what we have, instead of always complaining about what we do not have.  We should always be happy, and be satisfied with our lives.

As a person, I will definitely render charity services, especially to organizations like Cheshire Home, Salvation Army, Old Folks Home, etc.  I will also do voluntary works, community services and assist in giving donations to the needy.

We had a great experience in visiting Cheshire Home.

by Jeslyn Sim Sze Lyn