It was the first day of the October mid-term break. Twelve young Tenby stalwarts chose to devote this first day of the holidays to Community Service at the Home for Elderly Citizens, Kampung Simee.
“Our visit was one of the high points in our Community Service education under the C.A.S.E programme of Tenby Schools Ipoh,” explained Sixth Former, Lim Xi Ching, who was one of the leaders of the group.
“The immediate purpose of the visit to the Home was to establish fellowship with the elderly citizens – about 60 of them, all of them without the social safety net of family ties.”
The Tenby students were drawn from the Sixth Form, the Case Action group and the Interact Club. They spent the morning of Saturday entertaining the folks with a programme of songs, dances and games.
Ngoi Shin Ray, Asha Ruben and Evelyn Yeoh took charge of the wheel-chair-bound residents.
“We organised them into two rows facing each other. We got them to play a “throw the ball at someone” game. They were aroused into action – all of them,” remarked Ngoi, 15, who is a Year 10 IGCSE student.
“We learned a lot about the psychological needs of the elderly,” reflected Asha Ruben, 15, of Year 10 in the IGCSE class. “In a home like this, the elders long for company and some group activity that breaks the monotony and loneliness they would otherwise face all the time.”
Other highlights of the entertainment programme were the Chinese songs of the 1960s sung by Mr Louis Rozario Doss, the teacher-in-charge of the Tenby Fellowship Visit. Mr Louis pleasantly surprised us all with his superb repertoire of Mandarin songs especially the nostalgic songs of Qin Shin San which were nostalgic hits reminiscent of the 1960s!
Victoria Pang, 16, of Year 11 (IGCSE) thrilled the audience with her heartrending Christmas and Chinese songs. Victoria is one of the best singers of vocal solos at Tenby Schools Ipoh, almost a celebrity in Ipoh.
“More than money or material donations, what the old folks here need is the gift of time from the rest of us. They are truly starved for fellowship and a listening heart from us,” opined Victoria.
Two other notable singers were Lim Zhi Qing and Michelle Keyza Lee, both Sixth Formers at Tenby Schools Ipoh.
Michelle says: “It was an eye-opening learning opportunity for us in the Sixth Form. We began the day with a briefing by a staffer, Ms Alisha Ho, on the funding and operational system of the Home. It gave me an idea of how a Home like this can be run on a non-profit basis.”
The students were also awed and deeply touched by the story of the late Fr. Anthony Khaw, the para-medical missionary priest who founded the Home. With good reason, of course, he is hailed as the Lion of the Kinta Valley.
“The story of Anthony Khaw tells us that one person can make a difference to the lives of many,” remarked Lim Zhi Qing. It is an inspiration to all who seek to promote volunteerism.”
The Fellowship Visit is part of the Tenby Schools Ipoh Deepavali and Pre-Xmas Charity Drive. The entire school population are engaged in a charity drive this month (Oct 2019) to supply the Home for Elderly Citizens, Kg Simee, with urgently needed supplies such as adult diapers, personal shower bath creams and toilet detergents. The supplies are being delivered on a weekly basis to the Home.