“Keep the spirit of volunteerism burning!”

- Teo Chun Yong, NVAC Chairperson, thanking all past and present volunteers

One Good Turn Deserves Another

NVAC receives national award for its good deeds

  A well deserved pat on the back - NVAC Volunteers at the Singapore Youth Award ceremony at the Istana.

From tutoring boys at Boys’ Town to caring for patients at the Institute of Mental Health, NUSSU Volunteer Action Committee’s (NVAC) volunteers have shown their mettle.

Their selfless acts won NVAC a Singapore Youth Award 2002, Singapore’s highest recognition for achievements before the age of 35. The NUS volunteers were among four individuals and two groups identified this year as national role models for Singapore’s youth.

Founded in 1990 to promote volunteerism as a way of life for NUS undergraduates, NVAC has received other accolades for their efforts to serve the disadvantaged, the infirm and the disabled. These include Certificate of Merit (Group) for the Life Insurance Association Volunteer Awards (2000) and the Rotary Club of Singapore's Students Community Service Awards (2001).

Still, the Singapore Youth Award was a pleasant surprise and perk, said NVAC volunteer Jeannine Tang, even though she has found the volunteering experience, the projects and the friendships formed enough of a reward in themselves.

Having been in the NVAC since joining NUS, the third-year Arts and Social Sciences student counts her volunteering experience as one of the high points of her undergraduate life. Her activities at the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) special schools include tutoring the children, and organising camps and programmes for them.

Jeannine recalled with pride a boy she helped: “He had difficulty understanding numbers larger than 10, but improved after a few weeks of coaching. So when he told me he wanted a watch for his birthday, I was so proud of him! His learning to tell time, and wanting to keep telling time was a step forward.”

Besides regular projects, NVAC also provides flexible volunteer opportunities in areas such as publicity, recruitment and fund-raising. Its annual flagship events, for example, Charity Fiesta, have raised $300,000 for more than 40 voluntary welfare organisations over the years.

“There are so many ways to get involved in NVAC activities, and easy to find a project or a committee that suits your interests and abilities,” announced Jeannine.

More about NVAC and the Singapore Youth Awards can be found at http://nussu.org/~nvac and http://www.sya.org.sg/

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