Oct 2001 Issue

A First Prize for Community Service
by Mervyn Sek

The NUSSU Volunteer Action Committee (NVAC) has won honors for outstanding community service. It won a first prize in Students Community Service Awards (18-25 age group category) the very first time it was nominated for the award.

  Mervyn Sek, Chairperson NVAC 2000, with Dr Tham Meng Keat, President of the Rotary Club of Singapore.

Instituted by the Rotary Club of Singapore in 1996, the awards aim to encourage and inspire students to participate actively as conscientious and caring members of the community. These awards are jointly supported by the National Youth Council and National Council of Social Services.

NVAC's activities include being involved with Boys' Town as friends and tutors on a regular basis. They also participated with the Lions Bukit Merah Befrienders scheme, providing care, companionship and assistance to lonely, elderly residents. Members also volunteer at the Institute of Mental Health, the Moral Welfare Home, MINDS Guillemard and MINDS Yio Chu Kang.

In addition to these, NVAC also organises fund-raising events. The Annual Charity Fiesta is NVAC's biggest fund-raising bazaar, carnival, exhibition and recruitment drive in NUS. Besides raising funds through selling handicrafts and food, the fiesta also aims to promote greater understanding of charity work and volunteerism. "We hope that more people will start helping those less fortunate than themselves," said project director Mr Goh Kee Lee, a second-year Engineering student.

Charity Fiesta 2001 raised a record $42,000 for the 24 beneficiaries NVAC adopted this year. The Hospice Care Association, the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, the Students Care Service and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are among those who will benefit.

Seventy-two entries were submitted for the Students Community Service Awards this year. Seven groups were awarded first and second prizes while seven others received Certificates of Merit for their outstanding voluntary and community work.

More information about NVAC can be obtained at http://nussu.org/~nvac.

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