Thursday, April 26, 2007

A different Sunday

It has been quite a while since I woke up at 7 am on a Sunday morning. Indeed, ever since my Industrial Attachment began earlier this year, I could only afford to sleep to my heart's content during weekends. The reason for this abrupt disruption to an otherwise blissful slumber last Sunday was a simple one: I had signed up for a workshop on volunteering organized by ESN (Elderly Sector Network). I must admit, I did have some reservations on signing up for the workshop when Carolyn told me about it. Afterall, I have always believed that volunteering requires little more than an individual to possess a healthy level of commitment and perhaps altruism. Therefore, how could a workshop possibly impart these qualities (which probably take a life time to cultivate) to anyone in a mere span of 6 hours?

Alas, I soon discovered that I had underestimated the significance of this workshop on a volunteer (especially to a newbie like me). Unlike the misconceptions I had on this workshop, it has already taken into account that when any individual signed up for this course, he or she has already possessed the qualities mentioned above. What this workshop aimed to achieve was to aid the participants in maximizing these qualities, and eventually, these volunteers will be adequately equipped to deal with contingency scenarios during the course of volunteering. This workshop is conducted by volunteers for volunteers, as such, the lessons contained invaluable experiences from these veteran volunteers. From the correct techniques of handling a wheel chair to dispelling myths on unorthodox first aid methods, the workshop had concisely summarized what are some of the most basic skills a volunteer should possess. Without these skills, there is very little a volunteer can hope to offer even if he is brimming with commitment and altruism.

The workshop was brought to an eventful end by Edmund's narration on his volunteering experiences, which further reinforced my admiration to these senior batch of volunteers. Although I left the workshop thoroughly exhausted, I am quite certain that the lessons from the workshop will enable me to contribute in a more effective manner to All Saint's Home. Will I sign up for the intermediate workshop should the opportunity arises? I believe the answer could not be more obvious.