Welfare

Youths meet specific needs in restructured internship programme

Jun 2013    

FOR THE FIRST TIME, the full cohort of 42 youths in the Trackers programme interned at Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) during the last segment of their three-part discipleship programme, run by Trinity Annual Conference Youth Ministries (Truthmin).

This year’s internship also broke new ground in the way the youths served those in need. They carried out projects tailored specifically to the needs of the beneficiaries at the centres as part of the restructured internship programme.

The projects were designed in collaboration with MWS and Truthmin, and the heads of five MWS centres who participated in the internship through several rounds of discussions.

The five centres are Wesley Seniors Activity Centre (WSAC), D’Joy Childcare and Studentcare Centres, Bethany Methodist Nursing Home (BMNH), Daybreak Student Care Centre (Daybreak SCC), and Christalite Methodist Home.

The projects were designed to allow the youths to be creative in the way they served those in need as well as to meet specific needs that the beneficiaries may have.

For example, the youths attached to BMNH used lesson plans to conduct English lessons for the Burmese nurses there, teaching them greeting words among other vocabulary. This helped the nurses to better communicate and build relationships with the residents.

Mrs Jenny Bong, MWS Group Executive Director, said: “This arrangement is a wonderful way in which we connect the needs of the people under our care to the creativity of our young interns.”

For example, to carry out the project on English lessons at BMNH, the youths had to research on teaching methods and understand the language needs of the Burmese nurses in their work.

At WSAC, the youths taught the seniors how to use iPads to interact with their children and grandkids through photos. And in the process, the interns learnt the needs of ageing seniors like dementia and slower absorption rate.

Head of WSAC Ms Kwok Sian Yee welcomed the contributions of the Trackers. “The Trackers are a blessing; they were enthusiastic and spontaneous. Their spirit of participation was willing and joyful.”

Ms Jocelyn Tan, Community Partnership Manager at BMNH, commended the BMNH Trackers team for bringing “much joy and comfort to the residents during their daily interaction time”, on top of improving the Burmese nurses’ confidence in speaking English.

However, there are still areas to be ironed out. Language barriers with the elderly and issues with managing children with special needs were two obstacles faced by the Trackers during this internship. Daybreak SCC Tracker Yong En, 20 (Charis Methodist Church), spoke of the challenges the team faced working with children with special needs: “We had to think of ways to teach them so that they bring home what they learn.”

Nonetheless, self-evaluations show that almost all the Trackers found the internship helpful and highly educational. Half of the participants learnt soft skills and various virtues from their internship experience.

A few even found assurance to pursue future vocations. Kyle Yeo, 21 (Holland Village Methodist Church), highlighted that interning at D’Joy had affirmed his passion for teaching.

Kyle’s teammate Benjamin Soh, 21, (Covenant Community Methodist Church) chose to continue interning with MWS Headquarters and is currently assisting in the Communications and Fundraising Department.

Speaking of his Trackers experience, Benjamin said: “It really enabled me to strengthen my walk with God and I felt that I became more confident as a Christian.”

BMNH team member Jason Lee, 17 (Sengkang Methodist Church), summed it up thus: “I wanted to know more about God, to step out of my comfort zone, to learn something new or different. You don’t just join and have your faith multiply suddenly, it is a journey of faith.”

by the Trackers during this internship. Daybreak SCC Tracker Yong En, 20  (Charis Methodist Church), spoke of the challenges the team faced working with children with special needs: “We had to think of ways to teach them so that they bring home what they learn.”

Nonetheless, self-evaluations show that almost all the Trackers found the internship helpful and highly educational. Half of the participants learnt soft skills and various virtues from their internship experience.

A few even found assurance to pursue future vocations. Kyle Yeo, 21 (Holland Village Methodist Church), highlighted that interning at D’Joy had affirmed his passion for teaching.

Kyle’s teammate Benjamin Soh, 21, (Covenant Community Methodist Church) chose to continue interning with MWS Headquarters and is currently assisting in the Communications and Fundraising Department.

Speaking of his Trackers experience, Benjamin said: “It really enabled me to strengthen my walk with God and I felt that I became more confident as a Christian.”

BMNH team member Jason Lee, 17 (Sengkang Methodist Church), summed it up thus: “I wanted to know more about God, to step out of my comfort zone, to learn something new or different. You don’t just join and have your faith multiply suddenly, it is a journey of faith.”

JOIN * the MWS in meeting the needs of beneficiaries (www.mws.org.sg) n next year’s Trackers programme if you are finishing your ‘O’ levels, ‘A’ levels, or National Service – visit http:// truthmin.com/equip/trackers

 

Methodist Welfare Services pictures

Projects by the Trackers youths included teaching seniors at WSAC how to use iPads to stay in touch with their families, helping in morning exercise sessions at WSAC and giving children drawing lessons at Daybreak SCC.

Adeline Huang is an Executive (Communications and Fundraising) at Methodist Welfare Services.

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