Since August last year, Daryl Lim and his friends Alden, Joshua and Ben from Barker Road Methodist Church (BRMC), have been regular volunteers in Catholic Welfare Services’ (CWS) Night Missions programme. They walk the ground to visit and interact with rough sleepers, and bring them buns and drinks.
Each befriending visit brings them from the Bencoolen area through to Bugis and Jalan Besar, and usually lasts from around 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
When COVID-19 escalated, Daryl was inspired to start an online platform to collect donations of masks and hand sanitiser to distribute to these rough sleepers. They taught the rough sleepers the importance of cleaning their hands and how to use hand sanitiser properly. In one night, he and his friends gave out 62 bottles of hand sanitiser, along with masks and care packages.
Collecting these resources was not without its challenges. Three days before the distribution event was planned, Daryl and his friends had only collected 10 bottles of hand sanitiser as the panic-buying had depleted the stocks in shops. But then donations began coming in from Daryl’s friends and family. He even received a call from the Muslim Youth Forum who had caught wind of their initiative and expressed interest in donating to it.
Daryl was inspired to work with rough sleepers when his church, BRMC, held a youth camp themed “Unto the least of these”—the theme verse reminded him that whatever he did for the least of the kingdom, he did for Christ (Matt 25:40). In the lead-up to the camp, his Sunday school teacher invited him to a Night Missions programme with CWS for a hands-on experience on how to live out that verse in Scripture, which started him on his volunteer journey.
Through his experiences, he now has a deeper insight into the lives of rough sleepers and the adversities they face. Even though Singapore is a wealthy country, there are many—hundreds—among us, now invisible, who have fallen through the cracks, through circumstances beyond their control.
Daryl has also had many volunteering opportunities throughout his educational journey in ACS(I) and ACJC, thanks to the ACS family’s emphasis on giving back to society. He says: “There is an African term—‘ubuntu’—which, when translated, means ‘I am because we are’. We are who we are today partly because of others. It might be easy to prioritise ourselves over others, but I hope that everyone can broaden their world view by being more understanding and caring in their actions.
“If you want to make a difference but don’t know where to start, start small by showing care and respect to those around you. Just as how Jesus demonstrated his love for us on the cross, likewise we can let all that we do be done in love.”
By the MCS Communications Team / Photos courtesy of Daryl Lim