By Vincent Pang
Life in the rural areas of the developing countries like Kampong Speu in Cambodia is very basic and rustic.
You will find children under the age of five having fun and laughter all day long.
However, these children always face the threat of diarrheal diseases. This is because the availability and accessibility of clean drinking water have always been a challenge for the villagers.
This has resulted in a heavy health and financial burden - burdens which are preventable if prompt action is taken.
As a graduate student from a public health school, I am always motivated to drive knowledge discovery and practice in public health to improve the quality of life of people.
My previous experience in the Youth Expedition Project in Ooty, India, inspired me to take the lead as a Direct Service project team leader in the Water for Life (WFL) project managed by the Singapore International Foundation.
First, I gathered like-minded friends from all walks of life (including my younger brother). We called our team PASSION, because we all agree that being passionate to serve is the key to the alleviation of this burden.
Taking things for granted
The four days (14-17 January 2013) we spent on the WFL project at a village in Kampong Speu taught us to live humbly and not take access to clean water for granted.
We‘re now more aware of how much work is required to help the villagers, and how much we can do to make a difference in the lives of a few households at a time over the next few years.
But being able to lead and to serve is not enough.
In order to be sustainable and raise awareness of this situation, it’s important to reach out and inspire individuals, schools and even corporations to join us in this meaningful effort.
It’s only by going through this project that one can then truly appreciate the preciousness of clean water which we in Singapore take so much for granted as a given.
Singapore World Water Day
On 16 March, our team took part in an outreach programme at Singapore World Water Day organised by the Public Utility Board at Jurong Lake.
Through a photo exhibition, we sought to show the work and effort that goes on behind the scenes. We also garnered supporters to pledge for SIF’s Water for Life project with their thumbprints.
From our passionate sharing of our experiences, we’ve helped inspire some, while informing others.
It was definitely an enriching experience for me personally, from leading a team in Cambodia to reaching out to inspire others in Singapore to come forward to join us.
Life can never be more complete and rewarding than this. Every effort counts, just like every drop counts!
If you are getting pumped up to do some good, volunteer with us now.
Siem Reap, CambodiaWater for Life Project (Siem Reap, Cambodia)