Loving Kindness in Bangalore

SIF in-field volunteer teacher Joe Lim has his eyes opened during his time at Parikrma Humanity Foundation in Bangalore, India, mentoring disadvantaged children with behavioural issues or learning disabilities.

SIV Joe Lim hopes his teaching can help bring positive change to these young lives.

Former teacher Joe Lim is mid-way through his stint as a volunteer Primary level English teacher at a non-government organisation in Bangalore, India. He shares how his volunteer experience has both challenged and inspired him.

BY: Leong Wen Shan

Joe Lim, 39, a former teacher and environment worker, joined the Singapore International Volunteers programme in February 2013. He is now serving as a primary level English teacher at Parikrma Humanity Foundation, a non-profit organisation in Bangalore, India, which provides education for disadvantaged children. The school also has a Community Development Services team that acts as the link between the 26 slum communities it serves and the schools.

According to Parikrma, more than 80 per cent of all children have access to government-run schools, but a high drop-out rate means only eight to 10 per cent of the local workforce complete their government school education.

Despite not having desks and chairs, students at the Parikrama Foundation are eager to learn.

“My first month passed very quickly. For a start, I was tasked to mentor a group of wayward children that most teachers simply do not have time for, because of the huge class size. While the student-teacher ratio of 30:1 was to ensure as many of these children would not be left on the streets without an education, this sometimes also means the teacher struggles to cope. Some of these children have been detained twice or more times as they simply could not catch up with their peers.

“The children I work with often have behavioural and discipline issues, or have learning disabilities such as ADHD and dyslexia. This is compounded by the fact that many of them come from a harsh environment where beatings and fights are common. I was constantly surrounded by them as they would vie for my attention, something they do not receive at home. Many a time, they deliberately get into trouble to get attention. To me, they were desperate for loving kindness and compassion.

“Every single day was challenging, often due to the lack of space and funds. For instance, only students in Grades 8 to 10 have benches and tables to sit on during class. Grade 1 to 7 students attend classes by sitting and writing on the concrete floor. Brand new textbooks are a luxury and rarity, and I see many children without textbooks.

“Despite all these setbacks, many strive to break out of this cycle of poverty and ignorance in hope of a better life, never mind the constant power and water cuts at school and at home.

“The cheerful faces of the students and staff, despite the spartan facilities at the school, made me respect the principal, teachers, volunteers and school cleaners at Parikrma. They could receive better salaries teaching and working at private schools, but they chose to stick with Parikrma because of their conviction in helping the marginalised. I hope my work helps bring a positive change in these young lives.”

SIF volunteer Joe Lim will be teaching at Parikrama Humanity Foundation until April 2014.

Find out how you can get involved with volunteering here.

 

SIV Joe Lim with some students from the Parikrama Foundation in Bangalore, India.
Smiles at morning assembly.
javascript

 

Back
12 September 2018
Singapore And Myanmar Team Up To Improve Healthcare For At Least 30,000 Lives In Yangon Over The Next Three Years

The collaboration between Singapore International Foundation (SIF), Yangon General Hospital (YGH) and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) is aimed at raising the overall quality of trauma rehabilitation care in Myanmar.

15 August 2018
Singapore and Indonesia Work Together to Benefit Over 50,000 Lives Annually in East Java, Indonesia

Launch of four-year programme seeks to address the universal challenge of reducing mortality rate of infants and children under five years of age.

13 July 2018
Young Changemakers Of The SIF’S 2018 YSE Programme Gain Keen Insights Into Singapore’s Social Entrepreneurship Scene Ahead Of Their Final Pitching Session In October

This year marks the first time shortlisted participants were brought on a study visit to Singapore, and they received no less of an enriching experience than their alumni peers who had gone to Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur in previous years.

8 August 2018
President’s Inaugural Visit to the Singapore International Foundation

The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) warmly welcomed Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, during her inaugural visit as Patron at the SIF’s premises on 18 July. More than 80 Citizen Ambassadors, SIF programme...

17 September 2018
#SIFBetterTogether

Singaporean actress Oon Shu An and writer-host Jemimah Wei hit the road with our mobile library in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, joining the team of Singapore International Volunteers on the SIF's signature Words on Wheels programme.

Back to Top
Site Map