Water for Life, Friends for Life
In June this year, a group of young healthcare and business students immersed themselves in a volunteering stint at the SIF’s Water for Life project in Kampong Speu. Through their experience, they made friends and gained new perspectives. In their own words…
“In the short span of five days, we accomplished so many things. Through the installation of bio-sand water filters, 28 more Kampong Speu households now have access to clean drinking water and no longer have to collect rainwater or water from the nearby pond for cooking and consumption. As the filter is hardy and estimated to last a period of 40 years, I am very glad that this small effort of ours will go a long way in improving the general health of the villagers in Kampong Speu.
With generous contributions from NUHS, MOHH and SIF on top of our team’s pooled funds, we were able to pack and distribute over a hundred goodie bags and hygiene kits for 104 children aged five to 13. Seeing the children smile shyly when they receive their presents made me feel guilty. It struck me that happiness comes from the simplest things in life. Sometimes we have to slow down, look around and ask ourselves – what actually makes us happy? Is it the simple gestures of kindness or the pursuit of material comfort? The trip may have ended but every end is a new beginning. In my case, it is the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Water for Life, Friends for Life.” – Angela Chiu, Chemistry & Biological Chemistry Student.
“Treat the cause, not the symptom”
“I vividly recall the interactions I had with the SIF staff from start to finish. They have a genuine passion to help the villagers achieve social mobility and move out of the poverty cycle, which I believe is one of the reasons why the villagers were so friendly in welcoming us. SIF’s concept of providing clean water is inspiring. Clean water is undoubtedly one of the key determinants for the villages to move up the social strata. Diseases occurring from drinking contaminated water would be prevented and savings from medical bills can then be channelled to other areas such as education – which is widely touted as the key to break out of poverty. The main takeaway for me here is aptly put in the saying ‘treat the cause, not the symptom’, as simple solutions such as providing clean water go a long way in changing the lives of the villagers and I believe this can be widely applied in the healthcare setting.” - Johnson Ooi, Accountancy & Finance Student
“This turned out to be a trip I never regretted signing up for. In fact, it far exceeded my initial expectations. I chose to go on this trip because I thought it would be a meaningful transition from my studies to working as a full-fledged radiographer. This project appealed to me because of its sustainable and far-reaching effects on the health of the community. Going down personally to install the bio sand filters helped me to understand the project’s impact.” – Henrietta Goh, Diagnostic Radiography Student.Back
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