First volunteer engagement event of the year!

Magdalene (in sapphire-blue) and other volunteers at the recent volunteer engagement event

Spotlight on Volunteers

By Jasmine Lim

Volunteers play an important role in helping the Foundation promote and advocate successful and active ageing.  We are grateful to have a group of dedicated volunteers journeying with us throughout the years.

When Singapore moved into phase 3 of re-opening late last year, we started to plan for a volunteer engagement event this year as the last we had was in 2019. On 28 April 2021, 21 volunteers came together for an afternoon of learning and brain power engagement.   Though we had to keep the group size small due to safe distancing measures, we were glad to be able to see some new faces alongside familiar ones who had been with us for a long time. 

Our volunteers learnt “Secrets of the Super Agers”, a fun-filled programme by the ComSA Learning Room, which include brain health, nutrition, and exercises to boost mental power. Through solving different genres of puzzles, our volunteers not only got to learn what helps to stimulate the brain but also how solving puzzles together can help to make connections with the clients they serve. We had an amazing time and our deepest appreciation to all volunteers who made the time to join us.

One of the participants was Magdalene Wong, a long time volunteer with us. Magdalene came to know Tsao Foundation through a friend in 2009, and both started volunteering with us as para-counsellors. 12 years on, Magdalene is still going strong with us today. 

The role of a para-counsellor complements the work of our counsellors in the provision of integrated psycho-emotional care for older persons. Magdalene underwent a series of trainings and workshops before she was given cases to help manage. As a para-counsellor, she works alongside the case counsellor to provide basic counselling and emotional support to the clients she is assigned to, and she visits them once or twice a month depending on the clients’ needs. When asked about how she copes with stress and avoid burnout, Magdalene explained, “I exercise. I used to do Zumba twice weekly but now I hike. I am an extrovert and I have many friends. We often gather to have meals together.”

Magdalene also enjoys cooking for the family
Married with two sons, Magdalene has been a freelance tour guide for 17 years. Although Singapore’s tourism industry has taken a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Magdalene remains optimistic and hopeful. “I benefitted from the government assistance scheme for the self-employed and I am greatly blessed that my husband still has a job, and my kids are grown up,” she shared. “When the COVID-19 situation improves, I want to continue volunteering and contributing. I know I will keep doing this until some day when I am no longer able to.” Magdalene said confidently. We are heartened by Magdalene’s desire to continue to volunteer and her positive outlook in life. We, likewise are hopeful that the pandemic will soon be over as we continue to embrace life in the new normal.


Previous Article
Back to Newsletter
Next Article