FunKidz @ The Stables (9 Sep 2015)
While many students were still tucked tightly in their beds on a bright Wednesday morning, 13 nEbO youth volunteers were making their way down to the National Equestrian Centre to prepare for a fun-filled day for 22 children beneficiaries of The Caterpillar Club (part of aLife Ltd). Going to the National Equestrian Centre was something new throughout my 5 years of volunteering with nEbO. Being a curious natured person, I asked Roy (the Chairperson of this event) on how he came about this idea and I found out it was because visiting a stable was a first time experience for many of the children beneficiaries. Guess what? - It was my first time too! Seeing the children’s faces filled with anticipation and awe, I could barely contain my own excitement! I was paired with 2 lovable girls to take care of them and guide them through the day’s activities.
Being buddies with the children enabled me to engage them on a closer level and also to get to know them better. The children were excited to see the horses up close and were even given the chance to ride on them as well. As it was a first time experience for many, I was proud to see the children overcoming their fear and plucking up the courage to ride and lead the ponies with the help of the instructors around. It was heartwarming to see one of my beneficiaries giving the pony a hug before she dismounted and many children even wanted to get a second ride!
Learning is endless and ageless. Both the children beneficiaries and the volunteers were given the opportunity to learn more about horse grooming – how it is done and even get to try it themselves with the help of the instructors. The children beneficiaries definitely stepped out of their comfort zones when they enthusiastically volunteered to help groom the horses.
Throughout the day, the youth volunteers were running around with the children, piggy backing them, engaging them, cracking jokes with them, and even making a Polaroid photo collage together so that they can bring back with them the fond memory of all the fun times spent together with their buddies at the stable. Personally, I was extremely glad that I could make the children beneficiaries happy by fulfilling their little requests of piggy backing them around so that they could touch the horses up close or just for the simple reason that they enjoy being piggy backed! Seeing their bright smiles truly warmed my heart.
A near 4-5 hours of engagement with the children has taught me about the simple things in life and how we can always find happiness even in the littlest things. It was hard to say goodbye when it was time for them to leave but the memories and relationship we forged at the stable would definitely be an unforgettable experience for me. A little goes a long way – this event has inspired me to continue volunteering and giving back to the community and I hope to be able to make a difference in the lives of others in any way I can.
More photos on Funkidz @ The Stables here.
Posted by Loraine Ng Wan Ting on 25 Sep 2015, 9:44 am
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