Do you agree that education can contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty?
To Ms Ong, helping vulnerable families starts with empowering them with knowledge and skills, especially educating children in these families, with the aim of levelling the playing field for them. . "It all began with one child. Before I knew it, we started a tuition programme that has been running for six years for the children in the neighbourhood", shares Ms Ong, Chairperson of Moulmein-Cairnhill Community Development & Welfare Committee and an active volunteer for over 20 years.
Ms Ong shares that although the programme requires a high level of commitment from parents, children and volunteers, the cause is worthy. Since its inception, she has witnessed many children who have progressed to higher education. She also applauds the many volunteers who have supported this cause and firmly believes that mentoring is a win-win journey, both the mentors and mentees.
"While we only have 24 hours a day and spend most of these hours working, I always find joy in volunteering. To me, it’s an alternative form of stress buster," says Ms Ong, who recalled a recent rough patch at work. She added that volunteering has become a source of joy, especially when she witnessed how their collective efforts became an assurance to families that they are not left behind. Ms Ong adds, "While we are giving to the community, the community is giving to us too because when we see our passion turns into something good, our lives are more fulfilling too."