“You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi that inspires Yeo Theng, a recipient of a GIC Sparks and Smiles Grant. Once a week, he teaches children to read and write because he sees how children become more cooperative, confident and happy when they have learnt a few new words. He deeply believes that with a little support, all children can learn, and he has found it a meaningful and enriching experience providing it.
Yesterday, together with 10 volunteers from GIC, he helped to clean up the home of some children who attend the reading programme. Before they got started, Yeo Theng told the volunteers that he understood how families with little resources struggle getting by and so a paint job would not be on their family budget. He was cheered that GIC supported the initiative whole-heartedly by providing the paint, materials and volunteers. What heartened him most was the allowance given to a skilled painter to guide them
Michael, in his 60s lives at the next block and lately, he has been finding it difficult securing work. When he heard about the initiative, he offered to help voluntarily. “Since everyone is so helpful, I should be too,” he told us but the volunteers recognised that they needed guidance and so they appointed him as their Team Leader. On Michael’s instructions, they rearranged the furniture, cleaned the walls and learned about the finer points of applying paint. As such, work was neat, brisk and most satisfying for all.
At the end of the day, Yeo Theng quipped that it was indeed a “Sparks and Smiles” experience. The thought of giving a family a cleaner home sparked much goodwill that brought out big smiles from all involved. He is looking forward to sparking more smiles and hopes others will do so too.
Enjoy your weekend.
The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always sees the world smiling back. – Bryant H. McGill