Isaac Kua

1) What are the three key things you have learned from this service learning project?

Firstly, I have learned how to build lasting relationships with others. Strong relationship bonds are built on trust, where each party has to be patient and caring towards the other. In the short span of time that I have contributed to this service learning project, I have made several friends within the TYA children community. Secondly, I have learned how to communicate more effectively with younger children by bring up topics of interests such as major exams, computer games, TV shows etc.  Lastly, I have learned to be more committed and focused throughout the course of my involvement.

2) What are the two challenges you faced during this service learning project?

The first challenge I faced was having to plan and prioritize my weekend activities. Due to not having TYA before, my weekends were usually filled with activities that my friends and I had organized as well as tuition classes, piano lessons, church gatherings etc. Thus, in order to keep my commitment to this project, I had to decline invites as well as change my timetable for Saturdays. This was especially difficult for church gatherings as I was one of the assistant leaders, thankfully, the leaders were very understanding compared to the other members and approved of my occasional absences.

The second challenge I faced was in successfully engaging and bonding with the children. Most of them were shy and slightly intimidated by my size so not many children dared to approach me. It was a challenge to approach them and engage them in topics of interest. Although they only gave short answers at first, majority of them opened up once the subject of computer and trading card games were brought up. This allowed me to learn about their interests and also to discourage them from getting addicted to such games.

3) If you were to do this project again, what are the two things you would do differently?

I would firstly plan my time ahead so that I would be able to keep my commitment to the TYA project regularly. Due to external commitments, I was unable to attend some of the TYA sessions. If I were to reattempt this project I would plan my schedules for my weekends so as to free up time for me to go to for the TYA programme.

I would secondly get more friends involved in the project so to help out in the project planning and realization. Due to the members of our group being spread across Singapore, half of the centers we were volunteering at only had 2 to 3 people. This made it slightly more difficult to gather feedback as most of us had individual commitments and there were some weeks where no one from our group was able to make it for the TYA sessions.

4) How would you assess the success of this project?
I would assess the success of this project if the children had learnt something after the implementation of the project. I personally feel that this project has been very successful as both us and the children have learnt something throughout the duration of this project. The children have learnt simple skills whereas I feel that we ourselves have learnt how to better engage the children as well as other skills such as communication and teamwork.

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