I noticed that many of my close friends have been searching for a meaningful way to help serve the community as they transitioned into JC life. With various service opportunities available to students, you might wonder what distinguishes Interact from the rest. While there is no one clear answer, Interact does have a focus on direct service. In Interact, we believe that the face-to-face kindness one shares is an invaluable part of affecting the lives of others, and we carry this out in a multitude of ways.
For starters, each Interactor commits to a weekly service session with one of our seven Service Centres (SC). These service opportunities range from providing primary school tuition to children to spending time with old folks to helping organize activities for the intellectually disabled. As Ying Yilun, one of our members puts it, “Weekly service is very meaningful because we get to directly impact the lives of our beneficiaries and create a sustained, long-term relationship with them.”
And don’t assume weekly service becomes mundane after a few months! If you feel like doing something fresh and extra special for your SC, resources are provided for you to do so. We encourage Interactors to take their own initiative in organizing mini-projects with their beneficiaries. In one instance, our members from Jamiyah SC organized a scrap-booking activity for the children to take a break from studying and reflect about their aspirations for the future. Interactors from SINDA SC, on the other hand, gave additional lessons on International History from 1900 (a certain club member loves History) and even dissecting fishes.
We also organize various big events annually. Dine in the Dark, for example, in an event where we hold a dinner service for the public in pitch darkness, in effort to raise funds and awareness for the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH). In preparation for this, Interactors visited SAVH themselves to conduct interviews with the clients and understand more about how daily life is like for a visually handicapped person (you can see the publicity video below)
These events do not only give members a chance to gain experiences in organizing large scale events, they are also a means of reaching out and serving the greater community in a meaningful way.
And if you’re wondering why we’re called Interact, it actually stands for International Action! That means that we shouldn’t just serve the local community. This year, interact led the fundraising efforts for typhoon victims in the Philippines. Moreover, we have an International Understanding trip held overseas every year. In 2013, we went to Cambodia for a week to serve at UNACAS, an orphanage in Phnom Penh.
Another great thing about being an Interactor is that you’re joining a network of people with similar passions towards serving the community. Through the several service opportunities provided exclusively for the club, you get to make closer relationships with not only your schoolmates, but also the youth from various organisations and schools. One of our members, Benedict Lee, says: “As an introvert, being in Interact has made me more open towards other people and even more sympathetic towards the people you serve.”
With about a total of 160 friendly Interactors, your time in JC is bound to be a more meaningful journey. You’ll surely learn a thing or two from people of all walks of life during the projects in-store for the club. So as long as you have the heart for the community and the will to lead in serving, your membership in Interact promises to be more than just mere lines on paper.