Are we going anywhere today?
This is what Mdm Paul Elizabeth often asks when the youth volunteers visit her every Saturday afternoon at Moral Welfare Home (MWH), a home for the destitute along Henderson Road. In line with Charity Fiesta 06 @ South West, organized by the NUS Students' Union Volunteer Action Committee (NVAC), where a particular project "Wish Upon A Star" collated wishes of beneficiaries and tried to find donors to fulfil these wishes, Mdm Elizabeth and her friends from Moral Welfare Home got to go on a yacht ride along the Southern Islands of Singapore - all thanks to the kind assistance of Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and South West Community Development Council (SW CDC).
Despite the short time that SMA and SW CDC had to prepare for this event, they managed to organize a yacht ride and more! SMA also arranged for the residents to tour the Integrated Simulation Centre where they "sailed" and "steered" the centre's very own Maritime Simulator, after which they were off on a real ride to the Southern Islands on board [email protected] 14 persons, including Mdm Elizabeth and five other friends from MWH, SP staff, the ship crew, MWH staff and volunteers, went on board the ship. The residents were happily enjoying the scenery, taking pictures and some of them even got a chance to steer the boat, under the supervision of Captain Sahwan from SMA.
After the ride, the residents were whisked off to dinner at the Wharf at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club. When asked what was most memorable about the trip, residents Anthony and Hock Beng chirped that it was the boat steering at the Maritime Simulator as it was really realistic and comparable to steering a real ship. Others mentioned that it was the yacht ride as they had never gone on board a ship before.
On the bus ride home, the residents were still happily chatting about the yacht ride, and some also lamented that their other friends did not get to go due to the space constraint of the yacht. Nonetheless, this yacht trip has been truly memorable for these residents, and we can only hope that there will be more opportunities for these residents to go on such outings.
Upon reaching the home, Mdm Elizabeth, whose last boat ride was more than 10 years ago, thanked us for the trip and asked if she could go on a boat ride again as she loves the sea and had thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
Well at least for now, she can keep the memories of having her very own yacht trip.