On 17 January 2018, Advocates for Refugees – Singapore (AFR-SG), a voluntary welfare organisation, provided meaningful insight into humanitarian assistance and shed light on the challenges faced by refugees at neighbouring shores for students in attendance. Held at SP Library, Colours, the informative and inspiring discussion increased the students’ awareness of the refugees’ plight through a series of impactful videos and thought-provoking activities.
In one scenario posed by the AFR-SG team, students were asked to decide the five things they would bring with them if war breaks out. While most selected practical objects, it was revealed by the team that refugees fleeing the Syrian crisis had picked objects with sentimental value.
They were also briefed on Project Hearts to Hands, a collaboration between AFR-SG and the Office of Member of Parliament Louis Ng, which serves and supports refugees and refugee-led organisations.
“The refugees are just like us,” quoted from one of the videos shown, this statement left a deep impression on Catherine Eo, from the Diploma in Integrated Events and Project Management. Already intrigued prior to the sharing session, Catherine decided to turn her thoughts into action by signing up to be on the volunteer committee. She also plans to join regional or international refugee support initiatives once she has earned enough by working part-time during term breaks.
For Shafiqah Nurul, from the Diploma in Human Resource Management with Psychology, it was the stories shared by the volunteers, particularly one about a birth occurring in a refugee camp that intensified her sympathy towards the refugees. She intends to keep abreast with ARF-SG’s upcoming plans through social media and possibly join their humanitarian relief efforts after graduation.
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