12 November 2019
NUS students are no strangers to community service initiatives such as the NUS Day of Service and NUSSU Flag Day. There are also many “known” groups such as the NUS Community Service Club (CSC) and Red Cross Youth – National University of Singapore Chapter. Eusoff Voluntary Corps (EVC) is a less prominent, but equally dedicated team of students who devote their time and efforts in giving back to the community.
Established in 2000, EVC is a voluntary group which promotes and supports community volunteerism among Eusoff Hall residents. The growing 80-member strong team works closely with community partners and consists of three teams - the Elderly Services, the Salvation Army and the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS). The Salvation Army team mainly conducts weekly tuitions sessions for the underprivileged children at The Haven and befriends them. Similarly, the MINDS team, the largest with 40 members, centres around assisting intellectually disabled clients in activities that teach them life skills essential for leading independent and meaningful lives.
The EVC Elderly Services is actively involved in the underprivileged elderly community; at the heart of it all, the team seeks to bring hope to them by offering their friendship that extends beyond their weekly Saturday visits. Wu Hao Hsuan, Head of EVC Elderly Services team shared, “What we do may not seem like a great deal but bringing food to the elderlies’ doorsteps every week, interacting with them and seeing the smiles on their faces really warms my heart. No matter how small these actions may seem, they really go a long way.”
Photo: EVC Elderly Service volunteers enjoying a conversation with an elderly.
The EVC Elderly Services operates all year round even during the examination periods, term breaks and festive occasions. Earlier this year, they organised a Chinese New Year lunch for their elderly beneficiaries and enjoyed a meaningful time together over food and conversations. Wong Wei Kang, Director of Social Services in Eusoff Hall affectionately calls his elderly beneficiaries by their first names revealed, “I have forged unique and unexpected friendships with my elderlies. Before this volunteering opportunity, I never imagined a deep friendship would be possible.”
Photo: An elderly beneficiary engrossed in a conversation with an EVC Elderly Service volunteer before the start of the 2019 Chinese New Year lunch.
Photo: Elderly beneficiaries and EVC Elderly Service volunteers engaged in a conversation during the 2019 Chinese New Year lunch.
Ang Peng You Presley, Head of EVC MINDS chimed in, “I wish that Singaporeans can do the same to give back to the society.” "...the smiles on their (beneficiaries') faces when they see us motivates me to come and engage them every week.”
Wei Kang echoed Presley’s sentiments on giving back to the society, “At the end of the day, I just want them (the elderly beneficiaries) to be happy.”
Photo: An elderly beneficiary sharing her life stories with Wong Wei Kang, Director of Social Services at Eusoff Hall at the 2019 Chinese New Year lunch
Although only Eusoff Hall residents can be part of the EVC, there are other ways you may contribute to their efforts. The EVC team also runs the “Grant a Wish” programme which hopes to provide the less fortunate with things that they wish for, such as table fans and pillows. Additionally, the EVC Elderly Services team organises dialect teaching sessions to equip their volunteers with the necessary skills to converse with the elderly.
If you would like to make a donation, are well-versed in a particular dialect or would just like to extend your help in any way, contact Wu Hao Hsuan at 9247 7829 for more information.