Couple met through Community Sports Activities and Inculcate the Spirit of Volunteering in their Kids

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Our Parenting World – OPW Media team is pleased to interview and share a meaningful story about Mr Sheng Yee Zher and his wife, Siok Chen on how they find the inspiration on instilling the spirit of volunteering in their kids, how they get their children to be involved in activities at the Community Sports Club (CSC) and how to engage in volunteer activities as a family. 

About Mr Sheng Yee Zher, he met his wife, Siok Chen when they were engaged in some grassroots activities when they were still in secondary school. Now, both at 40 years old, the couple are still active in grassroots activities. In fact, the Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Sports Club (CSC) is their second home and they spend most of their time there too with their two children aged 7 and 1. Mr Sheng also gets his first son to be active in the activities organised by the CSC, such as rock climbing. Mr Sheng and his wife are active at the CSC despite holding full-time jobs as researcher at different educational institutions.

The couple has been staying in Kembangan since they got to know each other and had taken part in organising events at the CSC. They are still organising community sports events at the CSC together. The family celebrated the achievement of Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Sports Club recently when their CSC received Gold for the Community Engagement Award 2018 at the Community Sports Night 2018 that took place on 27 October at the MES Theatre, Mediacorp. This lovely couple would like to share their story with other parents who would like to encourage their kids to volunteer and also engage in volunteer activities together as a family. 

Mr Sheng Yee Zher and his family

1) Please share with us more about your background in grassroots activities, your family and career.

I started with Youth Executive Committee (YEC), organizing activities for the youth around my area as well as had a number of collaborations with other sub committees. Currently, other than involving in Community Sports Club (CSC) activities, I’m currently helping out with organizing community centre based activities for our residents. I have 2 boys, aged 7 and 1.5 and my wife is a grassroot leader too. I am a researcher from Institute for Lifelong Learning.

2) How did you get involved in grassroots activities and from what age did you start involving yourself in grassroots activities?

I participated in an education tour organized by YEC at 12 years old and was roped into helping out with organizing activities for children. I officially joined YEC when I was 20.

3) We heard that you met your wife through grassroots activities and are both still involved in grassroots activities. How is it like to have the same interest and passion in volunteerism?

We enjoy the time spent together organizing activities and are happy to see our residents enjoying the events.

4) What are some of the interesting projects that the both of you have initiated or involved in?

Once a year, we organize a spring cleaning event for our needy residents involving over 300 volunteers from schools, businesses and Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs), to clean and paint up to 50 households at Kembangan Chai Chee.

During one of the National Day observance parade, we had a Hair for Hope segment where we got 50 grassroot leaders and residents to shave their head for charity. Our adviser donated $5000 for that event.

Father and son having fun at an event at Kembangan Chai Chee CSC

All the above images, credit to Siok Chen

5) How do you involve your children in grassroots activities from a young age?

They participate in events and sometimes the older boy will join our meetings. Everyone in our committee know them too.

6) How have the activities fostered family bonding?

Quality time spent planning and implementing grassroots activities, as well as having common friends whom we have known through grassroots activities have helped to foster family bonding.

7) How has your family’s active involvement in grassroots and volunteer activities shaped your children’s development and social skills?

My older son doesn’t have difficulty interacting with adults and takes the initiative to help others when required.

8) Kembangan-Chai Chee CSC, where you spent most of your time doing grassroots activities with your family, has won the Gold Award recently at the PA Community Sports Night. Has it motivated your family to continue to engage in grassroots activities in the long term?

I see volunteering as part of my life and CSC winning the gold award as a bonus and that is the team effort from the whole committee. We will continue to involve ourselves in grassroots activities as long as we can.

9) Share with us some tips for other parents who are looking to get their children to engage in volunteer activities.

More participation in activities and regular interaction with grassroot leaders will slowly develop their interest in volunteerism.

Thank you Mr Sheng Yee Zher for taking our interview!

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