To serve – that was the only mission I had when I decided to volunteer with SACA more than 16 years ago. I applied to be a Volunteer After-Care Officer with SACA in November 1998. Throughout my volunteering journey, I have been given the opportunity to conduct incare group work sessions as well as befriend ex-offenders; and in recent years, conduct home visits under the Initiative for Incarcerated Mothers and Affected Children (IIMAC) to assess the caregiving arrangements of children of incarcerated mothers as well as creating awareness about the available resources in the community which they can tap on.
I am grateful and thankful to SACA for providing me with the experience and exposure to a worthy cause through the various programmes and activities I have taken part in as a volunteer, and I have truly grown as an individual. Sixteen years is a long time; yet I still feel a renewed sense of drive and energy to serve every time I look at the SACA building foundation stone that was laid in 1969 and the old photos in the SACA’s office, for I respect the founders’ vision and the work towards the interest of ex-offenders. My experience with IIMAC has been eye-opening as I come to know and learn of the hardships the children and family members face due to the inmates’ incarceration. With SACA being a secular organisation, I was given the opportunity to befriend clients of various races and religions. Every client I befriend is unique and has his or her own story to tell – thus enabling me to grow and develop myself to be more sensitised to the life situations of other people.