Wu Yanlong, Class of 2022
As 2017 ended, many of our friends departed for their much-awaited holiday. A group of us, comprising 11 students, also went for an adventure – our four-day Overseas Community Involvement Project (OCIP) to Kampung Air in Batam, Indonesia! We arrived on 17 December and were warmly greeted by our friends at Peduli Bangsa, an Indonesian non-governmental organisation, without whom the outreach would have been impossible. This time, we had set out with a focus on needs-assessment to better chart our direction in serving the villagers.
Project Daya and Peduli Bangsa members carry out door-to-door outreach; and take blood pressure readings in the community
Significantly, we used technology and data to improve processes and increase efficiency. We used Google Maps to map out the village by dropping labelled pins and Google Forms to collect data for subsequent processing, laying the groundwork for future follow-ups. We were very grateful for the hospitality of the villagers and their openness in sharing their lives with us. No doubt, we felt helpless at times when we met villagers struggling with advanced chronic illnesses. Nevertheless, we were greatly encouraged by those who remembered us and were applying the lessons we taught during previous trips. Looking forward, we hope to address pertinent issues affecting the village and villagers such as sanitation, nutrition and access to healthcare.
Additionally, we had the privilege of engaging the children in education, fun and games, which brought plenty of joy to both them and us. With much zest, we captured their hearts with a light-hearted skit on the importance of a balanced, healthy diet. It was also great fun to teach them the alphabet and watch them colour in alphabet colouring pages. It is our humble hope that we might have nudged them to take a small step towards living a healthier life. The work is far from finished and we look forward to seeing the children again very soon!
Peduli Bangsa and Project Daya members celebrate after the
final day’s outreach to Kampung Air
The last day was particularly memorable as our friends from Peduli Bangsa treated us to a scrumptious dinner and much laughter and joy. It is with abundant gratitude that we give thanks to them for working alongside us; the friendships forged are invaluable and very much treasured in our hearts.
As the new year begins, we hope to be able to collaborate more with various organisations – such as Batam Medical School – and be more involved in training the trainers. As our motto goes, "Translating hope, empowering generations". It is our sincere wish to be able to make a long-lasting difference: equipping local leaders and volunteers with the necessary skills and resources to promote even better health in Kampung Air.