Part 6 (Volunteering)

During the course of volunteering, Abdillah was awarded the ‘Best Big Brother – Secondary School’ in 2006 by Yayasan Mendaki. This was his first year of volunteering.

As he grew closer to the staff’s organisation and volunteers, he noticed that many mentors had left and this trend would continue should something not be done. He thought long and hard of methods to prevent this before proposing the setup of a Mentors Support Group.

The objective was simply to keep mentors together through group-based activities and to assist new mentors who had trouble accomodating into the new life of mentoring, ease into the system.

His proposal was accepted and the Mentors Support Group was formed, named, STAR Mentors Group, in early 2007. The members comprised of individuals who had been mentoring for a minimum of a year and was actively involved in the activities and were forthcoming with new ideas. New to the idea of committees as he had never been involved in one, Abdillah decided against taking any position and instead sat in the committee as the Adviser.

The group subsequently was awarded the Best Group in it’s second year of establishment for the many activities that it had planned and executed. The attrition rate of mentors was also lower than previous years but much work still had to be done.

The following year, he was nominated and subsequently selected to represent Singapore in the 34th Ship for Southeast Asia Youth Program. The program which lasted 52-days would see delegations from ASEAN and Japan travel to Japan for a Japan-ASEAN Youth Leaders Summit first before they embarked on a journey around ASEAN onboard the cruise ship, Nippon Maru, where group-based activities and discussions on youth matters were discussed.

A life-changing program, Abdillah came across several obstacles to go on leave from work. His Reporting Officer had supported the idea but his Company refused to allow him to go on leave unless he contributed back to the company upon his return without getting paid. Eventually, he resisted and went on unpaid leave, supporting himself throughout the program with minimal funding received from his nominating organisation and much of it from his own pockets.

On his return, he has since continuously contributed back to the organisation and community by organizing various activities with other fellow mentors who have since became good friends with him and sharing his experiences on programme.

In the subsequent year, he was elected as Chairman of the STAR Mentors Group and selected to attend a youth leaders programme, YouthLeads, organized by People’s Association.

There, he further expanded his leadership skills with other fellow participants and took up the challenge of hosting and organizing a World Cafe event within one night. The event, attended by MP Maliki Osman was a success. He also subsequently co-hosted their graduation ceremony.

He has also since volunteered with People’s Association as a Youth Executive Committee member at one of the Community Centre’s as the Auditor.

Abdillah now regularly give talks to new volunteers on the benefits and his experiences as a mentor and tries to convince as many people as possible to get involved in the community.

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