The drizzle in the morning of 11 July did not dampen the spirits of 10 Young SMOU (YSMOU) volunteers, along with the YSMOU secretariats, who set out to bring more than 40 Kindergarten 1 and 2 children from My First Skool (Jalan Sultan) to Kok Fah Technology Farm.
For the youth volunteers, nothing beats spending their break embarking on the Union’s Corporate Social Responsibility effort while waiting for their next ship assignment.
The fun trip kicked off with the farm tour guides showing the enthusiastic preschoolers the aloe vera plant; guiding them to a multi-sensory experience with the aloe jelly, allowing them to touch, smell and feel the unique texture of it; and teaching them about the common uses of the plant.
The little boys and girls also had a field day exploring the greenhouse, where they learnt about sustainable farming practices in Singapore. They were shown both the horizontal and vertical farming exhibit, where the racks housed an impressive array of different plants and vegetables. They also had the chance to smell and touch the different herbs.
In the greenhouse, the children experienced transplanting of seedlings through the farm’s mini system, and learnt the importance of hydroponic transplanting, in order for the plant to continue thriving.
They squealed with delight when got to bring home the microgreens they potted in the farm. Zhao Ruowen, student of My First Skool shared that she had fun spraying water on the soil and seeds, and was excited to bring home the mini pot to watch the plant grow.
The learning journey was made even more memorable with the presence of the attentive youth volunteers who not only interacted with the children, but also ensured that each child was well taken care of throughout the trip.
Mona Humaira, a first-time volunteer in SMOU event, shared that she was grateful for the opportunity to volunteer, and felt that it was a fruitful day to witness the children being enthusiastic and excited during the learning journey.
Upon returning to the preschool, the volunteers distributed lunch bento and goodie bags filled with treats and educational activities to the children. Saying goodbye to each other was the toughest part, as the children had a fun time building rapport with the volunteers.
SMOU also sponsored some gardening supplies to the centre for the children to continue their learning and exploration through planting and gardening. To appreciate their dedication and hard work, the Union also treated the teachers to a sumptuous lunch bento, and a small appreciation gift.
‘Because of the COVID pandemic, the children really missed the outdoor activities. They were looking forward to this learning journey and enjoyed the many hands on activities which helped to deepen their knowledge about vegetables and more.
I’ve been teaching at My First Skool, Jalan Sultan, for almost nine years and SMOU has been organising such joyful and meaningful activities for our children for quite some time now. The parents are always looking forward to the activities that the Union organises for the children as well. The principal and staff are very grateful to the Union for giving our children such precious experiences.”
– Daina Tanteras Genzola, Teacher of My First Skool Jalan Sultan
“I enjoy putting seeds into the soil and spraying the plant with water. It was very fun. Thank you for bringing us here.”
– Nurul Syuziana Binte Muhammad Syukor (Left), Student of My First Skool Jalan Sultan, recollecting her favourite moment at the farm