Putting oneself into the shoes of a “Karang Guni” for one day has been one of the most interesting yet impactful experiences. Last Saturday, 22nd September 2013 was our first newspaper collection drive at Bishan residential area. Together with a team of 17 people , we were allocated into three teams and each team were task to complete 3 blocks of flats where we had previously send out fliers a week before to let the residents know of our purpose of the newspaper collection as well as time and date that we would be coming. In each team, we had a main IC who would keep track of the block units and floors that we have been to for each block and we also had an assistant IC who ensured the welfare of each team member to ensure that we hydrate ourselves regularly and also to take photos throughout the whole drive! Throughout the day, I was really surprise- as this is my first experience doing a newspaper collection- that most of the Bishan residents have already prepared their used, old newspapers and some even bundle of clothes outside their houses with our flier placed on top of it. We started out at 8.45am and was at a really good start with so much enthusiastic attitudes from all of our team mates! Before we separated into our respective teams, head of fundraising committee, Fun Liang asked us a very thoughtful question: “are we just collecting newspaper today, or ? ” . What he meant was that we need to remind ourselves about the end in mind which is with the collection of just one piece of newspaper can go a long way in changing and helping the children at the home that we will be visiting in Bangalore come this December. How each and every individual effort from the team played a significant and vital role in reaching our fundraising goal.
For team #3, we decided to start from the top floor for each block and work our way downwards. Some of our team mates spent time sharing with keen interested residents who wanted to know more about our project, which I find to be a heartwarming experience because we are able to share with the general public how students from our generation do have the community-spirit to venture out overseas and help others who are in need. I hope in some way or another it would inspire some hearts to do the same as well, be it locally or overseas. There are multiple times where our trolley was filled with newspapers and used electronic objects such as printers , that we had to make double trips down to the karang guni lorry to deposit our items before continuing. I have to admit it takes a lot of strength, labour work and constant gulping of mineral water to get us going. It was not an easy task but yet, it was a really meaning experience. I had the opportunity to get to know and bond with my fellow team mates from other faculties and races. They were really a joy to be around with and I think at times we had too much laughter that the hurt wasn’t from our feet but from our stomachs! It was really important that this drive served a platform for each of us to get to know one another better as we would be working closely with each other for the next few months, and it is as vital as it is to have team spirit and be more ever willing to help each other out when in need. That I think will drive us to be a better team and achieve our goals for Project Inspiring India 2013!
I hope that in the next drive we would be able to have even more volunteers helping us out with newspaper collection. More support, more fun under the sun, more sweat together!
~ Razali Nuralyah