As part of reaching out to children from Fei Yue Student Care Centre and empowering them to celebrate their unique differences, students from University Scholars Programme (USP) Club played host for a day of Christmas fun and games, to spread joy and love in the holiday season.
Through Ho Ho HOlympics, inspired by the Winter Olympics, USP Club hopes to inculcate values that the Olympics celebrates – namely excellence, friendship and respect. Recognising that each child has a different talent, the interactive activities and games were carefully designed for different age groups between six to 12, to stimulate creative thinking and help them learn in a fun and relaxed environment. A freestyle dance activity followed after, where hearty laughter was the accompaniment to the music that filled the hall.
While the time spent together was short, it was clear to see that everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The organising team was happy with the outcome and the children were happy with the change in environment. Some are now even inspired to come back to NTU as undergraduates!
The event was also incredibly meaningful for USP Club, where student volunteers had an opportunity to touch the lives of these children, even if it was just for that day. The team felt that while the children may be from disadvantaged or difficult backgrounds, everyone should be given equal opportunities to not just learn, but to enjoy the experience. Acting as older brothers and sisters to the children, the team not only had to ensure that the event goes well, but to consider the perspectives of the children on what would be suitable, engaging and meaningful for them. Last but not least, this project served as a timely reminder of taking time out amid hectic schedules, to give back to society.
I thought if planning was challenging, execution would be much easier. Never have I been more wrong. Dealing with the children on the ground was definitely a frustrating yet fulfilling experience for me. I had mixed feelings about it. Try handling a boisterous bunch of children. I will be there, some distance away from you, giving you a thumbs up, mouthing you the words, “Good luck”.
So full of energy, that I wonder if I were ever like them before. I didn’t foresee that at all. The short attention span. The indulgence in their own world. The lack of interest in you. But they made me come up with creative ways to engage them, such as through even more fun and play to bring across my message to them. It might have been a frustrating experience, but to see those smiles on their faces, I always feel that it was worth it. I saw them making new friends, I saw them sharing work together, I saw them learn.
But that day, the children of Feiyue were not only students. They were teachers too.
They were my teachers.
Bryan Chua Zong Xuan, USP Year 1 Student
About NTU University Scholars Programme (USP)
The NTU University Scholars Programme (USP) provides an intellectually stimulating environment for the best undergraduate students in NTU. USP students sharpen their critical thinking skills and leadership abilities through interdisciplinary academic and co-curricular programmes promoting independent learning and immersive intercultural experiences. This academically rigorous multi-disciplinary programme complements and bridges NTU’s core disciplines, adding breadth to each scholar’s academic experience. Scholars remain in their home programmes while concurrently pursuing USP courses and activities.
The USP experience offers a vibrant student life. Co-curricular enrichment activities supplement the USP academic curriculum through freshmen overseas study, seminars by distinguished professors, and USP scholar-led initiatives.