Voluntary work can be beneficial in many ways. It can be a rewarding experience for yourself as well as helping out somewhere that could really do with that extra pair of hands. At the Melbourne Specialist International School (MSIS), there are always opportunities for people to volunteer to assist a very special group of kids.
MSIS is a special needs school located in Loewen Road for children aged 3-21 years of age. It was opened in 2014 by Jayne Nadarajoo, Founding Director, because she felt there was a lack of availability in Singapore of schools that embraced the concept of Special Needs integration.
MSIS provides an excellent and tailored education system for their students, considering academic and vocational styles of teaching to meet the needs for each individual while combining therapy and well-being. Their education programme also helps to prepare students for life after school and giving them skills to enable them to be independent.
Recently the older pupils, aged 12-19 years of age, have started to have a regular fortnightly walk on Thursday mornings. The first trips just involved walking close by within Loewen Gardens and Dempsey Hill to enjoy the neighbourhood. When the children’s confidence had grown, the walks were extended slightly each time adding bus trips to Tanglin Mall, the Enabling Village, which is a community space combining retail, lifestyle and training for those with Special Needs, near Redhill and the Cinema on Orchard Road.
These trips have not just offered a great learning experience, but have been a great challenge for the students increasing their confidence and independence.
MSIS also partners with The Pantry Social Enterprise Café close by in Loewen Gardens . The Pantry helps to provide vocational training for the students of MSIS and helps to train and place individuals with special needs within Singapore into the work force.
Taking a group of special needs children out on an excursion can even be a challenge for teachers and their teaching assistants. MSIS are always happy to welcome volunteers. By giving an extra pair of hands and being a friendly face can be a huge help. It is not just excursions outside of school that would require help. Assisting with swimming lessons, helping children learn basic hospitality and catering skills at The Pantry, helping with an art and craft activity, even reading to the children would all be of benefit and the possibilities are endless. To take the words of Mother Teresa ‘We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do’
If you would like to offer Melbourne Specialist International School some of your time then please email firstname.lastname@example.org