May 15, 2019 - 110068

Service as Action Reflection

How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?

I became more aware of my strengths and weaknesses throughout the process of becoming an active service member in my community. While going through the different types of service, I was able to find that I was quite eager to participate in the activities and was willing to do whatever it was that I had to do. I have realised however, that I am not as strong at staying focused on task for a long period of time; I tend to get bored of doing a singular/repetitive task relatively quickly.

How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills? How did you persevere in action?

When encountering challenges, I was able to develop self-motivation skills, therefore practicing determination and persevering in action at the same time. The service I completed was entirely voluntary (with the exceptions being the mandatory school-led service, such as experience week and G7/8 service days), which meant that I already felt inclined by myself to sign-up for such events. However, there were several physically taxing service as action activities that I participated in. These required me to physically push myself and I always reminded myself during these periods what the cause was for. For example, in a build trip to Thailand, passing along bricks, shovelling, and mixing cement were quite tiring, but I motivated myself by saying that it would all be rewarding in the end and that a family would benefit from the house. I reminded myself about the purpose of what the task was. During an Experience Week in Laos, we dug around ten large pits for two days in the sun, and there were occasions where I just wanted to take a break, but I thought about my privileges versus what the school kids there needed.

How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?

During these activities, we were required to communicate with the teachers/leaders, think about when to hold the activity in order to maximise number of the audience and participants, and sort out all the logistics of what, where, who, etc. I brainstormed and discussed with peers and thought about what method would most effectively achieve the desired goal.

How did you work collaboratively with others?

In the planning stages of an event, it is required for everyone to have an open-mind while exchanging ideas and opinions, but also to be decisive (in order to get the activity done efficiently.) I exchanged messages online (via email) and had conversations in real life with those with large roles in the event for debriefs of the roles and what was happening on the day.

How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?

The service I have completed were based in both, local and international areas. I have worked on local beaches and schools, interacting with Cantonese-speaking children. I cooked food for a local refugee centre, where I was able to speak with people from all over the world and sympathise with their experiences. In the house building project in Thailand, the family receiving the house expressed their gratitude very emotionally, revealing to me just how grateful they are. I was thankful for the opportunity to be able to provide that for them. In Laos, we worked alongside some Lao teenagers that wanted to help, and I found it very surprising when one of them was able to speak good English. I conversed with him and he had told me about what his life was like, and I also realised how privileged I was. I found it very interesting when he didn’t understand the word “free-time” and when I inquired about his hobbies, he stated that he liked to help out at his families farm. There is a vast difference in culture and lifestyle between Lao teenagers and the teenagers I am familiar with.

How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

I know that whoever or whatever the service I do benefits, they will most likely be thankful about it. It can be helping out the environment, ocean, families around the world, or animals. I do believe that my actions are even benefitting my own life and morals. It broadens my mindset and I can even influence those around me.

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