Lee Wen Long -- Bringing Smiles for Miles
Wen Long is an exemplary leader who is competent in organising his team and proposing different ways to serve the elderly in the Dover community. He initiates solutions to problems and offers suggestions to resolve issues. When conflict arose during the Secondary 3 FLEX Week, Wen Long stepped forward to mediate the situation and encouraged his peers to contribute. He also displays great compassion and patience with peers who are not easy to get along with, and is often willing to partner them in various projects. This demonstrates his commitment to serving the community.
Furthermore, Wen Long demonstrates resilience in both his academic and CCA pursuits. Despite holding leadership roles in both Media@Fairfield and as a Community Student Leader (CSL) which entail heavy responsibilities, he remains resolute in giving his best in his studies. Moreover, he always clarifies his doubts with his teachers and works on ways to improve himself. This enables him to grow in personhood and wisdom.
What are some projects that you have initiated outside of school to help the less privileged?
My first project took place during the December holidays in 2016. My group of friends and I accompanied children from Kidzcare@Kembangan Chai Chee Centre during a one-day excursion to the Universal Studios Singapore. This was then followed by a Christmas Party, which was planned by us. It was carried out at one of the pavilion blocks near the Kidzcare@ Kembangan Chai Chee Centre. The project aimed to provide a listening ear to the less privileged children so that they would feel included in the community.
In 2017, I founded an initiative titled ‘Smile for Miles’ with my peers. It was established to reach out to the underappreciated, the underprivileged and the unhappy people in our society.
What drives you to go the extra mile to organise such projects to help the less privileged, despite your busy schedule and heavy workload?
2015 was an important milestone in my journey, as this was the year I entered FMS(S). It dawned on me that I needed to demonstrate even greater commitment to my community because I believe that no one should be left behind. As Robert Ingersoll once remarked, “We rise by lifting others.” It is ultimately our willingness to help one another that allows us to progress and become stronger together as a community.
What was one memorable experience you had while helping others?
I organised an Indoor Activity Day at D’Joy Children’s Centre for kids in nursery and kindergarten. The project ‘#youthreadconcept – Kids for the Future’ aimed to encourage reading among children. Art and Craft as well as storytelling sessions helped to spark innovation and reinforce the importance of reading. Beautifully wrapped donated storybooks were presented to the children during the event.
I really enjoyed my encounters with the children as they were very enthusiastic about the activities. Their smiles were indeed priceless. The twinkle in their eyes during the games and storytelling segments told me that more than anything, their thirst for fun learning experiences gave them the courage to smile despite the hurdles they face every day.
What advice will you give to Fairsians to motivate them to participate more actively in Values-In-Action (VIA) projects?
Fairsians, do consider organising a VIA project with your friends for the organisation that you are interested in. This need not be a large scale project. It can include many small different acts as simple as giving a card of thanksgiving to the cleaners, greeting ‘Good morning, have a safe day ahead!’ to bus drivers, and perhaps distributing drinks to construction workers who exhaust themselves under the hot sun.
You can also consider reaching out to the larger community through the multitude of organisations in Singapore. You can partner Willing Hearts, childcare centres, community clubs or even the Dover Residents’ Committee.
You can also join the Community Student Leaders to engage in more of such projects. Moreover, you can put your e-mail writing skills in language classes, the calculations in mathematics classes, and the discussions in Lifeskills classes to good use and practice, as you communicate with the organisation, manage your budget and understand your community!
After all, all of us should lend a helping hand to the people around us so that our commitment to the immediate community can make us stronger together. This will then make the world a more peaceful and warmer place to live in.