Gratefulness: How I chose to pay it forward

Hi! I’m Renee, and I was an intern with World Vision Singapore from 21 March to 7 July 2023!

Why did I intern at World Vision?

I interned at World Vision because I am interested in international humanitarian work. I actually got to know World Vision when I was quite young. My dad introduced me to the idea of child sponsorship when I was 11 years old and I decided to sponsor a child from Ende, Indonesia as my birthday gift. I think I was quite shaken by the thought that there are children who are experiencing such hardships and challenges while I was enjoying a relatively comfortable life in Singapore. I felt a sense of injustice and wished to help these children from more impoverished backgrounds. Since then, I have supported World Vision's cause and aspired to take a peek into the behind-the-scenes of World Vision when I grew older.

What were my biggest takeaways from my internship experience?

I learnt a lot from my internship experience. This includes developing a greater understanding of World Vision initiatives, like Abaca farming in the Philippines and Financial Literacy programs for communities around the world. I also learnt more about the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector when planning a 30 Hour Famine station game related to WASH needs. This opened my eyes to the importance of safe drinking water and toilets in providing education for children and promoting gender equality.

Nonetheless, my greatest takeaway involved the interactions I had with fellow World Vision staff members. I was inspired by the kindness and faithfulness of the people I met, who truly care about the children they serve and exude great passion for the meaningful work they do. I felt very welcomed into the organisation, and really appreciated the warm and faith-based work culture. It was also cool to listen to the enriching life experiences of my colleagues.

Final comments:

Interning at World Vision and being exposed to first-hand stories from the field really reinforced how blessed I am to live in the safety and security of Singapore. Given our relatively privileged position, wouldn't it be nice to share what we have with those in need, both locally and internationally?

Also, reading the testimonies of victims of disasters who have lost all their family members or children who are fighting against exploitation sometimes moved me to tears. While I initially felt overwhelmed and helpless, I hope to keep them in prayer and remind myself that I can play a part in supporting these vulnerable individuals through World Vision's work. As a child sponsor, I am especially motivated by Child Sponsorship success stories as sponsored children graduate from high school or university and progressed in life to fulfil their aspirations. I guess it is heartening to know that we can make a difference to children's lives in our own small ways.

So, live life to the fullest, and be grateful for all you have.

Written By: 
Renee Foo