Volunteer qigong instructor, 75, among those awarded for serving residents

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SINGAPORE - Come rain or shine, Madam Ho Wai Hing has held free qigong sessions near her home in Yishun almost every morning for over 10 years.

The 75-year-old has become firm friends with the participants, some for as long as a decade. “My friend told me she’s glad for this group that I started, it makes her happier,” she said in Mandarin.

But her sessions aren’t just for the people she knows. She also invites elderly residents passing by to join in, and others join through word of mouth. Her group has about 40 participants so far.

“It’s good for our health. I encourage the elderly to come out of their homes and join us,” she said.

For her efforts, Madam Ho was given a volunteer award on Saturday, along with 76 other people and 54 organisations who have served the North West community.

The annual awards are given out by the North West Community Development Council (CDC) to recognise those who have made a difference to residents’ lives.

Another awardee was Mr Gary Aw, 52, who has spent the better part of his Saturdays mentoring at-risk children for the past seven years.

“All these hours (put in) are really nothing compared to other hours spent lying on one’s bed, reading one’s phone, or maybe even working. It’s really nothing much,” he said.

Under the Kids Champ Club programme by New Life Community Services, Mr Aw mentors children in skills such as public speaking. He also conducts other activities which help them develop confidence and cope with their emotions.

The 52-year-old, who works in real estate, finds meaning in guiding them onto the right path.

Recalling a mischievous eight-year-old whom he mentored, Mr Aw said he got impatient with the boy as he would always lie: “So if he said 10 things, we wouldn’t know how much of it was a...

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