At the get-go of our planning phase, we decided to continue on the efforts of the previous Valour committee by choosing Darul Ma’wa as our beneficiary. Youths under the care of Darul Ma’wa included those whose parents are unable to care for them for various reasons and there was no one else who could take them in. As such, when organising this event, we wanted to ensure a measure of continuity of our efforts so that the residents did not view us simply as volunteers whom they will not see again at the end of the event but as mentors they can look up to and confide in. Most importantly, we did not want to raise their hopes only to abandon them later on. We wanted to impress on them that they are not simply a means for us to earn CIP hours but that we genuinely wanted to help in one way or another.
In recognition of the work put in by the previous ad-hoc team, we decided to name our program Valour II. We also decided on the theme – Be Brave. The intent is to impart on the youths that they are capable of achieving beyond their perceived limits if they are brave enough to grab opportunities around them. We also wanted the undergraduate participants to connect with the youths. At the end of day, we wish to see the undergraduates empowered to organise their own activities with the residents of Darul Ma’wa, beyond the activities planned for Valour II. Our role then was to form the bond between the youths and undergraduates.
In order to achieve this while keeping true to the combined vision of NUSMS, the programs team came up with an overarching story tying the 3 days together. Each day represented a significant event in Sirah (History of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) – Revelations, Hijrah and The Battles. Each event will incorporate the main theme of being brave. The key message is that being brave extended beyond acts of being fearless. It also includes being brave enough to go beyond comfort zones and be willing to face difficulties.
Day 1 Revelations
The first day marked the first meeting between the undergraduates and Darul Ma’wa residents. As such, the activities were designed to allow light-hearted interactions between them. Given different clues, teams were to locate a verse from the Holy Qur’an at different parts of Botanic Gardens. Following this, the teams regrouped for a round of mass games.
Day 2 Hijrah
Conducted 2 months after the first event, Day 2 takes place within the CBD area. Inspired by the Hijrah journey, participants travelled to different stations and overcame various obstacles before being welcomed at Masjid Moulana. For many of the younger participants, this event marked their first time being in the CBD area, forcing them to face the realities of a working adult. Obstacles imposed on the participants included approaching and talking to strangers. We wanted to bring the youth participants out of their comfort zone and face any insecurities that they have.
Day 3 – The Battles
Held at the end of the March School Holidays, our final event was an opportunity for Valour II to officially wrap up. It offered a respite for the undergraduates who recently completed their mid-term tests and for Darul Ma’wa residents before starting school again. The event was organized as a barbecue-cum-sports carnival. The thematic of Battles manifested as water games, soccer and other ball games. Participants relished the opportunity to cook and play the games. Before wrapping the session, participants exchanged heartfelt messages and the residents of Darul Ma’wa were presented with goodie bags.
Beyond Valour II
As students, we get easily bogged down by our studies and shut everything else out. As a committee, we have hoped that Valour II imparted on the undergraduates of NUS one key message – that we are capable of making a difference. We hope that the undergraduates will continue to foster the bond they have created with the youths by pursuing their own initiatives.