Finding meaning in life despite an unexpected change
After suffering from a stroke more than ten years ago, Mr Tan Eng Cheow was left with no choice but to wind up his fruit stall business at the Tekka wet market and was forced to recuperate at home as he tried to regain his mobility on the right side of his body. Even after many years, he walks with a limp as his right leg is weaker than his left.
The idea of contributing back to the society and doing good as a volunteer had never crossed Mr Tan's mind. However, at 65, he was keen to give it a go when he was approached by a volunteer coordinator from Fei Yue Community Services. When Mr Tan floated the idea to both of his sons, they were very supportive. His youngest son thought it was a good idea for his father to be more active and even bought him a mobile phone for him to check up with his befriendees.
These days, Mr Tan would often walk from his home to visit his befriendees, who also stay around his area.
"All this walking has been good for me, the mobility of my right leg has gotten so much better because of all the exercises." Interestingly, Mr Tan felt that his physical and emotional health have both improved since he started the Community Befriending Programme.
"After my stroke, I used to stay home all the time. But ever since I started volunteering as a befriender, I became more outgoing. I also felt happier and have made many new friends." Mr Tan feels that this is a meaningful programme and intends to continue volunteering his time as a befriender for as long as he is able to.
If you would like to be a befriender like Mr Tan to help others, check out the various volunteering opportunities available here.