A Volunteer's Reflection: Sharing at Singapore Girls' Home

31 May 2018

BHING'S REFLECTION_BAG.jpg

Robina Navato (‘Bhing’, as affectionately known) works in Singapore as a domestic worker and is a long-time volunteer with HOME. This is her reflection on her sharing at Singapore Girls’ Home in May 2018.  

It was such an amazing experience to give a talk at the Singapore Girls’ Home; it was something I never expected myself to do. The Girls’ Home saw my profile at Human Library SG and sent me a personal invitation.  Initially, I was unsure as I had no idea what I would say to them, and I’d never been there before.

I wondered how I would relate to them. I’m a foreign domestic worker here. How can I educate them to be nice to their domestic workers? Yet, I still agreed to do it. I realized that hearing me speak can motivate others; I related this to my work as a helpdesk volunteer at HOME where I speak to women about how there is hope even in unimaginable situations—there is always hope and this incidentally was the inspiration for my topic, ‘Hope in You’.

During my speech I could see how vulnerable these young girls were. I could see their eyes brimming with tears; I could sense their struggle. It was very touching to see many of them shed a tear when they heard my story, which too had its own share of trials and tribulations. But during my entire journey I kept motivating myself and did not give up.

We finally ended with a question and answer session, which was the best part of the morning. I was deeply moved with the immense love showered on me especially when one of the girls expressed a wish that I could be her mother. It was heartening to hear the girls say that they were motivated and inspired by me. I will always cherish this time spent with these girls who made it extra special by presenting me with a handmade bag that stood for all their aspirations and hopes towards a better future.

Stephanie Chok