We are a group of medical students from the Singapore Medical Society of Victoria (SMSV) Outreach Committee. SMSV Outreach is a student body providing charitable and volunteering opportunities to Singaporean medical students studying in Monash University and the University of Melbourne.
SMSV & The Salesian Sisters
In conjunction with ACTs Singapore, SMSV Outreach used to conduct an annual trip to Battambang, Cambodia, providing medical services to local communities who agreed to participate. We worked with the local medical centres and parishes to set up mobile clinics, assisted by Cambodian university students and teachers who acted as our translators. During our time there, the Salesian Sisters of Batambang have been our generous hosts, providing warm meals every night and kind hospitality. They shared with us their life mission of empowering the young women of their local community, especially those who face limitations and persecution, by providing them refuge and education. The SMSV members who had the privilege of visiting them and their beneficiaries, will always remember dancing and singing with them at the Parish. When our overseas trips were suspended due to the pandemic, we reached out to them, hoping to give back to their gracious community.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
When COVID-19 first hit, many schools were closed. The school which the girls went to switched to online teaching instead. Hence, the girls continued staying at the boarding house and studied online for 6 months.
However, when the situation became worse, the Salesian Sisters decided to send the girls back home to be with their families. This made it difficult for the girls to continue online learning - some families had internet problems in their village while other families did not have money to buy telephone cards. Fortunately, the Salesian Sisters sought the help of another non-profit organisation to help fund the telephone cards so that the girls are able to continue online learning. The teachers also checked in on the girls daily to see if they are able to cope and whether they need any help.
In addition, the Salesian Sisters supported the poor families by purchasing necessities for them e.g. rice, oil, soap, masks and disinfectants. This was only made possible with the kind donations of many people.
Most of the girls have now returned to the boarding house to study while a few still remain in their homes, attending online classes. The girls are especially happy to be able to return to the house and study in a conducive environment.
The Salesian Sisters wish to give them hope during this uncertain and difficult time. Hence, this year, the Salesian Sisters hope to be able to give the girls a water bottle each that will allow them to bring and drink hygienic water to school. In support of their cause, we set up this fundraiser and all donations collected will be sent to them.
We would appreciate any amount donated and hope you can support the Sisters through our campaign. Thank you!
If you would like to find out more, check out our Instagram page
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