Inaugural Learning Day

A tribute to our volunteers

To guide refugee students in a range of life skills, JRS volunteers have been organizing regular workshops as part of LEAP@JRS. The inaugural LEAP@JRS Learning Day held on 1st July 2023 had a lively group of 75 attending workshops across a range of topics. Specially curated for our refugee brothers and sisters, the topics included mindfulness, stress management and professional skills to boost their confidence and equip them for livelihood opportunities.

The professional skills that I picked up at the Learning Day were truly helpful. I now compose business emails with a lot more precision. The tips on how to prepare for job interviews will certainly give me the confidence for future opportunities. What’s more, as I tend to be overly anxious about everything, I have learnt to be mindful and regulate the stress when anxiousness moments set in.

Kevin*, a refugee living in Bangkok shared this feedback after attending the very first LEAP@JRS Learning Day.

Volunteers who led the session include Adrian Toh (Mindfulness), Nichole Yeo (CV & Interview Skills), Chew Lip Heng (Writing Effective Business Emails) and Vincent Lim (Stress Management). The students at the LEAP@JRS Learning Day were enthusiastic and actively participated in the workshops. At the end of the day’s activities, they were unanimous in stating that they were grateful for the opportunity to pick up life skills and were eagerly looking forward to the next Learning Day. 

They also suggested that topics like entrepreneurship, book keeping and media production be conducted for future events. Buoyed by their enthusiasm, the team will hold the next LEAP@JRS Learning Day over two Saturdays on November 25th and December 2nd. Maya*, one of the refugee participants living in Bogor reflected:

The topics that were considered for us in this training workshop were very useful and valuable, especially the two sessions on stress management and mindfulness. I really needed such information to be able to use in this life situation that is specific to refugees. I genuinely enjoyed that your team considered our conditions and proceeded according to it, and I appreciate you.

JRS volunteers have displayed tremendous passion and dedication. Apart from supporting the LEAP@JRS programme, volunteers rallied together to assist with parish outreach at the Church of St Alphonsus (Novena) on 2nd September and at the Church of St Ignatius on the last weekend of September. Our volunteers also facilitated monthly workshops with our migrant brothers at Migrant Workers Centre in the 2nd half of 2023. Some volunteers created social media content, contributed to our regular newsletter and conducted outreach sessions to share the work of JRS.

Commemorating World Day of Migrants and Refugees in Church of St Ignatius.
Outreach exhibition at Church of St Alphonsus.

It is the collective outpouring of love from our donors and volunteers that makes this a vibrant JRS community. The Gospel says, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

As we come to the close of 2023, we pray that all of us in the JRS family continue to grow together in service, working more closely to build an inclusive world, especially for our refugee brothers and sisters.

*Names have been changed for privacy purposes.