Group 2


  • Helene
  • Jun Peng
  • Bernard
  • Denzel
  • Sharifa

SL @ Batam Reflections

Day #1
What is service learning to you?
It is a service we provide for a community, given local or overseas, and in the process learn from the community itself. (:
- Service learning is to get out of our comfort zone and appreciate what we have been given.

Day #2
Flexibility and Adaptability
It is about problem solving and learning to adapt to new situations, always learning to expect changes.
It is putting others before yourself, ensuring they benefit from what we do.
Viewing things in their perspective and putting ourselves in their shoes.

Thoughts about today...
-Disappointed because we did not get to do what we set out to do
-Thinking that we could have done more
-What we have done is not really very sustainable (why did we do the cleaning up?)

Day #3
What are your thoughts and feelings after interacting with the children at Alaqsho?
How beneficial do you think the project was?
What do you think can be improved?

Jun Peng:
我感触良多,不吐不快我觉得这次到了 Alaqsho 帮忙以及与当地孩子接触过后,我变得更有耐心,爱心和恒心。 我认为他们的生活虽看上去,很艰苦艰难但他们还是仍然地快乐。我认为我们这次到了那,不但给予那些孩子们而外的快乐,也帮忙减轻Alaqsho 院长不少的负担 (By the purchase of the washing machine and construction materials). I think we can improve this project by education as knowledge/education is the key to getting out of poverty, hence if we are able to teach the children skills or knowledge that they don't learn in school, they would gain an upper edge than those who lacks this skill. (Such as English? An internationally spoken language. By learning English, it aids them in getting a job in an international industry such as tourism which is also the main industry of batam when they grow up. (:


Firstly, the trip to Alaqsho greatly changed my impression of people living in the orphanage. I was quite intrigued when I saw all the children really happy with their life, even though they know that they are not as fortunate as us. I was once again reminded that life does not have to be full of toys and games to be happy, you can simply live a good life even with just one soccer ball, as I realized during a game of soccer with the children.  Another thing would be that when we were helping to transport the bricks up to the second floor of the building, I admit I was complaining in my head as to why I had to do this, where we had originally planned for something much simpler, which was installation of the solar panels before that plan was nulled. However, all the children, as they saw us carrying the bricks, immediately came to help us with the daunting task, Many of the children gave their best and tried to carry as many bricks as they could at one time. Seeing that, I thought to myself that these children are happy to help, and yet I am supposed to be helping them yet I was unhappy with the situation. I think that mindset has to be changed, as I should be put their needs before me during the service learning trip, and that my comfort should not get in the way of helping people out.

Although the project did not turn out as expected, I feel content knowing that we have helped to build a small room/courtyard for the children in the orphanage. This would be quite beneficial as the children would have a larger space to play, relax, or even study.  Although the place was usable before, it is much more safer as the walls can be built, thus it would be safer for the children, who are all really mischievous and playful. 

Definitely the duration of the project, as 1-2 two days in the orphanage did not give a huge impact to the people we were helping. I think we should have also planned better in the sense that we should have came up with more backup plans and solutions incase the events did not go in our favor. Our interaction with the children could have been better planned, so we could have more things to do with the children, otherwise I think we did alright.

I feel very blessed that I was able to interact with the children at Alaqsho Orphanage as it gave me another point of view in life. I think that the trip was quite beneficial for them as we provided the materials that they needed to complete the second floor. I think that the trip can be improved if we had more knowledge about the orphanage getting fined if we installed solar panels because that was what the whole trip was based on.

The trip was very inspiring - even though the children at the orphanage lacked many things, they were still happy and content. Many kids that I interacted with just wanted to learn and did not want materialistic things. It is different from the students in Singapore.
I think that the trip was beneficial for them. I felt content seeing the kids happy while we were playing with them and reading them books. 
As for what I think can be improved, I feel that the trip was well-organised regardless of the sudden change in plans that we faced, and thus, nothing can be improved.

I think that we as students and as people, have much to learn from these children at Alaqsho Orphanage. The children there are selfless people who want to make a difference in their own lives. When we were at the orphanage, we helped them clean up their dormitories, and without having to be asked, they had picked up some brooms to help us with the cleaning. These children know how to take the initiative, and some Singaporean students who just allow or even expect others to help them without trying to help themselves, should definitely learn from this. As for myself, I learned that I should be grateful for what I have. Not only the things that I have, but also the people around me - my family and friends. The children there do not have the luxuries that I have back home and are still content with their lives. They have forged bonds with each other, and take care of each other like one very large family. The children were very considerate to each other, and took turns to play with the ball, which allowed everyone to have fun. They were very welcoming when we visited the orphanage, which made me feel very happy. This made me realise that small things such as treating others well and with respect can go a long way. Another important lesson that I learnt is that I should be appreciative of the fact that I am able to go to a school that provides me with great opportunities such as going on this trip. The children there were very happy about going to school to learn, and it was inspiring to see them getting so excited about going to school. This experience has allowed me to learn many things, and although I am a bit disappointed that much of our efforts in getting information about the solar panels were wasted, I am very satisfied with this trip overall as we were still able to help the orphanage and give joy to the children living there.
I think that the trip was beneficial as we had provided the orphanage with the materials to finish building the second floor which had no walls on one side. This could have been very dangerous and I think that it was important that someone had helped finish up the job. This would have provided an extra safe place for the children to play. I also feel that donating the washing machine has helped them much as with the number of children there, it would be very hard work to wash all the clothes that they wear.
However, I feel that the cleaning up of the dormitories may not have been so beneficial. It is only a short term thing and the rooms were quite quickly dirtied as the children stepped on the floors after walking around the sandy and muddy ground outside bare footed. Because of this, we also donated some slippers to all the children at the orphanage and hopefully, the orphanage will require less effort to clean in the future.
I think that the project could have been planned better if we had known about certain factors such as fining of the orphanage if they used solar panels. Perhaps it would have been better if we had a sort of plan B as in such projects, we should have expected that some of our plans would not work.


  1. Definitely, we could have done more than simply carrying bricks and buckets after buckets of cement for the whole morning. But my next question to your Group would be 'what could/should have been done when the plans for solar panels got axed?' Rather than sitting around and grousing that the group leaders did such a lousy job in liaising with the orphanage or this whole project is a waste of time because you dont get to do what you have wanted to, I guess we could have, as a TEAM decide the next course of actions :)

  2. As what I shared during the last reflection, Service Learning is very subjective. I guess it has always been the 'key understanding' of alot of students that all these overseas service learning/community involvement can only be considered 'authentic' only when we need to be staying in undesirable conditions and working our guts out in the hot sun doing manual work -_-" All these.....not true lol! Service can take form in many ways. Yup, manual work is one....the donation of the washing machine and the bricks and cement for the rooms has lightened Ibu's (house mother) load of having to wash the clothes of these young orphans and allowing her space to take in more orphans (who are very often, simply abandoned at the orphanage's doorstep).

    Though we did not achieve what we have set out to do, and some may not agree that what was subsequently done is sustainable, to me personally; the team had accomplish what you set out to do. You have accomplished your want to SERVE. I guess if you have not had the intention to serve, you would not have signed up for the project ;)