IMPACT 0573: GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY THROUGH OUTDOOR EDUCATION
Nur Husna Faqihah, 20, is currently an undergraduate pursuing her bachelors in Geography and Southeast Asian Studies at NUS. Project Zero Hero is a volunteer programme she takes part in where her role is to liaise with stakeholders and run programmes with the team.
Project Zero Hero is centered on raising environmental awareness in a special needs school. Having only joined in 2022, she is very new to the team, and tries her best to keep up with the team and the work they’ve done over the past two years. Apart from execution, part of the learning process is planning a programme outline together with our beneficiary organization. Today she shares more about the project and her journey!
Please share with us your OBS experience and how your OBS journey started.
I started attending alumni programs and volunteering with Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) in secondary school. I first started out as a Volunteer Leader and had a steep learning curve as the programme’s chairperson in 2018. I got to learn many new skills like programme planning during this time, and the OBS Alumni workshops allowed me to learn skills such as knots and first aid, among other valuable experiences.
Having grown up watching National Geographic documentaries on the adventures of explorers made me want to “’prepare” myself for such adventures in the future. Thus, OBS’s outdoor and environment-centric learning was a step in the right direction towards understanding nature a bit better, while developing leadership skills along the way. My most memorable moment with OBS was the sail to Bintan during my Leadership & Service Award in December 2019.
What are some of the reasons you chose to give back after your OBS experience?
As I mentioned previously, I got to experience and learn so many new things due to the generosity and belief of OBS and their staff who planned the Alumni events. Apart from adding to my portfolio, a large part of my character was shaped by these experiences, which I am grateful for. Thus, since I am a believer of not just taking, but also giving, I think it is only fair to give back by volunteering with OBS. At the end of the day, our projects share the collective goal of community building through environmental protection, something I also hope to continue in my future career.
What gives you the motivation to continue what you do?
To be very honest, my involvement with the OBS Alumni has not been as much as it used to be, ever since COVID-19 and my university life started. However, I do not plan on leaving the organisation entirely. I have met so many amazing mentors, made life-long friends from different backgrounds, and am a part of a community whose mission I align with. Although some have come and gone, having both “seniors” and new faces in our team is the hallmark of a community that thrives. I have learnt so much from the batches before me; similarly, I hope to learn more and be able to pass on something to the new batches.
Tell us about one memorable/standout moment from your experience with Project Zero Hero that stays with you.
One memorable experience was the final meeting with one of our potential beneficiaries. Though our client took more time than expected to agree on a programme outline, as a team, we had to practice our soft skills to speak calmly and clearly such that the conversation remained productive and conclusive. As Project Zero Hero is about serving our special needs students with patience, it is important to practise having a big heart, no matter the conversation.
This article was published on May 10, 2022