It is obvious, when you speak to Cynthia Paulchamy, that she loves children. In fact, it was her passion for working with youth that led Cynthia to her current role at the Foundation of Rotary Clubs (FRCS).
“I like interacting with kids and working at FRCS gives me the opportunity to make a difference in their lives,” explained the amiable programme co-ordinator.
Barely a year after joining the organisation, Cynthia has her hands full running programmes for children and planning activities for these active youngsters. “We have a few programmes in place for kids at Rotary, namely the Rotary Learning Lab, Studyheart Club and KidsRead,” shared Cynthia, who is currently the only person managing these activities.
“Rotary Learning Lab is an after school learning programme that caters to children. By getting them to join our Learning Lab, we hope to keep them off the streets and give them something of value through the programme,” explained Cynthia. Open to students from Primary 1 through 6, Rotary Leaning Lab works with volunteers to carry out different programmes for children. These range from computer lessons to drama workshops to outdoor games. Students from Raffles Girls School (RGS), Raffles Junior College (RJC) and National Junior College (NJC) volunteer their time, helping the children with school work and other activities.
While the Rotary Leaning Lab is open daily, the Studyheart Club – another initiative by FRCS, is a twice weekly tuition programme aimed at helping children from lower income families who are not able to afford tuition.
“We have around 50 children in the Studyheart Programme,” shared Cynthia, “and volunteers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) come in twice a week to tutor these kids.”Up next on Cynthia’s calendar is a KidsRead event in March. Open to children from ages 4 to 8 years, the event is the second intake for Rotary’s KidsRead Programme.
“The aim of KidsRead is to inculcate good reading habits in children from a young age and we are lucky to have volunteers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic to help us at the event,” said Cynthia.
While the job may be a busy one, it is certainly very rewarding. “I love interacting with kids and after every event, I always feel happy seeing all the smiles on the children’s faces,” said Cynthia with a smile. “It may be tiring, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”