Keeping active is a joy for these long-time community volunteers

(From far left) Madam Teo Lin Lee, 59; Madam K. Madavy Nair, 69; and Madam Normah Ahmad, 66, are all long-time volunteers. They shared their experiences yesterday at an event celebrating active Merdeka Generation women.
(From left) Madam Teo Lin Lee, 59; Madam K. Madavy Nair, 69; and Madam Normah Ahmad, 66, are all long-time volunteers. They shared their experiences yesterday at an event celebrating active Merdeka Generation women.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Madam Teo Lin Lee is 59, but that has not stopped her from attending night classes twice a week to complete a law degree.

She took up the three-year part-time course at a private education institution as she wanted to equip herself to give legal counselling to residents who may not be able to afford to hire a lawyer. Madam Teo completed the course last week.

The volunteer of nearly three decades in the Queenstown Women's Executive Committee (WEC) started a legal clinic two years ago with pro bono lawyers from the Law Society after she found some residents were unsure how wills or lasting power of attorney documents are made, and how matrimonial assets and child custody would be settled in a divorce.

Madam Teo, who runs a family import-export business with her husband, said: "When you are busy and passionate about what you do, you don't feel old."

She was one of three long-time volunteers who shared their experiences at an event celebrating active Merdeka Generation women yesterday.

Another was Madam Normah Ahmad, 66, who leads a cooking and baking interest group every month through Kaki Bukit WEC, attended by about 20 to 30 women.

She finds it easier to attract volunteers now than in the 1980s when she started out as better communication means people are more aware of available opportunities.

 
 
 

"I volunteer because I want to understand more about the community and to feel part of something outside my family and friends," said Madam Normah, who is an administrative officer in the logistics sector.

Retired police officer K. Madavy Nair, 69, teaches healthy cooking through Nee Soon East WEC and advocates exercising regularly.

Now a student management officer at Northbrooks Secondary School, Madam Nair, who represented Singapore in competitive walking events, brisk-walks for half an hour every other day and hopes to be a role model for other women.

"Many people say they are busy and have no time, but it is just half an hour a day of exercise. After work, you can use a stepper at home and do some hand exercises as well," she said. "If you keep yourself fit, you don't fall sick as easily."

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2019, with the headline 'Keeping active is a joy for these long-time community volunteers'. Print Edition | Subscribe