An ongoing mission to serve our neighbours


A decade ago, banker Cheerene Wee Li Ping took a leap of faith and signed up for her first overseas volunteering trip with YMCA International Service Programmes to Cambodia. Since then, she has been a faithful volunteer leader with YMCA, leading at least one overseas trip every year. To date, she has set foot and served the local community in five countries, namely Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines and Nepal through more than 10 trips.

“To me, volunteering is a life-long journey. Every trip has a special takeaway of its own and I’ve never stopped learning. As I take on the next “10 years” of my volunteering journey, I hope to inspire more willing hearts to join me on this path,” said Cheerene. “You know what’s the best thing about volunteering? It is the long-lasting genuine friendships forged along the way. A few years back, I managed to meet up with some of the local friends I made in Cambodia, and it’s really a joy to see them growing up well, and cheerfully serving their own community.” she added.

For her long term leadership and service contributions to YMCA’s International Service Programmes, Cheerene was presented with the YMCA-Lim Kim San Volunteer Long Service Award at the YMCA-Lim Kim San Volunteer Awards Night held on 26 January 2018 at YMCA of Singapore. Some 130 guests attended the event, which was specially created to recognise and thank individuals, corporations and educational institutions who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the YMCA through their voluntary service.

“With more support from the National Youth Council (NYC) and an enhanced Youth Expedition Programme (YEP), we hope to send more teams overseas and offer a helping hand to our neighbours,” said Mr Lo Chee Wen, General Secretary, YMCA of Singapore. “We are encouraged to see more and more volunteers like Cheerene, who step out of their comfort zone and faithfully serve the community year after year,” he added.

During the event, guests also observed a solemn minute of silence in honour of the late Third Sergeant (3SG) Gavin Chan. The late full-time national serviceman, an active volunteer with the YMCA from 2011 to 2014, had previously been presented with a Special Mention Award for his efforts at the YMCA-Lim Kim San Volunteer Awards Night in 2014.

Over 80 individuals, corporations and institutions including Citi-Singapore, Credit Suisse AG, NTUC FairPrice Foundation and Singapore Management University received awards across five categories, namely Volunteer of the Year Award, Volunteer Excellence Award, Volunteer Long Service Award, Corporate Volunteer Excellence Award and Corporate Volunteer Long Service Award.

Click here to view photos from the YMCA-Lim Kim San Volunteer Awards Night 2018.