Making an impact that matters - Gracious hearts

D.cisions magazine - Issue 2

At Deloitte, we challenge ourselves to do what matters most for our society and communities. You can receive firm support and sponsorship to carry out your own charity projects in Singapore or overseas through our Audit Volunteer Initiative. Find out the experience of our Audit staff who embarked on a volunteer trip to Chiang Rai to carry out their project "Gracious hearts".

A dedicated team of Deloitte audit staff made a trip to Chiang Rai in two batches from 16 August to 11 September 2015 to carry out their volunteer project called ‘Gracious Hearts II’, which involved teaching students conversational English and Mandarin. The trip is part of Deloitte’s Audit Volunteer Initiative which allows auditors to make an impact during the audit off-peak season from July to October by opting to take half-paid sabbatical leave to do volunteer work either locally or overseas, with financial support from the firm. This allows Deloitte auditors the opportunity to spend their time meaningfully on worthy causes during the audit off-peak season and to make a difference in the communities around us! 

Project ‘Gracious Hearts II’ is a continuation from last year’s pioneer project, dubbed ‘Gracious Hearts’, which saw nine audit volunteers taking sabbatical leave to teach children in rural areas of Chiang Rai where there is a shortage of English teachers due to lack of funds. The pioneer team felt that the project was fulfilling and meaningful as they taught the students basic English and Mandarin which would be beneficial to them in the future. Subsequently, Project ‘Gracious Hearts II’ expanded the team to 21 volunteers, working with five schools in Chiang Rai to teach students between ages of 7 and 12. In addition to the half-paid sabbatical leave and financial support given by the firm to help groups carry out their volunteer projects, Deloitte people also showed their utmost support to the volunteers by donating during the fund-raising activities before the volunteers embarked on their journey. Project Gracious Hearts II volunteers held a donation campaign the week before their trip with the goal of raising funds to purchase stationery and breakfast sets for the students in Chiang Rai.

Upon their arrival at Santhanoon School, Gracious Hearts II volunteers presented the school with the stationery sets collected from their donation campaign. The volunteers were greeted with a warm welcome from the students with wide smiles all around their faces. During the time spent at the school, the volunteers taught the students basic English such as the alphabet and the days of the week, coming up with lesson plans which incorporated games, along with charts and posters to aid the children’s learning.

After Santhanoon School, the volunteers headed to the other four schools namely San Thaad School, San Khong School, San Luang School and Thung Kliang School. They also involved singing and dancing in their Mandarin lessons to help students pick up the language effectively since it was the first time Mandarin was introduced in the schools. For example, the volunteers taught them the song “Two tigers” in Chinese to teach them about animals and numbers, which the students enjoyed very much.

With the funds raised from their donation campaign, the team was able to purchase not only stationery and breakfast sets, but also dictionaries and sports equipment for the five schools they visited. They also had the chance to visit an orphanage, where some of the students come from, and bought them a month’s worth of food supplies.

Besides Project ‘Gracious Hearts’, Deloitte also supported another group in 2014 whereby they carried out ‘Project Lamok’ that involved teaching conversational English skills to young adults and high school students in Luang Prabang, Laos. They also imparted basic computer and English literacy skills to young children.

“Travelling to make a difference in the lives of others has impacted me in a way like no other.” - Samantha Lee, FSI Audit Senior

“Project Gracious Hearts was a very enriching experience for me, and I am fortunate to have had this opportunity to give back to society. I hope to have inspired the students to work hard for the things they wish to pursue in life and I will always remember the friendships forged.” - Jason Koh, Audit Senior and organising committee member

“I feel really privileged to be back with Project Gracious Hearts II as our team took on new roles, expanding our reach to more beneficiaries and being the first group of Mandarin teachers for the students. The experience has not only touched the hearts of the students but ours as well and we are deeply moved by the sincerity of the people we have met on the trip. I hope that more people will be interested and get involved in this meaningful project!” - Grace Low, Audit Senior and organising committee member

“Being able to make an impact on the students’ lives and knowing that they are motivated to study even harder after our stint here makes an unforgettable experience.” - Nathan Lee, Audit Senior and Organising Committee member

D.cisions is our quarterly magazine which provides undergraduates with tips, advice and success stories to help them take their first crucial step in making the right choice for themselves, in terms of choosing their employer - one where they will fit in and aligned to their values, interests and priorities.

Click here to download this issue: D.cisions issue 2

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