By Fei Yue Community Services
The power of befriending, be it virtual or off-line; has become clearer for Fei Yue especially during current times, when face-to-face interaction is both less common and discouraged. Adapting is challenging as people are, by nature, social creatures. It is through socialising and befriending that helps Fei Yue get to know, identify with, and work better and together with those we serve. When we become trusted friends and resources for help, we know we can better design solutions or outreach efforts that serve our communities and clients more effectively.
Today, Fei Yue has conducted numerous Befriending efforts over Zoom. One key example is the virtual matching of a Befriender to a Befriendee via Zoom. Their first contact is through the Coordinator, who visits the Befriendee's home and video calls the Befriender so that both are able to put a face to the person that they are speaking to. In addition, Fei Yue conducts online Training sessions for Befrienders over Zoom. The topics of 'Basic Counselling' and 'Aging Successfully' were specifically chosen to better equip Befrienders for their volunteering role, especially during the period where home visitations are suspended.
The pandemic has changed much about the way we interact with each other. Today, the digital devices we own have become even more important because communication has moved into the virtual and online space. With restrictions and safe measures still ongoing, we are more reliant than ever on the internet to gather people and check on each other's well-being. Therefore, it is vital that those who are not digitally-included are given the ability, means and resources to, so that they do not get left behind, nor are they deprived of information and support. Fei Yue continues to work with various partners and stakeholders to deepen virtual befriending resources and serve more in need.
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Issue 5: October 2020