Support and Friendship with Riding with the Disabled (RDA)


LO1-Identify their own strengths and develop areas for growth

I initially signed up for this service because this service looked the most interesting one out of all of the services that were available in school. This was because this service allowed interaction with both animals and the locals in Singapore. Throughout my years in UWC, I had a chance to work with the disabled back in middle school and as I found that a meaningful experience, I wanted to try that again this year as well. As I do this service for a year, I want to be able to use the strengths that I have but also improve on the weaknesses that I have, through the interactions with my peers in the service and the service partner. One of the skills that I identify as a strength would be, being organized. I can normally stay on top of things and make sure that all of the things are going as planned. On the other hand, my weakness would be communication and I think this could be an area for growth.


During the first session in service, when we looked at the service using the SWOT analysis, it was rather hard for me to speak up and say my opinions as communication is not one of my stronger areas. With the SWOt analysis, we were able to identify areas where we needed to ask questions about the service so we knew how to help the service better. From this, we also came up with the skills and qualities that we thought would be useful in the service. Patience was one of them and I felt that this could also be a strength of mine and I thought this would come very useful in the service. This was because, as we are working with the disabled children, we would sometimes need patience when they are not able to do a task and we should not get irritated easily. We prepared ourselves for the first session in our service next week by looking into the service and making sure we knew what we would do at the place.


LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process

I had my first service session with the service group today and I was able to talk with the partners and understand what we were there to do. When we first got there, we were assigned to the rider as a pair and were given a document about the rider so we knew better to cope with them. I was paired up with a 19-year-old girl who seemed very confident in riding the horse. At first, I was very nervous when I was interacting with her but as it got to the end of the session, I was able to interact with her better. However, she was not able to communicate very verbally and this was hard for us as we wanted to build a relationship with her. From this session, I thought I could try to speak louder, clearer with questions that are easy to answer so that we can have a conversation. Speaking louder is something that I have always wanted to work on and I think this would be a place where I can develop that because without that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my rider. I also worked together with my peer. As he was an experienced rider, I was able to learn from him how to interact with horses and we tried as a pair to try and talk to the rider. However, as it was our first session we were not able to connect with her in a way that we had initially wanted to. When we asked a question, her answer was not clear and we had to assume whether that was a “yes” or a “no” which made the experience a lot harder than anticipated. As I thought that we were working with physically disabled children I was not quite ready to interact with someone who had a harder time in communicating their thoughts.


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