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Interest in Social Work after hearing the challenges faced by his NS platoon
In conjunction with National Council of Social Service (NCSS)’s, 30th anniversary celebrations, NCSS featured 30 stories of people in the social service sector in the 'Stories from the Heart' series. This is done in collaboration with social service agencies, corporate partners, volunteers and NCSS staff to bring more awareness to the social service sector. It also shows the changing role of NCSS over time and the difference it makes in the lives of communities in need. Berita Harian (BH) highlights their experiences.
After completing his studies at Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Nur Fadhli Prayitno originally intended to start a career in engineering after serving his National Service (NS).
However, during his NS, he became interested in other areas.
Motivated to seek knowledge in the field of counselling and guidance support for young people, he continued his studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS) majoring in Social Work in 2007.
14 years later, the 37-year-old is now the Assistant Director at SHINE Youth and Children's Services.
In a video call via Zoom with Berita Harian, Mr Fadhli explained that his change of plans in his career was because of his experience at NS.
"At that time, I was managing 20 young people as a platoon commander."
"They all come from different walks of life.
"Many of them will share with me the personal problems they face - from family problems to needing support, they will share everything.
"But at that time, I felt I was incapable of helping them in terms of telling them about resources where they could receive help or counselling," he said.
It was then that he had a new passion to enter the field of social work.
However, Mr Fadhli said the transition was not an easy one.
Accustomed to focusing on subjects such as maths and coding, the second of three siblings said he had to adapt a lot during his studies at NUS.
"There's a lot I have to improve, such as how I communicate and adapting to meet the needs of reports I have to write.
"I have to make sure that it is detailed and accurate with what I want to convey," Mr Fadhli said. He started working at SHINE as a social worker in 2010.
Since then, he has worked closely with schools and communities, serving about 8,000 children and youth. Their age ranges from five to 21 years old.
He said SHINE's hope is to ensure that these children and families have support, guidance and also the opportunity to develop themselves comprehensively so that in the future, they can have a better life.
Despite their high hopes, Mr Fadhli and his 12 staff sometimes face the challenge of handling these children.
"As an organisation, we have certain strategies to handle different age groups of children.
"The activities we offer them are to help build their resilience.
"What we do is show them the best way and help them.
"However, we are there to guide them back if they choose the wrong path," he said.
The father of three said he has great satisfaction in seeing these children grow up and do their best.
But Mr Fadhli said it could not be possible if a child does not want to change.
"This is all their hard work and not something they can achieve immediately," he explained.
This article was also featured in Berita Harian on 21 September 2022.
Check out the further reports in Berita Harian: About the ‘Stories from the Heart’ series in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the National Council of Social Service: