Lim Jia Hui
24-year-old quantity surveyor, Lim Jia Hui started volunteering at Chingay as a schoolgirl, over a decade ago. Today, she is part of the executive committee calling the shots.
Jia Hui’s first taste of Chingay was not by choice—she joined to fulfill her Community Involvement Programme (CIP) hours during secondary school. The experience sparked her passion for Chingay and 2020 marked her 10th year of participation!
“Volunteering gave me an opportunity to meet more people beyond my school life I would otherwise never have the chance to meet.” Jia Hui adds, “Making friends from diverse backgrounds has really broadened my perspective.”
From Student Volunteer To ExCo member
At Jia Hui’s first Chingay in 2011, she was assigned to the Transport Management Team (TMT). The team helps ensure that performers and audiences have a smooth and safe access in and out of the Chingay venue. She served TMT for seven straight years, rising from student volunteer to volunteer leader before she was seconded to the Executive Committee (ExCo) in 2017 where she served for three years.
Transitioning into this leadership position was not easy for Jia Hui. She had to switch from receiving and executing instructions to a strategic role responsible for planning and the overall success of the team.
Fortunately, Jia Hui had three good mentors with years of ExCo experience to guide her: Jia En, Joanne and William. The trio shared their experiences, encouraged and guided her to create plans from scratch. They also taught her how to delegate tasks to the volunteer leaders. She was especially inspired by their can-do attitude, juggling their own work and study commitments.
Keep Calm and Count On Your Friends
Sharing the importance of friendship that cemented her love for Chingay,
“When things get a little tough going, having a supportive network of friends helps. Our work involved liaising between many performers and bus operators. Some might not have the best attitude after being made to wait for a long time. When faced with difficult situations, we lean on friends and swap ideas on how to work with different people and handle stress,” Jia Hui shares.
She has also learnt to keep calm in face of crisis as she believes that only then can one think clearly. For instance, manpower shortage is a recurring issue. When shorthanded, the ExCo must think on their feet and make on-the-spot adjustments, to ensure things work out as intended with whatever headcount is available.
Despite having a busy full-time job, Jia Hui has fond memories volunteering at Chingay and would happily do it again when time permits. Her most memorable Chingay was the year it rained so heavily there was a blackout in the car park. Together with her friends, they searched frantically for the buses in the dark. Fortunately, they were issued with raincoats, vests and light sabers to keep them safe, dry and visible. “Volunteering allows me to make a difference in the lives of others,” she explains. “Being in the transport team is a backend job so we don’t get to be seen unlike the performers. But whenever a performer or Bus Driver Uncle said ‘thank you’, it really made my day!”
Jia Hui encourages everyone to give volunteering a try—take some time off to volunteer. Better still, bring more friends to join Chingay—extra hands are always welcome. The atmosphere and energy can never be captured from watching Chingay in front of the television. Then there is the icing on the cake: watching fireworks up close surrounded by your friends.
Hopes and dreams For Chingay
Jia Hui thinks the younger generation is less familiar with Chingay but there are still many people who enjoy the performance. She hopes it will continue for many generations to come, and one day, parade around the entire island.