These siblings mentor children from cancer-stricken families
Siblings Phyllis and Nicklaus Wang returned to Duke-NUS's Camp Simba this year not as campers but as mentors to children from cancer-stricken families.
They first participated in Camp Simba in 2016 after their father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014.
Said Miss Wang, 18, an interior and exhibition design student at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central: "We were very young and struggled to grasp the situation, and without guidance on how to manage our emotions. Attending Camp Simba was helpful, as the student organisers were supportive and attentive to our needs."
Conceptualised in 2009 and organised by students from the Duke-NUS Medical School and the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Camp Simba is a three-day-two-night camp that seeks to address the emotional needs of children whose family members have cancer.
The 11th edition of Camp Simba, from June 7 to 9, had 69 participants aged seven to 19 mentored under the Simba Siblings initiative where beneficiaries from past camps become mentors to younger children.
Nicklaus, 16, a secondary four student at Admiralty Secondary School, said: "Being part of the camp over the years has made me a more confident person.
"Now as a mentor, I am glad to be able to give back in some way."
Mr Tan Hong Kwong, first-year Doctor of Medicine student at Duke-NUS and one of the student organisers of Camp Simba, said it is important for the children to learn how to deal with grief.
"Guidance wise, they need to be taught skills to help them foster resilience and cope with emotions. In terms of support, they need love ones to listen and provide a safe space for them to express their thoughts and emotions on the loss."