What's important?

Student volunteer puts pursuit of good grades on pause and gets a different perspective on life.

Travelling 600km by plane, bus and van to a remote village in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, was less than appealing to Shaun Teo.

Just done with major exams in school and about to be called up for military service, he would rather have stayed in comfortable Singapore and taken it easy.

But armed with the "intention to bless others", the 19-year-old joined two dozen volunteers to help build a primary school and several homes in the Living Waters Village last year.

Started with little more than a few tents a decade ago, Living Waters provides food, shelter, education and a familial community to about 450 children and teens, many of whom are orphaned or abandoned, or whose families are simply unable to care for them.

Together with the local community, Shaun and the other volunteers helped to dig foundations, shovel sand and paint walls.

Shaun also played and spent time with many of the village children and teenagers, building friendships that he found deeply meaningful.

So meaningful that he feels they’ve taught him "what's important in life".

About Living Waters Village

Located in West Kalimantan, Living Waters is a non-profit that is home to 600 neglected children, providing them with shelter, care and education. Since it was founded, it has grown to include a school, a clinic, a bakery and a nursery for babies.

Contributors

Filmmaker

Ivan Tan

Photographer

Nicholas Chew