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Meet Dora, a dedicated long-time member of Beautiful People since 2006, deeply engaged in supporting families through the Families for Families (FfF) programme. Her journey is a narrative of community, personal development, and heartfelt connections that spanned nearly two decades. 

Dora's involvement with Beautiful People began 2006 when the organisation first started as a programme under Beyond Social Services. During her tenure as a hotel manager, she received a booking request for dormitory rooms from the programme. What started as a simple arrangement soon blossomed into weekly visits, where Dora formed genuine friendships with the girls. As time progressed, Dora and her team expanded their outreach through recruiting volunteers and initiating various mobile events such as camps and activities to cater to the evolving needs of the girls after they were discharged. 

For instance, as some of the girls became mothers, they initiated a children's reading programme where Dora volunteered her time in providing babysitting services while they conducted their sessions. This later evolved into the Families for Families (FfF) programme to provide educational support along with regular meetings and outings. After COVID, Dora took upon herself to revive the children's reading programme, feeling the strong urge to do so. In summary, Dora finds her time with Beautiful People immensely rewarding, through the connections built while providing support to the community.

The driving force behind Dora's commitment in supporting Beautiful People for 18 years has been the unwavering sense of community and support. She celebrates birthdays and achievements, offers solace during tough times, allowing her to form closer relationships with both mentees and mentors. These shared experiences fueled her motivation in attaining personal and professional growth by contributing her efforts in nurturing future leaders within the organisation. 

One of Dora’s most memorable moments during her leadership journey was the annual Family Day events, where she witnessed over 300 attendees gather over the years. “It was a pleasure to see the girls who have been discharged return for such occasions. Witnessing everyone hugging and catching up with each other filled me with joy. On top of that, seeing our mentees get married and become mothers is truly heartwarming. These moments showcase the lasting impact of our work, which is reflected in the connections we have maintained to this day.” 

Reflecting on her leadership experiences, Dora's learnings centre on the importance of flexibility, enjoyment, and community-building. It is crucial to have a flexible mindset in response to changing situations when working with a team.  Having reviews and regular check-ins with volunteers to ensure they genuinely enjoy their roles is essential; it prevents their tasks from feeling burdensome. This can be done through creating opportunities for social bonding while fostering a supportive environment for mentors and volunteers. These takeaways are instrumental in cultivating a thriving volunteer community.

Dora offers a piece of wisdom for others embarking on a similar journey like her: “Go with the flow and enjoy the journey ahead. Embrace connections with diverse individuals and embark your journey with an open heart as you engage with different perspectives and new experiences.

Throughout, I’d remind myself of the long-term commitment I knew ahead from the start and enjoy this process. You should prioritise your enjoyment and fulfillment when exploring different opportunities that lie ahead.”   

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