Crafting a brand new future

Mr Goh (far right)

FOR years, 70-year-old Mike Goh lived in a rather ‘closed’ world, shuttling between home and work in a factory. Even while abroad on assignment, he seldom got involved with the larger community.

So when an illness led him back to Singapore and into a voluntary early retirement, he was at a loss. After six months of ‘not having to report to a boss’, he had no clue what else to do with his life.

Then he came across YAH! which spoke about ‘ageing with a purpose’. But Mike was sceptical. Could they really help him to find the meaning in life he so desired?

He signed up for their lifelong learning course nonetheless and picked up tips on how to manage one’s family and relationships as well as cope with death and bereavement. More importantly, he met people who were more interested in his future than his past. Slowly, Mike began to discover another side of himself.

Through the activities at YAH! and their collaboration with other agencies, Mike realised he loved singing, acting and public speaking.

He is now learning to sing Mandarin pop songs not just to pass the time, but to improve his memory and general health. He also travels across Singapore to act in short skits that raise awareness about problem gambling.

As a result of this, he has signed up as a volunteer with local theatre company Drama Box, to learn more about Forum Theatre, a form of theatre that encourages audiences to explore possible actions they can take to change their circumstances.

He hopes to apply the Forum Theatre concept to the skits he performs to promote responsible gambling. This is in his role as YAH!’s Problem Gambling Prevention Ambassador.

Says the 69-year-old: “I want to be mentally and physically active. I want to learn but I also want to give back. I just did not know how. YAH! has helped me to explore my interests and guided me to do the things I love. The old me used to live for work, now I live for my passion.”

Eager to get started? Find out more about YAH! by clicking here.

With the growth of free online courses, learning need not be confined to the classroom. Find out how one group of seniors is also learning from one another in what looks to be a new trend taking off.

Click here to read more.

Article published on: 26/1/2016