Steps walked, grains “clocked”: Ridge View Residential College goes the distance for needy families

The sturdy walking shoes of staff and students at Ridge View Residential College (RVRC) were put to good use when the RVRC community took part in various walks and treks in Singapore to clock the distance for a charitable cause, while taking in the sights.

Besides a healthier lifestyle and forged friendships, every step the staff and students took together also contributed to the “FairPrice Walk for Rice + @ South East” programme to feed needy families. First organised in 2009, the initiative is a collaboration between NTUC FairPrice Foundation Ltd and South East Community Development Council, which donates one bowl of white rice, one bowl of brown rice and one bowl of oatmeal to a needy family residing in the Southeast district for every 300 metres walked by a participant.

Through various walks organised over a three-month period from November 2022 to January 2023, the RVRC participants accumulated a total of 1161.64 kilometres walked, or 3,872 bowls of white rice, brown rice, and oatmeal donated to needy families.

Going the distance for good

The annual college walk holds twin motivations for students to learn about their immediate surroundings, and to contribute towards a meaningful social cause. Aligned with the residential living-learning model of Residential Colleges (RCs) at NUS, walking together as a community provides a meaningful opportunity to enhance the RC spirit, with the added dimension of doing social good.

This year marks the sixth time that the RVRC has participated in Walk for Rice, with RV Explorers leading the way for their RC mates by organising two treks in January. The first ‘sunset trail’ walk consisted of a trek from RVRC to Berlayer Creek, and a coastal boardwalk trail bringing them to HarbourFront. The second walk spanned over eight kilometres across the Southern Ridges, bringing participants from the RVRC lawn, through Telok Blangah Hill and Henderson Waves, to Mount Faber.

RVRC Fellow Ms Patricia Lorenz, who is also Senior Lecturer and Academic Advisor to the RV Explorers, expressed her pride at how the RV Explorers organised the walks and mobilised the RVRC community to come together.

“Walking in nature is always refreshing, but knowing one can help others in need, by doing what is beneficial to one’s own wellbeing, adds a second dimension to the activity,” she added.

In step with RVRC’s emphasis on outdoor education and experiential learning, additional course field trips organised as part of three courses of the RVRC programme also contributed to the final step count through explorations of different areas of Singapore, including Bukit Brown Cemetery, Labrador Park & Nature Reserve, and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Collectively, 179 RVRC students and three fellows participated in the course field trips  and accumulated 450.6km towards the total.

“Walk for Rice is a meaningful campaign which enables people to keep active, enjoy the outdoors, and destress, while contributing to a good cause. It was great that many RVRC residents took time out of their hectic schedules to join in,” said Khoo Wei Zhi, a Year 3 Chemical Engineering undergraduate.

“I hope that this initiative has introduced walking and trekking to the participants and will encourage them to continue to be active in the upcoming semester!” he quipped.

By Ridge View Residential College