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Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MS, DABA, FAMS, senior consultant and assistant professor at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore, volunteers with her sons on their school-sponsored global concern service visits to Cambodia. The volunteer group supports Kuma Cambodia School and Education Center, which was established for impoverished children, and performs outreach in the community outside Phnom Penh. The group also supports Epic Arts, which is part of an international, inclusive arts organization established to teach dance and music to disabled children and adults. It is based in Cambodia and registered as a charity in the United Kingdom.
During these volunteer trips, Dr. Siddiqui works with the student volunteers to coordinate social integration, school building, and community involvement exercises, while also spending time getting to know the local students and offering whatever additional assistance they can.
“I am an anesthesiologist and intensivist by training and have been on medical missions in the past; however, I find these trips, where I can volunteer my time and humanism, just as gratifying. I can reflect, together with my children, on how we, as humans, can be of service,” shared Dr. Siddiqui. “At times nonmedical volunteering with others can invoke in us a humble, empathetic understanding and respect for the human spirit and what it can achieve.”