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  wild people: Vilma

Truly a Woman of Nature, Vilma brings elegant passion into her many nature programmes. Always patient and positive of spirit, she is a joy to work for and with.

Despite her huge workload, Vilma still continues to initiate and run an amazing range of outreach efforts. She attributes this to a wonderful group of dedicated nature volunteers who always rally around when she calls for help. Her work makes a major impact on raising nature awareness, especially among our children.
Her quiet but determined and untiring dedication is an inspiration to all, young and old.

Here is more about Vilma in her own words ...

How did you first get involved in working for nature in Singapore?
i was a member of the malayan nature society eons ago, but my membership lapsed whilst i was away studying in the US for 4 years. when i returned to singapore in 1995, i lamented what i thought at the time, the dearth of 'wildness' in singapore. i yearned to return to the States, where i had enjoyed long road trips communing with nature and the outdoors. my friends got fed up with my grumbles about the lack of wildness and nature in singapore and told me to go join the nature society (singapore). i am glad i did! it changed my life! ha! ha! boy, it did!

singapore has loads to offer in terms of 'wildness'. i learnt, through my many nature walks with the NSS, that there is wildlife here on our very own island. i learnt more about our wildness, and grew to love singapore more. the turning point came when my nss friends suggested that i contribute to nss by organising nature activities. my first 'project' was to organise a trip to kuala belalong field studies centre in brunei. i enjoyed that tremendously... the trip turned out ok and i decided i'd like to contribute more time to nature and the nature society... so i agreed to joining the nss council and be chair of the education group of the nss. and so, here i am. a volunteer with the nss, devoting my free time to sharing the wonder of nature with kids and their families.

What do you get out of working for nature?
working for nature is a passion for me... without it, my spirit would die! :) i live to advocate for nature in singapore, to share the wonder.

What is your approach/personal motto in your work?
to share the wonder. that's the goal of the education group of the nss. hey, there is nature in singapore... i feel we've gotta get our kids to know more about our very own native plants and animals... they know more about the animals on the discovery channel or in story books set in the english countryside or the american prairies... or they know the animals they see in our zoo or bird park... many of which are fauna from other countries... our work at the nature society is to help kids learn more about their natural heritage, about the plants and animals that call singapore home. and gosh, there are quite a number!!

What are some of your current projects?
there are 2 NSS projects that i am currently involved in:

fun with nature in schools. this project introduces kids (primary school) to our native animals. we hope kids will come to know and love our natural heritage through the project. generously sponsored by HSBC, when a primary school participates in fun with nature, the school will receive:
(a) an assembly talk on "singapore's amazing wildlife" showcasing our lovely native animals in their natural habitat/natural home
(b) a nature exhibition on "singapore's amazing wildlife" -- we will set up this nature exhibition at the school and leave it there for 2 weeks
(c) a 2-hour show and tell workshop on a native animal group for up to 40 kids. topics include: fun with birds, fun with butterflies, fun with frogs, fun with reptiles and fun with fish.

we are taking bookings for fun with nature for terms 3 and 4. please contact me at vdroza@nie.edu.sg to sign your school up for fun with nature soon!

nature society's circle of life on 6 november at millenia walk, generously sponsored by epson epSITE imaging gallery, HSBC, asia pacific breweries and millenia walk. this event aims to showcase singapore's amazing biodiversity, the plants and animals that call singapore home. circle of life aims to involve 1000 people, many of whom will be students, each holding a life card representing an animal or plant native to singapore and still living in singapore... we wanna show the wierd and wonderful wildness we have in singapore...

our hope? .... that all singaporeans begin to be more aware about singapore's biodiversity, learn to love our natural heritage more, and strive in no small way to safeguard our wild places and our wildlife for future generations. we need tons of volunteers to hold up life cards and make a stand for biodiversity in singapore! please email me at vdroza@nie.edu.sg if interested to help. besides a showcase of biodiversity, circle of life will bring together all nature lovers to enjoy nature art, nature games, nature walks and fun with nature! watch this blog for more information.

in conjunction with circle of life, epson epSITE imaging gallery will be showcasing digital art paintings of native animals and plants, and nature, in abstract, semi-abstract and real-life form, at the epSITE imaging gallery at wheelock place from sep 17 to october 31. this exhibition is called the circle of life exhibition. do visit the epSITE imaging gallery, 510 orchard road, #03-18/19 wheelock place, phone 67364986, www.epson.com.sg admission is free

You can contact me at vdroza@nie.edu.sg
For more info on nature society (singapore), visit www.nss.org.sg

Vilma says she "looks younger than i am! ha! ha! i am very old". Her day job is as sub-dean, counselling and development foundation programmes office, and associate professor, psychological studies academic group national institute of education nanyang technological university. Her many volunteer roles include chair, education group, nature society (singapore).
Posted by otterman Posted on 31/08/04 09:01
Vilma burst into the scene not too long ago andd I was amazed at her hunger to learn and then to quickly initiate constructive work. She has been a boon to the society as well as to the many people at the receiving end of the education projects.

Vilma was part of the Hopea sangal Working Group that began work when the tree was cut, liasoned with the press, came for meetings at NParks, produced a programme for the Sculpture Symposium and then struggled to find a suitable site for the sculptures.

No matter when and where, she, like the rest of the working group, would turn up for meetings scheduled with various people at various times.

Now she is helping to pass on the education programme prepared for the launch, to a group of secondary school students, in an effort to help them teach younger students!

She has always focused on doing the right thing for the tragically felled tree and the public, never compromising with easy options.

She is a true guardian angel with the engine of an idealist - this lady has a very, very young heart! Lucky for us.

More on how YOU can make a difference too...

these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
website©ria tan 2004