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#ActionForHer: Growing Our Circles of Care

Marymount SMC Branch Activists With MP Ms Gan Siow Huang

Jenny Lee, our founder attended the PAP Women’s Wing Annual Conference on 10 September 2022, Saturday which was held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

Jenny shared with us “I am actively volunteering during the pandemic period and with the leadership and guidance from Marymount SMC MP, Ms Gan Siow Huang, I learned to see things from different perspectives. I also believe as we united together to help and care for one another, we will forge a better environment and steer towards a better future.”

As Party activists, we recognise the importance of supporting our caregivers as the nation works toward strengthening its social compact. Women’s development is a journey without end and we are committed to playing our part to grow the circles of care to ensure that no one is left behind.

Volunteering for a charity, lending a hand to a friend who needs it, or doing something for others without expecting anything are great ways to nurture your intrinsic motivation.

It was an awe-inspiring event with Deputy Prime Minister, Lawrence Wong together with Women’s Wing Chairperson, Mrs Josephine Teo and moderated by Nee Soon MP, Ms Carrie Tan to share the callings on how we could strengthen the community support around caregiving and parenting. In the fire chat discussions, strong encouragement urges people to change their mindsets to advance women’s development. Promoting a remote workforce to improve productivity and flexibility for women and staff who are not being judged to affect their work results, enabling more choices and less stress at work.

Caregiving takes a village and everyone must chip in to help lighten the load – one that still often falls heavily on our women.

With the theme #ActionForHer: Growing Our Circles of Care, The People’s Action Party (PAP) and PAP Women’s Wing have called for action to support women in their caregiving responsibilities, and invite all Singaporeans to step forward and be part of the care ecosystem in Singapore.

PAP Women’s Wing stands together with 23 Exhibitors  (social service agencies and ground-up groups) pushing for change to help our women in Singapore. 

1. Autoimmune Diseases of Singapore (新加坡自体免疫性疾病协会)

Autoimmune Diseases Singapore seeks to raise awareness and share information about autoimmune diseases relevant to Singapore and Asia. It has an informal support group that brings together those formally diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. About 80 per cent of those diagnosed with autoimmune diseases are women. Through online sharing and community activities, it hopes that people diagnosed with autoimmune diseases can keep a positive mindset to overcome the challenges they face.

2. Be Kind SG (行善新加坡)

Be Kind SG is a non-profit organisation that aims to create and inspire a kind and inclusive society for persons with invisible disabilities such as intellectual disabilities and autism. One of the programmes it runs is Play. Able, a play and toy library for children with special needs and their caregivers. A safe space for children to play and families to meet each other, Play. Able enables caregivers, especially those new on the caregiving journey, to have access to resources and toys.

3. Chamber Music and Arts Singapore (新加坡室内乐与艺术)

Formerly known as Tang Tee Khoon (董帝均) Grand Series, a concert series that originated from a debut recital Tang Tee Khoon presented in 2009 while playing on a J.B. Guadagnini violin loaned to her by the National Arts Council in Singapore, Chamber Music and Arts Singapore (CMAS) is directed by the same team that has led TTK Grand Series since 2014.

A registered charity since June 2021, Chamber Music and Arts Singapore continuously strives to bring great chamber music and chamber arts to communities through its evening concerts, concerts for children, programmes for youths, The Glasshouse, Homegrown Series, and its activities in the community.

CMAS aims to bring the best music and musicians to communities it connects with; to use music to cultivate compassionate understanding and connection between people; to inspire the love of music in people, especially young people; and to be a space where musicians and artists can develop.

4. Dementia Singapore (新加坡失智症机构)

Formerly known as the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Dementia Singapore was formed in 1990 to better serve Singapore’s growing dementia community, increase awareness about dementia, and reduce the stigma surrounding the condition.

As the leading social service agency in specialised dementia care in Singapore, Dementia Singapore advocates for the needs of people living with dementia and their families; empowers the community through capability-building, knowledge and consultancy; and delivers quality and person-centred care innovations.

5. E for Endometriosis

Established in 2012 and registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in 2017, E for Endometriosis is the first Endometriosis support group in Singapore, “paving the way” for a future where Endometriosis care is no longer foreign to our community. Its advocacy efforts include organising public talks, collaborating with hospitals, clinics, and other organisations, and working with the Health Promotion Board and Members of Parliament.

6. Fertility Support SG

Run by a group of Singapore women who felt alone while facing infertility and miscarriages, Fertility Support SG aims to create a community where couples facing infertility could get the right information and share experiences of infertility and loss, gaining support without being stigmatised. The Group runs educational campaigns, hosts support groups and provides practical tips and access to useful information via interviews with doctors and experts.

Fertility Support SG encourages Singaporeans to join its community as fellow warriors or allies by sharing their stories, normalising these issues, and supporting those who face infertility.

7. GenLab Collective

A non-profit ground-up initiative, GenLab Collective provides a platform for seniors and youths to share, learn and collaborate with the aim of bridging generation gaps. It also empowers seniors to contribute to the community by leveraging their valuable skills and knowledge.

GenLab Collective believes in strengthening relations across generations, where extended family members can support their senior family members, and seniors can pass on their experiences and values to the next generation.

8. Go With The Motion Singapore

The cost of diapers, at an average of $10 a pack, can impose financial burdens on those who need them, from the elderly to persons with disabilities. Go With The Motion Singapore seeks to alleviate this by supporting them through a donation and distribution concept – donation boxes are placed island-wide for the public to donate adult diapers which are distributed to partnering social service agencies and beneficiaries.

Singaporeans can join GWTM as volunteers to deliver the diapers; donate adult diapers at GWTM donation boxes, and donate to the cause.

9. GoodHood.SG

GoodHood.SG is a ground-up movement to revive the kampung spirit, supported by a neighbourhood app. Launched during the Circuit Breaker in 2020, GoodHood.SG has supported over 30,000 acts of kindness including gifting pre-loved items and lending a helping hand such as running errands for neighbours.

GoodHood.sg believes that if neighbours interact more easily, our neighbourhoods will be better places to live in; and we should use technology to do good, unlike profit-maximising startups.

10. Hey, You Got Mail!

Hey, You Got Mail! (HYGM) is a ground-up, a non-profit initiative started during the pandemic to remind others about the importance of human connection. In particular, the team has focused its efforts on connecting with seniors who are more likely to be adversely impacted by social-distancing restrictions.

The team has embarked on a mission to combat senior social isolation through physical activities such as card writing, befriending, door-to-door distributions, and digital means like digital clinics and educational posts. Interested members of the public can sign up as volunteers on Telegram through @hygmbot.

11. KampungKakis

KampungKakis is a neighbourhood buddy system that aims to provide sustainable psychosocial support to isolated and frail seniors in the community, by matching them with neighbour volunteers based on proximity, spoken language and assistance types. A ground-up initiative that started during the height of the pandemic in 2020, KampungKakis’ vision is to build a community network across Singapore that is resilient and self-sustaining so that vulnerable seniors will not be left behind in times of crisis. KampungKakis is now a registered non-profit with a base of over 1,500 volunteers and supporting over 700 kakis-in-need.

12. Lions Befrienders

Established in 1995, Lions Befrienders (LB) has more than 26 years of experience in befriending and caring for seniors to enable them to age in place in the community. Over the years, LB strives to address the varied needs of more than 86,000 seniors by adopting a senior-centric approach to its eldercare services. Leveraging the support of some 1,500 regular volunteers, it actively engages more than 7,800 at-risk seniors through a spectrum of integrated eldercare services to provide holistic, high tech and high-touch care to ensure that the seniors are engaged.

LB currently operates 10 active ageing centres, three cluster support, two senior homes and home personal care services, and extends befriending services to socially isolated seniors.

13. Montfort Care

Montfort Care is a network of programmes committed to enhancing the lives of people, families, and the community facing transitional issues.

GoodLife! HomeBathing, a programme by Montfort Care, is an island-wide home bathing service for seniors who are bedridden and have physical limitations and mobility challenges. With the aim of providing a dignified warm bath for its clients in their homes, GoodLife! HomeBathing has served more than 600 baths since it started in 2018.

Taking referrals from the community and health institutions, GoodLife! HomeBathing also educates caregivers on how to clean their loved ones comfortably and provides psychological and emotional support when required.

14. Mum Space

With a vision that every mother is a mentor to their own children and a peer mentor for another mother, Mum Space is a community where mothers come to be refreshed.

Anchoring on the belief that mothers are the hearts of every family and when the heart is empowered, the entire family thrives, Mum Space has organised summits, monthly gatherings and courses where women, mentors and mentees, achieve personal growth through sharing their experiences.

15. Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) (新加坡肌肉萎缩症协会)

Formed by a group of individuals to support persons with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and their families facing the incurable and debilitating condition in March 2000, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) (MDAS) is a non-profit social service agency committed to uplifting the lives of children and adults living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD).

An Institution of Public Character (IPC) charity, MDAS understands the challenges of their members and their families. Their programmes and services range from life-skills training, enrichment, sports, health education, counselling, physiotherapy, respite care, and wheelchair-accessible transport to financial-related assistance, and are aimed at enhancing the quality of life of their members and families.

16. Over-The-Rainbow

Launched in 2012, Over-The-Rainbow (OTR), is a mental wellness initiative of the family foundation of Chow Yen-Lu and Yee Ling (周昱儒和妻子), in loving memory of their dear son and only child who ended his own life at the age of 26 after suffering for many years from manic depression.

A pioneer in youth mental health, OTR is an e-stop hub for youth mental wellness, innovating and pushing the envelope with wellness programmes and festivals, community outreach, volunteer training programmes, online support platforms, magazines, and digital campaigns, which collectively have touched nearly a million lives and transformed many others.

17. Playeum (儿戏轩)

Founded in 2009, Playeum is an Institution of a Public Character charity that focuses on amplifying the voices and abilities of all children through play and the arts. Through workshops, public outreach projects, and long-term play intervention programmes, Playeum creates a safe space and equal opportunities for children to develop the foundations they need to thrive – confidence, resilience, and creativity to lead their lives and make meaningful contributions, particularly those who come from low-income or disadvantaged families and those with special needs. Over the last five years, it has reached out to over 62,000 children and their adults in various settings.

18. Rare Disorders Society Singapore

Established in 2011, the Rare Disorder Society (Singapore) (RDSS) supports the community living with a rare condition in Singapore and aims to raise the awareness of individuals and organisations on the challenges such patients face and how we can do a part to help. To date, it has more than 150 families registered with RDSS. Serving as a platform to support and share resources and information more efficiently, the organisation aspires to build an inclusive ecosystem that improves the quality of life for its beneficiaries and families.

19. SG Assist

SG Assist was founded by Greg and Adrian in December 2018 who share similar experiences in taking care of their parents. Having gone through the toughest period, they realised how daunting the journey is for caregivers – the uncertainty, exhaustion and loneliness. Their personal experiences inspired them to come up with a sustainable solution to improve a caregiver’s life.

SG Assist today has a pool of 5,000 ~ passionate and growing neighbourhood – volunteer network that can support and lighten the burden of caregivers with ad-hoc assistance. We also successfully launched our care concierge services, empowering caregivers with smart home monitoring technologies and personalised care navigation support to provide timely and affordable assistance for their loved ones at home.

20. Singapore National Stroke Association (新加坡防止中风协会)

As the national support group for stroke survivors and caregivers, the Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA) was formed by the people they serve – stroke survivors and caregivers, with guidance from doctors and other health professionals.

SNSA provides help, support, and information to stroke survivors and caregivers. It organises free programmes, events, and activities and creates opportunities for stroke survivors and their caregivers to acquire relevant knowledge, experience a sense of solidarity on their journey towards holistic rehabilitation, and help to raise awareness of stroke prevention and management. Interested individuals may join SNSA as volunteers or befrienders.

21. Single Parent Support Group

Started in 2013, the Single Parent Support Group (SPSG) focuses on complimentary counselling for single parents. Specialising in child psychology and the mental well-being of children, she believes in developing children to be confident and creative through sports, arts, and music. She has her unique way of teaching and focuses on good parenting effects.

The founder is also a healer, a life coach, a relationship counsellor and understands cognitive behavioral therapy.

22. The Tapestry Project Singapore

Behind every statistic is a real person with a story to tell. Founded in 2014, the Tapestry Project SG is an independent non-profit digital publication that aspires to restore hope and reclaim dignity through the power of story. A volunteer-run organisation, Tapestry conducts narrative journaling workshops and writing circles that interweave nuanced and empowered conversations about mental health. These diverse stories are written by people with lived experience, caregivers, and the everyday person who share Tapestry’s vision – to create an inclusive, empathetic society for all who experience mental health challenges.

23. Vanguard Healthcare (先锋保健集团)

Since its inception in 2014, Vanguard Healthcare has been spearheading eldercare services. It currently operates five care homes at Pearl’s Hill, Woodlands, Tampines, Bukit Batok, and Senja.

In October 2021, Vanguard Healthcare, committed to supporting caregivers caring for their elderly, piloted the Night Respite Care service at Woodlands Senior Care Centre. Reaching out to the elderly near its care homes, Vanguard Healthcare desires for all seniors in the community to participate in the activities and services rendered at its senior care centres.

P.S. Information extracted from www.pap.org.sg

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