CHCSA recognizes that there are people who need help in every stratum of society, and their services address this issue by spanning across a spectrum of demographics. With a total of eight separate programs, CHCSA is well-equipped to help the less fortunate.
Contributed By Jeremy Chua
The K.I.T.E. program is designed to help and develop young children to reach their fullest potential. K.I.T.E. volunteers make weekly visits to more than 2,000 families to engage both the children and the adults, strengthening relationships within the family itself.
The K.I.T.E. program also addresses emotional needs by providing counseling services, with over 200 families benefitting from these sessions.
A Smartkids tuition program aids over 150 children in their studies, in the form of academic guidance, as well as teaching the children how to cope with the mental and emotional stresses of school.
With the YoungTalents program, children are encouraged to explore and develop their hidden talents in the creative arts, enhancing their self-esteem and self-confidence. With opportunities to participate in well-received musicals such as When I Grow Up, SPECIAL, and Fish Ball Ping Pong, children are empowered to give back to society by bringing the creative arts to the less fortunate, and donations are pumped back into the program to make it more inclusive.
Through various programs and activities, RAYZ enables people with special needs to become a contributing member of society. RAYZ clients are exposed to experiences that help build up confidence and social skills. Such events include taking part in the Thong Chai Charity Show that was broadcasted nation-wide and even showing off their spelling skills in a specially-designed spelling bee in front of hundreds of people.
RAYZ also organizes excursions and activities that help bond the families of their clients together, showing them that they are not alone, and that help is readily at hand whenever they need it. Other services of RAYZ include the essential parent support group meetings, training sessions and weekly home visits. RAYZ emphatically shows society that people with special needs can lead fulfilling and productive lives as they help clients integrate into mainstream society.
878 regular service users in 2010
686 individuals with special needs benefited from RAYZ services
320 RAYZ clients receive weekly home visits
389 residents from Sunlove, Mindsville and Guillemard Gardens School took part in RAYZ activities
The People Of Destiny center is targeted specifically at the youth-at-risk in Singapore. Understanding that the issues facing youth are varied and complex, the center helps them navigate this tricky season of their lives. The POD center was opened in 1997 in collaboration with the Tampines Changkat Citizen’s Consultative Development Youth and Sports, to make a difference in the youth of Tampines GRC.
POD achieves its aims by organizing a plethora of activities such as sports events, community involvement projects and youth events to engage their target demographic, in addition to their center which provides a safe and conducive environment for youth to make friends, explore and grow.
CHCSA leveraged on the tech-savviness of the youth and launched a cyber-counseling program. An online channel where youth can raise their concerns to trained in-house counselors via e-mail exchanges, this program has a lofty goal of going beyond merely helping counselees to empowering them to become part of a “helping chain,” to be able to help others when the need arises
CHCSA’s Old Friends program provides care for the elderly, while cultivating an environment for senior citizens to age gracefully.
A partner with the South East Community Development Council since 1999, the Community Outreach Program for the Elderly reaches out to around 450 elderly persons living in estates across Singapore.
Luncheons, field trips and camps are all part of a repertoire of creative outreach ideas aimed at befriending the elderly, and adding value to their lives.
Exciting things are in the pipeline for COPE’s beneficiaries in the first half of 2011, with an eldercare services center located near the Mountbatten Constituency. Dubbed the House Of Joy, this center will incorporate facilities such as multi-purpose rooms for meeting and training purposes, an IT learning hub, a recreational and leisure area for the elderly to socialize and interact, and even a snack bar for the elderly.
Over 100 senior citizens are beneficiaries of a regular meal and groceries distribution program, and over 1,000 senior citizens receive practical help through the befriender’s program.
2,480 regular service users in 2010
1,238 low-income senior citizens were visited by Befrienders in their homes
1,173 senior citizens are regularly engaged through excursions and other outreach activities .
Talking Hands volunteers have to undergo a Basic Language Course so as to communicate better with the hearing-impaired. Envisioned as a “social platform that is easily available to individuals with hearing-impairments,” Talking Hands actively engages their clients with a multitude of activities that include island-wide races, a food and blogging club, and more.
By allowing social interaction and fellowship, Talking Hands widens the social circles of their clients, allowing them to gain more confidence in themselves, and have a smoother integration into mainstream society. Volunteers expend more effort in focusing on the hearing-impaired as they converse in sign language. At Talking Hands, the hearing-impaired feel that someone cares enough to listen to them and that, indeed, is the first duty of love.
STrengthen And Restore, or STAR family services, is the arm of CHCSA that caters to families in need, through a combination of financial and social counseling, as well as helping parents with basic life and work skills. STAR also helps, on a case-by-case basis, families with legitimate financial needs and provision of groceries and daily necessities.
By standing with the client and providing practical assistance, STAR hopes to strengthen their resilience and help them see that there are solutions for every difficult situation they find themselves in.
STAR runs a series of educational workshops that expound on practical issues that a family faces, such as sound financial habits and practices, learning how to relate to one another in the family and build strong relationships, as well as parenting skills.
205 regular service users in 2010
45 families and individuals received in-depth family centered counseling
67 families received visitation and befriending services
66 families in need received welfare support
Mighty Men in the Making, or M3, aims to help ex-offenders along the road of rehabilitation.
Reaching out to inmates at various levels, from individual attention to small group sessions, M3 volunteers enter Changi Prison Complex to conduct fortnightly workshops that restore the self-esteem and confidence of inmates. These motivational workshops help them re-discover their dreams and aspirations for life, and prepare them for life after prison.
M3 also has a comprehensive follow-up program to provide encouragement and continual assistance to former inmates. The follow-up offers practical help in the form of job recommendations, workshops on how to prepare for an upcoming interview, and also sourcing for halfway homes.
FIRST Hand is the arm of CHCSA that reaches out to people suffering from Aids/HIV, helping them live out their lives with dignity.
Volunteers receive mandatory training at the Communicable Disease Centre to prepare them for this grueling, but ultimately satisfying work. FIRST Hand is highly committed to their work, with weekly visits to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital and CDC.
Initiatives by FIRST Hand include home and ward visits to help and serve Aids/HIV patients, as well as free grocery deliveries to the more needy patients. But even as practical needs are met, FIRST Hand volunteers do not neglect the goal of their mission—to be a friend to the terminally-ill by availing their presence, a listening ear and emotional support to the patients who are sorely in need of warm human contact.
In 2005, FIRST Hand took their service to Aids/HIV sufferers even further by starting Touch and Aroma Therapy sessions during the ward visitations.
On the community level, FIRST Hand is also part of the Singapore Aids Candlelight Memorial which is held annually in memory of those whom the disease had claimed.
Another service that CHCSA has for the terminally-ill is MS Care, which provides comprehensive help to people suffering from multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease.
This is an extremely damaging illness, both physically and emotionally, but MS Care has measures set in place to help alleviate the suffering of MS patients. The volunteers work hard to help patients achieve a better quality of life. Befriending sessions are organized, as well as various recreational activities so that volunteers and patients can build firm friendships, as well as for patients to find support and understanding from people suffering from the same disease. One of the highlights was a kite-flying outing at the Promontory @ Marina Bay last year.
MS Care has also set up a 24-hour hotline that patients may call in for a listening ear and moral support, and a MS Assistance Fund in partnership with NUH Patientcare Charity Fund to help financially needy patients to pay for the expensive medication that is prescribed for their treatment.
228 First Hand regular service users in 2010
279 MS Care regular service users in 2010
195 terminally-ill patients received welfare support
210 patients benefited from outreach and befriending activities