The offerings from City Harvest Church’s second all-night prayer meeting went to funding the good works of Melrose Home, a shelter for children and teenagers.
By Dawn Seow
After its second week of all-night prayer meeting held on Sep. 14, City Harvest Church brought a love gift to fund the good works at Melrose Home.
The church is committed to donating part of the offerings collected from each prayer meeting to a charity organization each week. The team had paid a visit to Apex Harmony Lodge the week before.
Managed by the Children’s Aid Society, Melrose Home houses 65 children and teenagers whose parents or family members are unable to provide care for or supervise them. Located on Clementi Road, the home also has an outdoor playground, a basketball court and a football field, altogether providing a safe and conducive environment for the children to grow in and to develop their talents.
The Children’s Aid Society is one of the oldest philanthropic organizations in Singapore. It was founded in the late 1890s as St. Nicholas Home and its present name was established in 1902.
CHC’s team visited the home on Sep. 19 to bring a gift of S$10,000.
A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
While the main function of the home is to provide residential care for the children, there is also a need to ensure the children receive proper academic help. The home therefore works closely with the schools to monitor the children’s academic development.
Many lower primary children come into the home with no pre-school education and they find it hard to catch up with school standards. The home ensures the children receive ample academic guidance and tuition support by bringing in volunteer tutors to coach the students in their studies. A reading program, KidsREAD, conducted by volunteers, is also in place to help the children inculcate reading habits and improve literacy skills.
The challenge of the home is in finding volunteers who can commit long-term. The staff at Melrose Home revealed that they are constantly looking for volunteer tutors who can teach for a minimum of six months, so that they can provide a more consistent learning environment.
Melrose Home’s ultimate aim is to re-integrate the children back to their families when their home circumstances have improved. The home works with the parents, family members and teachers to address family-related issues and the well-being of the children. The social workers customize an Individual Care Plan for each child, identifying issues and actions to be taken for the various development of the child.
An aftercare program is also in place when a child leaves the home to return to the family. The social worker will maintain contact with the child, make home visits and collaborate closely with the teachers or school counselors to monitor the child’s development. The Home set up “Melrose Club” in 2009 to offer continued mentoring and support to discharged children.
While the government provides funding, the home still depend on the donations from the public to sustain their operation. The amount donated by City Harvest Church will help in the cost of operating Melrose Home.