A safe and homely place to live in; love, care and support from family and the community. Many consider these to be the essentials for a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.
But the sad reality is that these basic needs for a dignified life are beyond the grasp of some individuals, for reasons or circumstances outside of their control.
Giving hope to a youth in crisis
Take 16-year-old Andrea*, for example. Neglected by her single mother who struggled to make ends meet, she sought comfort in the wrong places in her younger days—such as taking drugs, stealing and playing truant. Her situation was worsened by a neighbour who sexually exploited her. Deeply lonely, Andrea often ran away from home. She was eventually referred to the MWS Girls’ Residence (GR) which is managed by Methodist Welfare Services (MWS), where she was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
When Andrea first came to MWS GR, she was constantly in a low mood and regularly experienced traumatic flashbacks of being abused and neglected. She was placed on a trauma-informed and therapeutic programme, where MWS staff took almost two months to gain Andrea’s trust. The MWS GR care team supported her by helping her learn coping strategies and regulate her emotions. Andrea discovered her love and talent for music, and was encouraged to enrol in an Arts Incubation programme. While the path to recovery is long, she knows that she is not alone, and expresses more hope for her future.
“I am really proud of myself and thankful for the support that I have received from MWS GR. Without their guidance, I would have been lost,” shared Andrea.
Caring for a senior under duress
Another struggling individual is Mdm Saraswathy, 73—or Saras, as she likes to be known—was a former nurse who cared for patients for 45 years. While she has retired, the nursing role never left her as she became a full-time caregiver to her ailing 94-year-old mother and 82-year-old husband.
As a full-time caregiver, Saras accompanies her mother to all her medical appointments and hospital visits. When her mother had a hip replacement surgery, Saras was there to nurse her back to health. Her husband, who had heart bypass surgery, is also reliant on her for many daily activities such as walking and bathing. Under the immense strain of full-time caregiving, Saras felt greatly stressed and totally alone.
When MWS Charis Activity Centre for Elders – Geylang East opened below Saras’ flat in 2014, she decided to join as a member. There, Saras is able to enjoy respite from her daily caregiving responsibilities by participating in various activities that engage her mind, keep her healthy and enable her to connect with friends and family.
“Before this, I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Now I can share my problems with my friends here, and listening about their problems has somehow made me feel that mine aren’t the worst; instead, it makes me feel grateful,” said Saras.
A long helping journey
Andrea and Saras are just two of the many we serve at MWS. As the social concerns arm of The Methodist Church in Singapore, we are here to provide help at every level—the disadvantaged young or a vulnerable and isolated senior, the sick and frail or a distressed family. Our holistic and person-centred approach empowers our beneficiaries to take critical steps out of poverty brought on by financial distress, emptiness, trauma, illness, dysfunctional relationships or neglect. It is often a long arduous journey that requires perseverance, patience, love and kindness.
As a Methodist family, consider today to partner with MWS and take this long helping journey with those in need together.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal 6:9, NIV)
*Not her real name.
Help Us to Help at Every Level
Make a big-hearted donation to support the running of MWS’ holistic programmes. Besides offering services and programmes to address presenting problems, we also provide psychosocial and emotional support, and pastoral care to work through deep-seated issues.
Scan the QR code or visit mws.sg/help-at-every-level to donate.
On behalf of those we serve, thank you for your kindness and generosity.
By the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) Communications Team / Photo and visuals courtesy of MWS