Outreach, Welfare

MWS to partner churches to bring more help to the needy

THE METHODIST WELFARE SERVICES (MWS) aims to work closely with Methodist churches in bringing more help to those in need, said its new Chairman, Mr David Wong Cheong Fook.

Mr Wong, who is the Local Church Executive Committee Chairman of Wesley Methodist Church (WMC), and who also serves as an independent director on several statutory boards and listed companies, and other office-bearers were elected to the MWS’ 22nd Board of Governance (BOG) at its Annual General Meeting on Sept 17, 2011.

With the completion of the 125th Anniversary Community Outreach Project of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS), which saw church members from the different Methodist churches befriending more than 1,000 chronically-poor families and providing them financial assistance every month, the MWS plans to continue serving them through a long-term sustained effort called the “Walk with the Poor” Programme.

Under this initiative, the MWS will partner Methodist churches that are keen to continue this ministry to offer sustained assistance and support to an estimated 500 chronically-poor families. It will continue to mobilise volunteer befrienders from the churches who will make scheduled visits to the families every month. Courses to further train and equip befrienders are being developed, and will be rolled out soon.

With this programme, the MWS hopes to break the poverty cycle that many of these families are trapped in, by focusing on improving the education of children from these families. Giving them access to tuition and enrichment programmes will encourage them to stay in school and pursue higher education, which in turn will allow them to enjoy a higher standard of living in the future.

Mrs Jenny Bong, Group Executive Director of the MWS, said: “New plans and initiatives such as these will require the MWS to constantly improve its standard of social service delivery. Therefore, we must continue to build our capabilities and invest in the talent that is available in our 300-plus employees at the MWS.” Mr Gan Kok Beng, the Assistant Honorary Secretary, said: “The MWS has the professional expertise to better help our churches in their social concerns outreach programmes. We will have to identify how and what can be done to utilise this network of resources to reach a wider community. is will also allow us to be able to work closer with the churches.”

Said the Rev Dr Daniel Koh Kah Soon, the Vice-Chairman: “We must constantly keep in mind that the MWS is the social outreach arm of The Methodist Church in Singapore. is means that we will have to work closely with our churches, and to challenge more Methodists to pray for, and support our work with their funds and personal voluntary service. We, as Methodists, are all involved in the ministry of the MWS, because of our faith in God who loves us, and [because of] our desire to share this love of God with others.”

Some of the other newly-elected office-bearers have served on past boards of the MWS. ey include Mrs Tan Ee Leng, the Honorary Secretary, a member of WMC; Mr Joseph Toh Guan Kiat, the Honorary Treasurer, who attends Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church (QCMC); and Mrs Fong Loo Fern, the Assistant Honorary Treasurer, who is from Cairnhill Methodist Church.

The new MWS Board welcomed new faces to inject fresh ideas and insight. Bringing their experiences and skills from various professions are three new members: Dr Lee Wee Leong (Faith Methodist Church), Dr David Foo Chee Guan (WMC), and Mr Eugene Toh Ming Hong (QCMC).

Dr Lee is currently Assistant Professor (Practice) of Information Systems at the School of Information Systems at the Singapore Management University. Dr Foo is the Head of the Department of Cardiology at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore.

For Mr Toh, helping and supporting the needy is something close to his heart. As the head of the outreach ministry at QCMC, he is in charge of planning the church’s social concerns strategy, which includes serving residents through working closely with the community. He manages this on top of his day job as the Head of Department for the Policy and Planning Department/Research and Statistics Unit at the Energy Market Authority.

The following are members of the MWS’ 22nd BOG: Mr David Wong Cheong Fook, Chairman; the Rev Dr Daniel Koh Kah Soon, Vice-Chairman; Mrs Tan Ee Leng, Honorary Secretary; Mr Gan Kok Beng, Assistant Honorary Secretary, Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) Board of Social Concerns (BOSC) Representative; Mr Joseph Toh Guan Kiat, Honorary Treasurer; Mrs Fong Loo Fern, Assistant Honorary Treasurer, Mrs Loh Chay Leng, Mr Robin Cheong Chak Khiong, Dr Lee Wee Leong, Dr David Foo, Mr Eugene Toh (Members); Mr Albert Lim Song Khiang, Mr Chan Kum Kit, Mr Wendell Wong Him Pkin, Mr Aubeck Kam Tse Tsuen (Co-opted); the Rev William Sam Kin Leong, Co-opted, Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC) BOSC Representative; Ms Dorothy Lim, Co-opted, GC-WSCS President; and Mr David Alexander Ong Liang Bong, MCS Representative.

Janice Lin is an Executive, Communications and Fundraising, of the Methodist Welfare Services.