Mary’s* husband was convicted for drugs and imprisoned in 2010. Being a mother of three school-going children, Mary felt stuck in a rut, left alone to take care of them while still making a living. “Shame, fear, anxiety and helplessness overwhelmed me,” she shared. “For three months, I secluded myself and cried day and night. Bills stacked up as money was scarce.
“One day, while visiting my husband in Changi Prison, I chanced upon a poster about The Salvation Army’s ‘Kids in Play’ (KIP) programme. When I called to make an appointment, what really struck me was the warmth and genuine interest of the caseworkers who were so loving, warm and sincere. Since then, I have found that in any situation, help is always at hand. God is good.
“As my children began attending the KIP programme, they were treated to many trips and outings that we otherwise could not afford. The children were also taught how to handle their emotional issues and cope better with challenges.
“The Salvation Army rendered help by sourcing for a new bed when I had to throw away mine due to bug infestation. When they heard my little girl’s study table was broken, a table and four chairs were delivered to my home. We truly felt blessed and cared for.”
Today, Mary is supporting others like her in the Women Helping Other Women Choir or WHOW Choir, started to empower women like her to give their voice to the cause of helping others.
The WHOW Choir and the KIP programme that gave support to Mary and her children are programmes run by The Salvation Army in Singapore. The Salvation Army has been touching lives in Singapore since 1935! And we remain committed in serving the underprivileged in the community without any discrimination. To us, every life is equally precious and we actively help those in need regardless of age, race or religion.
Throughout the years, we have established a comprehensive network of social services to meet a wide range of needs in our community.
Gracehaven and The Haven are two residential homes currently serving more than a hundred children and young people who require care, protection and rehabilitation. Individual care plans are developed to address each child’s specific needs.
A range of sports and outdoor activities, as well as music and drama lessons, are offered to the residents to enable them to express their creativity, thoughts and feelings. These activities and lessons enhance the residents’ physical fitness and help them learn the value of teamwork.
Peacehaven Nursing Home offers a range of comprehensive services to care for the sick, frail and elderly who have physical or mental disabilities. Separate Resident Living Areas (RLA) located within the Home are designed to simulate a home-like environment whereby residents are provided with clinical therapy and pastoral care through on-site access to services from a general practitioner, dietician, geriatrician, speech therapist and pharmacist.
A day centre located within the community, Peacehaven Bedok Multi-Service Centre also offers rehabilitative programmes which enable senior citizens to lead fulfilling, active lives and age gracefully within the community. It offers social day care, dementia day care as well as ‘Singapore Programme for Integrated Care for the Elderly’ (SPICE) which provides medical attention to elderly living in the community.
Family Support Services is a community-based centre serving the poor and elderly in the Bukit Ho Swee and Redhill housing estates. This centre receives no government funding and is heavily dependent on public donations to fund its core programmes offering social and casework management, food ration assistance, elderly befriending services and support groups for the elderly and the poor.
Prison Support Services-Kids In Play provides professional support for children of imprisoned parents, like Mary’s children. With various programmes and services to the caregivers and children, the KIP outreach programme helps to maintain family ties and relationship between parents and children during the period of imprisonment.
Through the Family Bonding Programme, children are given an opportunity to interact with their imprisoned parents without physical barriers. This structured programme conducted inside prisons aims to keep the inmates
motivated with family support and to prevent the breakdown of the family unit due to incarceration. Emotional and practical support is also offered to the children through a befriending and mentoring programme.
The Youth Development Centre reaches out to young people living in the Kallang and Geylang Bahru areas, and engages them with a variety of sports, musical and social activities to impart life skills that will help them build a strong foundation for their future. It also operates a drop-in centre to provide the youths with a safe and conducive place to study.
Red Shield Industries (RSI) is the social enterprise arm of The Salvation Army. By re-using, recycling and restoring donations in kind from the public and corporations, it generates income through its Family Thrift Stores to support our mission to provide holistic care to the community and assist with humanitarian projects in times of crisis and emergency.
RSI is also committed to providing work-therapy job opportunities, and collaborates with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for their clients to work at the RSI ‘Pick n Choose Store’ to facilitate their reintegration into the workforce.
How can you help? Volunteers can choose to serve in direct services (e.g. by providing academic mentorship, befriending and/or sharing a skill with our beneficiaries), or in indirect support services (e.g. by offering their expertise in photography and web design, helping to sort and process donations-in-kind to the Army, and/or helping at fundraising events such as ringing the bells at our Christmas Kettle Appeal).
20 Bishan Street 22, Singapore 579768
• Volunteer Manager
Ms Lynette Liew
• Gracehaven Children’s Home
3 Lorong Napiri, Singapore 547528
Tel: 6580-2250 / 6580-2282
• The Haven Children’s Home
350 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118692
• Family Support Services
42 Beo Crescent, #01-95, Singapore 160042
• Prison Support Services-Kids In Play
7 Upper Changi Road North, Singapore 507705
Tel: 6546-5867 / 6546-5866
• Peacehaven Nursing Home
9 Upper Changi Road North, Singapore 507706
• Peacehaven Bedok Multi-service Centre
Blk 121 Bedok North Road, #01-161/163, Singapore 460121
• Youth Development Centre
Blk 65 Kallang Bahru, #01-305, Singapore 330065
For information on The Salvation Army Child Care Centres and
Red Shield Industries Donation In Kind Booths and Thrift Shops,
please call Ms Catherine Loh at 6555-0236.
The WHOW Choir is looking for more women to join them – interested persons are invited to call 6555-0212.
To find out more about opportunities for volunteers, please email volunteer@SMM.salvationarmy.org
* Not her real name.
Photo courtesy of The Salvation Army
Linda Auyong is Director of Social & Community Services (Singapore) in The Salvation Army.