Another Week Beyond – 1913

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends International Women’s Day falls on 8 March every year but despite missing the date, some of our interns felt strongly that it was important to recognize the contributions of women in the neighbourhood that they were working in.   So, in the same vein, they organized “Happy Women’s Day” to honour the achievements of the many women they had …

Another Week Beyond – 1912

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends In our endeavour to help youth develop into contributing members of our society, we provide opportunities. The opportunity to be forgiven and to put things right if one runs afoul of authority or the law; the opportunity to make headway in education and employment, the opportunity to experience family stability and the opportunity for social capital or friendships …

Another Week Beyond – 1911

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends Perhaps it was the name of the event as 15 boys showed up when we would have been happy with 8 to 10. “Bros and Burgers,” was a boys’ night we held this week for an honest and open conversation about relationships, sex, pornography, gender roles, peer pressure and teenage pregnancy. Two weeks ago, there was a girls’ …

Another Week Beyond – 1910

Alexandra Au Yong Another Week Beyond Leave a Comment

Dear Friends, Not too long ago, I was meeting a potential volunteer and the way she explained her motivation for wanting to support our work left me pondering after I left the meeting. “When you have been poor, it stays with you,” was a statement that hit me weightily. I could understand the words, but I doubt that I will …

Another Week Beyond – 1909

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends, With the support of an experienced facilitator who engages rural Indonesian communities on the issue of family planning, we organised a series of conversations which involved parents, youths and some volunteers who support them. This was not just about contraception but about the longer-term care of children, gender norms and roles as well as parents’ ability to guide …

Another Week Beyond – 1908

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends, It was a training week for our colleagues as they deepened their understanding and sharpened their practice of Family Group Conferencing which includes Community Conferencing (AWB – 1836).   This is a certification programme in partnership with the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences and supported by Daybreak Family Group Conferences and Eigen Kracht Centrale, the key conference coordinating agencies …

Another Week Beyond – 1907

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends, A planned conversation did not start on time. Many youths we invited did not show up and eventually the 8 that came were not familiar faces at our activities.  With the small number, the adults in the room outnumbered them and we were concerned that the youths would feel over-powered. Thankfully, the ice-breakers got people mingling and reduced …

Another Week Beyond – 1906

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends Since September last year, some of our colleagues have been corresponding with 15 undergraduates from the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences via email, WhatsApp and the occasional skype call. The communication provided the German students, a sense of the people and country they will be visiting on a study tour entitled, “Community-based child care and social work in …

Another Week Beyond – 1905

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dear Friends, We all know that when a decision must be made, it is best that everyone who has a stake in its outcome is part of the decision-making process.  Not that everyone has a right to decide but everyone has a right to inform the decision. What happens then if the one who will be most affected by the …

Social workers need to work with neighbours too

Vairam Gopalakrishnan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I thank Mr. Kwan Jin Yao for his thoughtful comments with reference to his response “Social services don’t necessarily replace support networks; Jan 12” (A response  to a Straits Times opinion piece by Mr Gerard Ee – Link below) A community development approach by no means seeks to undermine the good work that is done by social workers. However, the …