Another Week Beyond – 2319

Comms Team Another Week Beyond, Family, Women

Dear Friends, I was mistaken that last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I sent out our greetings a tad too early. Nonetheless, the mistake has given me the opportunity to hear a single mom speak about her motherhood experiences. After listening to her, I started thinking that when Mother’s Day is celebrated in the media with stories of exemplary mothering, how would such stories affect mothers who are stressed out by their responsibilities and do not feel very good about themselves. “As my son is taking PSLE this year, I worry for him constantly. Besides struggling with his academics, my …

Another Week Beyond – 2248

Comms Team Another Week Beyond, Women, youth

Dear friends, The youth were surprised when a mother revealed that when she was violated as a child, the adults she confided in did not believe her. It was an experience the other three mothers present resonated with and they added that such was their reality when they were young. After a brief pause, one of the youth responded, “I am feeling rather sad because the trauma you experienced as a child has remained with you all these years.” These mothers and youth are neighbours who are working together to keep their neighbourhood safe from sexual and domestic/dating violence (AWB …

Nazariah, on the Collaborative Change Agent Programme

Comms Team Community, Women

Nazariah is a community enabler and part of the Parents’ Circle in the Collaborative Change Agent programme addressing sexual harassment and sexual violence in her neigbourhood. The programme is one of the ways that we work towards building “restorative neighbourhoods” one of our building blocks in creating sustainable, safe communities.

Read more to find out how and why she decided to take an active stance against sexual violence in the community and how the journey has been for her.

On the Collaborative Change Agent Programme – Sobi

Comms Team Community, Women, youth

CW: mentions of sexual violence  In 2018 I was conducting an applied drama programme with 11 and 12 year old girls. During that period, they began telling stories about their experiences of gendered violence, and one girl brought up that she had two cousins who were sexually abusing her. We met with the families involved to facilitate a process of restorative justice, alongside the family’s decision to report to the police. After hearing other similar stories of sexual violence, we started talking to mothers in the neighbourhood and got the mandate that this is an issue they wanted to take …

Another Week Beyond – 2214

Comms Team Another Week Beyond, Women, youth

Dear friends, Early last month, after hearing her 3 children grumble that we have not invited them on an outing for a long time, the mother told her children to contact us to see what they could do for their community. She told them to gather their friends as well. So, 3 weeks ago, 4 youths showed up at our office to explore if they could meet regularly to organise activities for themselves and their community. After some discussions, they decided to meet weekly, and their first project will be to organise a breaking of fast meal happening later this evening. 7 …

Another Week Beyond – 2209

Comms Team Another Week Beyond, Women

Dear friends, A planned face-to-face meeting was changed at the last moment when a child of one participant was tested positive for COVID-19.  Nonetheless, the 3 women showed up online without their spirits dampened. They seemed really pleased to see other and reminisced about the times they could meet at each other’s home, and they unanimously agreed that meeting at Dee’s place was the best. Dee moved out of the rental-flat neighbourhood in 2019 after purchasing a 3-room flat, and her home got voted the top meeting venue because of the food she serves and the availability of a karaoke system. …

Another Week Beyond – 2123

Comms Team Another Week Beyond, Employment, Women

Dear friends, We were invited to be on a panel at an inaugural conference by PRISM, the social enterprise club of Saint Joseph’s Institution.  In light of the current climate, the conference on 1 June was moved online and attended by about 200 students from different schools. For the past 6 years or so, we have been facilitating income-generation projects for women who were unable to hold full-time jobs mainly because of care-giving responsibilities at home. Baking has been the main activity and last year sewing took centre-stage when safety measures disallowed it. The sewing of reusable face masks proved viable and …

Another Week Beyond – 2111

Comms Team Another Week Beyond, Women

Dear Friends A colleague noticed that whenever she invited a group of women for a conversation, it seemed a little awkward.  They would want a reason to do so and “just catching up” never seemed inviting enough. She found this a little strange as these women always had well-meaning conversations about children and neighbours whenever they gathered incidentally or during an activity we had organised. “Perhaps, the idea of a conversation without a context seemed like a luxury they could not afford given their responsibilities at home,” my colleague imagined.  So, in commemoration of International Women’s Day [IWD], she invited them to …

Another Week Beyond – 2043

Comms Team Another Week Beyond, Women, youth

Dear friends,  It was not an English lesson but together with a group of girls, we looked up the dictionary definition of the word “slut.”   Upon confirming that it is most often used to describe women who are sexually promiscuous, they were incensed when they recalled the numerous occasions they were called so.  “Sometimes people don’t use the word on us but by criticising how we dress, I think they also believe that we are bad girls,” one of the participants expressed during a recent Girls’ Night. Girls’ Night  provides a safe space to discuss sexuality, relationships, and other topics that youth find …