Another Week Beyond – 1848

Dear Friends,

Last night was the third “Celebration of Learning” we have been holding these past couple of weeks. Another 2 more to go but this year-end event is one of the ways we encourage a culture of learning wherever we work. Children dressed in their best clothes, a child excitedly running up stage as his name was called, mothers congratulating each other for completing a basic English course and parents giving out certificates of achievement with warm words of encouragement were some moments that illustrated the relevance of celebrating effort and not just outcomes.

I was also most heartened to see parents and youth taking charge of the evening’s programme and contributing to its success. They curated performances from within their neighbourhood and with a K-pop inspired dance as well as a traditional Malay one, there appeared to be something appealing for everyone who came. I was especially touched by the performance of 8 children who put together a short play that articulated the challenge of performing well in school. When granted a wish by a fairy godmother; a girl who was worried about her PSLE results, requested for some care and attention from family and friends instead of asking to pass well.

A volunteer who was helping them with their stage craft shared that she was surprised by how much these children had to say once they believed that she could be trusted. Over the past 3 weeks, these children told her about their experiences at home and at school which they found undesirable. From what was shared, the children took what they felt comfortable revealing in public and worked that into the storyline for their drama performance.

On stage the children were confident and eloquent. Perhaps it was because they were not repeating lines that they had memorized but simply expressing a familiar life script. Nonetheless, we hope that small successes, proud moments and happy memories assure our children that one’s life is not scripted but is an opportunity to create, direct and to act. From their drama’s opening chorus, I am optimistic that they have begun to see this.

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I have a dream
A song to sing.
Enjoy your week.
Gerard
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ― Paulo Coelho

Our most grateful thanks to all who supported our “celebrations of learning” especially,
Ms Joan Pereira, MP Tanjong Pagar GRC, Alexandra Fire Station, Anglo Chinese Junior College, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Chef Bob from the Landmark, Far East Organisation, GIC Pte Ltd, LEGO Singapore Pte Ltd, Mapletree Investments Pte ltd, MCC Land (S) Pte Ltd, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, RSVP Singapore, Whampoa Community Club, Yio Chu Kang Zones 7 & 9 Residents’ Committees.

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond 2428 – The Making of a Youth Leader

By: Nina, Community Relations I met Atiqah ten years ago when I was a Community Worker. It was at a photography workshop we had organized for youths. She was a shy, soft-spoken 16-year-old. Her family had only recently moved in, so she didn’t know any other youths in the neighborhood yet. Throughout the few sessions we held, she mostly kept to herself, except when she offered to help me with minor tasks. Despite her discomfort being around others, she always showed up when invited to our programmes. I always admired Atiqah’s quiet determination and was pleased to see her slowly

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Another Week Beyond – 2427

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Another Week Beyond 2425 – Do you see me? Do you hear me?

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Another Week Beyond – 2423

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Reconnecting with Gratitude 

2 weeks ago, our senior advisor Gerard received an email titled “Reconnecting with Gratitude” from someone who volunteered with us 20 years ago.  She told Gerard that she got his email from a friend of a friend and wanted to thank him in person for what he had said to her then. “I recall what you said to me that has impacted my life to this day,” was how she had put it.  She wrote that she was helping with a juggling programme where she accompanied the children to performances and as she was driving them back to the Centre

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Another Week Beyond – 2421

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PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond 2428 – The Making of a Youth Leader

By: Nina, Community Relations I met Atiqah ten years ago when I was a Community Worker. It was at a photography workshop we had organized for youths. She was a shy, soft-spoken 16-year-old. Her family had only recently moved in, so she didn’t know any other youths in the neighborhood yet. Throughout the few sessions we held, she mostly kept to herself, except when she offered to help me with minor tasks. Despite her discomfort being around others, she always showed up when invited to our programmes. I always admired Atiqah’s quiet determination and was pleased to see her slowly

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2427

No Wealth, No Health? Written by: Pei Ling, Community Relations How often do you find yourself in this situation? You’re unwell or in pain, and it’s been going on for while. But you choose not to see a medical practitioner because you feel you cannot afford it. This is a common scenario amongst Singapore’s financially-challenged – families living in rental public housing. And this is what happened to Ismail. When I visited Ismail on a routine follow-up, he was limping and clearly in pain. He told me he had a slipped disc. I asked about the medical treatment he was

Read more >

Another Week Beyond 2426 – Grizzly to Teddy

by Wilson, Community Worker Grizzly to Teddy During one of our recent learning programmes, one of the kids who attended was an often moody, sometimes truculent 8-year-old.  Let’s call him “Teddy.” Our expectations of Teddy were, from experience, tempered. How well he participated in our activities and interacted with others depended on his disposition from week to week. At this particular session, Teddy was what we had come to describe as “his usual self” – shouting vulgarities and being disruptive. He risked injury by playing with a sliding door, even after being asked by a volunteer to stop. In fact,

Read more >