Rose called us on the phone to inform that she was at the hospital with her mom who had a fall at home. She wanted to let us know that she may not be attending a training session we were holding the following day. She sounded frantic but calmed down after we told her that we would organise another session for her if necessary.
Thankfully, after treatment, her mother was well enough to remain alone at home and Rose showed up for the session. She told the others, “At the hospital, I felt so lost. On one hand I had my rice bowl and on the other I had my mother.” The others resonated with her statement and as they introduced themselves to each other, it was revealed that care-giving responsibilities hindered their ability to take on full-time employment.
With the help of Tech for She, a non-profit providing work-skills training for women from non-tech backgrounds, we familiarised 5 women with Excel Spreadsheets. Peering at their laptops, these women listened intently, posed questions, and asked for assistance until they understood and got the hang of the programme. They took the training seriously and it was a lively session that was mutually rewarding for all present.
These 5 women were chosen from 10 recommended by our colleagues to assist us with the administration of financial assistance and internet connectivity. They are part of a Digital and Family Competence Enabling Team and are paid an allowance for their efforts at identifying families in need, linking them to resources and processing applications to relevant schemes and programmes. It is the first time they are taking on white-collar work and they were delighted that their effort will be benefitting their neighbours.
As we consider the helping relationship a partnership, it is only correct that our “partners” also benefit from the resources that come to us in the service of their wellbeing. Training and supporting residents to take on paid work for the benefit of their neighbourhood is a small step toward a stronger partnership with those we support. This initiative to recruit residents as enablers is an arrangement that will last for only 3 months but in the longer run, we hope that we will be able to employ those who come to our programmes on a longer term basis.
Wishing you, health, and peace of mind.
Care in the community is a partnership. A partnership between skilled and caring professionals and a concerned and caring community. Working together, to find new ways of helping these people who have been excluded and connecting with neighbours who will understand and accept them. – Diana, Princess of Wales