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Why I Chose to be a CAREbuddy – By Karen Kwa

Why I Chose to be a CAREbuddy – By Karen Kwa


Featured photo: Karen Kwa in pink with husband, and their three daughters

My name is Karen Kwa, I have 3 girls.

My elder girl was slow in learning, she caught up only in Primary 6 when she was transferred to EM3, when on to NT (Normal Tech), to ITE then to Polytechnic. She’s working already.

My second girl was diagnosed with dyslexia at Primary 6. As hers is mild, she managed to keep up with the help of the DAS (Dyslexia Association of Singapore) centre at Bishan. She went on to Express stream in Secondary, then to poly, and currently she’s working.

My youngest was the one that needed more attention. She was slow in catching up with her peers in kindergarten. She was under SPD for OT (occupational therapy) and speech. She was transferred to APSN Katong in 2008 and went on to DSS (Delta Senior School) and since then she has progressed well. She’s working at Uniqlo and plays the Guzheng with the Purple Symphony Orchestra.

Karen Kwa’s youngest daughter

Because of my youngest girl, I have seen how our family has supported her and how she has progressed. I wanted to help other parents who have special needs children, to support them.

When I saw on Facebook that CaringSG has this CAREbuddy program that can help parents that need support and help, I jumped into it. In the CAREbuddy training, we learn how to communicate and role play on how to connect and help the caregiver.

What I like most about this program that we learn how to give support and encouragement to caregivers who need the most help in emotional support and guidance.

As caregivers we have learnt to support our child in many different ways and they have progressed. Let’s come and support CaringSG to sign up for CAREbuddy training and support other caregivers who need our encouragement.


About CAREbuddy

CAREbuddy is one of CaringSG’s Project 3i programmes where trained special needs caregivers (CAREbuddies) provide emotional support to fellow special needs caregivers.

Karen Kwa graduated from our second batch of CAREbuddy trainees and is now a CAREbuddy intern.

Trainees go through a total of 24 hours of training, followed by 6 months of internship upon graduation. During internship, CAREbuddy interns begin to support fellow caregivers, and our trainers will mentor them as well.

Special needs caregivers who are interested to volunteer as a CAREbuddy can sign up for our information session (tentatively 6 June 2022, Mon, 8-9.30pm). Please join our FB page to receive more updates on how to sign up, and read more about CAREbuddy at 


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More caregivers have come forward to receive support

More caregivers have come forward to receive support

Faraliza Zainal

This is an English translation of the Berita Harian article “Kian ramai penjaga tampil dapatkan sokongan” published on 7 Feb 2022, translated by our CaringSG CAREconnect volunteer Faraliza Zainal.

Featured photo of Faraliza Zainal: File photos by Berita Harian


CaringSG has helped almost 1000 parents and caregivers of children with special needs through various programs. More than 1500 caregivers are now members.

 More than 1900 people, including almost 1500 parents and caregivers of children with special needs have enrolled with CaringSG, a non-profit organization, supported by SG Enable. Out of the 1500, almost 1000 have benefited from the inclusive programs and events that have been conducted.

Dr Lim Hong Huay, the board chair of CaringSG, shared that since CaringSG was established in November 2020, it has continuously increased awareness among parents and caregivers with regards to its programs, services and assistance provided.

According to Dr Lim, with a consistent routine, a child with special needs will be able to function better. However, it is not easy for parents or caregivers to carry it out continuously. A disrupted routine will cause a big issue for the parents and caregivers.

To give support to parents and caregivers in managing such an issue is the main objective of the organization.

Dr Lim, an epidemiologist and paediatrician, has two children with special needs.

One of the programs that CaringSG provides is Project 3i with the objective to focus on individuals, families and community of parents and caregivers of special needs. It is supported by MSF and funded by Temasek Foundation Cares, SG Enable, Tote Board-Enabling Lives Initiative, and NCSS.

According to Dr Lim, there are three programs to Project 3i, namely CAREbuddy, CAREWell and CAREConnect.

CAREBuddy connects caregivers (who feel lonely as they are not being supported) with other more experienced caregivers. CAREBuddy hopes that more caregivers who are able to take time to spend three to five hours a week and are more experienced in managing children with special needs, to join CaringSG as volunteers.

Presently, there are fifteen members who have received support through CAREbuddy program.

Apart from CAREbuddy, there is also CAREwell for those who wish to seek advice and support from the experts. This programme is carried out in close cooperation with established doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists.

The third program, CAREconnect, involves numerous support groups of caregivers of children with special needs, professionals and community supporters.

Faraliza Zainal, a mother of a young adult who has autism and the founder of MIJ Hub, is one of the volunteers of the CAREconnect program. “My role is to give support to caregivers so that they do not feel that they are alone through the sessions, which share knowledge and recommendations,” she said.

Dr Lim explained that CAREconnect is inclined towards knowledge development through webinars on issues faced by caregivers of children with special needs as well as in organising various activities to build close relationships within family members of the special needs community.

To be updated on CaringSG’s latest events and join your preferred caregiver support groups in our CaringSG Alliance Network (CAN), sign up as a CaringSG member and let us know your preference!

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