Categories
Our Blog

Your Labour of Love and Giving in Support of Caregivers – from our Board Member, Dr El’fred Boo

Your Labour of Love and Giving in Support of Caregivers – from our Board Member, Dr El’fred Boo

More attention and support have been provided to caregivers with many new initiatives, including those provided by CaringSG. 

I personally vouch for the significant contributions by Hong Huay and David, Chair and Co-Chair of CaringSG respectively, as well as their team, for tirelessly laying the foundation and connecting key stakeholders to pave the way for various programs, including CAREconnect, CAREwell and CAREbuddy. 

Apart from hardworking staff, volunteers, and partners, all these programs and activities are made possible only with the generous contributions from key donors and the public. 

We are also delighted with the recent news of social service agencies getting more help to strengthen capabilities and to scale up, which would benefit caregivers in the long term.

To all dedicated staff, volunteers, partners, and generous donors: your continuing service contribution and financial support make a world of difference to caregivers, and indirectly, those they care for. Kudos to your labour of love and giving, which are absolutely essential and very much appreciated!

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!

Other Updates

Categories
Our Blog

Why I Chose to be a CAREbuddy – By Karen Kwa

Why I Chose to be a CAREbuddy – By Karen Kwa

CAREbuddy

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.

CAREbuddy
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 https://caring.sg/carebuddy/ 

 

Other Updates

Categories
Our Blog

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!

Other Updates

Categories
Our Blog

2022: A New Year Ahead – Message from our Board Co-Chair, Dr David Ang

2022: A New Year Ahead – Message from our Board Co-Chair, Dr David Ang

Dear CaringSG members,

I wish every one of you a Happy New Year 2022! More than just a date change, the new year is about celebrating new hope with a fresh mindset, and aspirations for a new era to come.

As we look forward to the new year, let’s think and reflect on all the good and wonderful things we have experienced in the past, that gave us the reason to look forward to a new season and a new year.

CaringSG’s hope for our collective future is that we will have more inclusive communities for special needs families, with many more special needs caregivers who are well connected, enabled and empowered.

To be part of this change we wish to see, our CAREconnect team has planned a series of online and offline inclusive events (more to be updated), and we aim to train more caregivers to be CAREbuddies to provide other caregivers with peer support.

We’ve also launched our collaboration with Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical & Dental Clinic to provide subsidised or free services for caregivers and dependents, and if you require other forms of support, our CAREwell team is here as well.

CaringSG would not be possible without the synergistic efforts of caregivers, volunteers, partners, donors, and supporters working closely together towards our collective future. You will come to meet some of them in our monthly newsletter (interviews will also be posted on our blog).

We deeply thank each and every one of you for stepping up, and look forward to a fruitful 2022 with you.

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!

Other Updates

Categories
Resources

CaringSG Launch: Excerpts from Dr Lim Hong Huay’s Speech

CaringSG Launch: Excerpts from Dr Lim Hong Huay’s Speech

This is an abridged version of Dr Lim Hong Huay’s speech at CaringSG’s virtual launch on 20 Nov 2021.

Good Afternoon. Thank you for joining us at this official launch of CaringSG and Project 3i.

Your presence is great encouragement to the CaringSG team and all the caregivers. The same goes to all the partners and allies who are joining us on Facebook Live today, thank you for your unwavering support!

CaringSG is born in 2020 out of 3 things.

First, the fire of the COVID pandemic.

The circuit breaker last year cut many special needs families off from mainstream services. Many suffered in the isolation. Surprisingly, we saw caregiver groups and the community rallied together to reach out and help each other. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Many of the Caregiver groups in CaringSG’s founding community have been around for years. But the pandemic makes us realise one thing, that is, TOGETHER, we can do so much more.

Secondly, CaringSG is here because of the many helping hands in Singapore.

Many of us, including myself, will not be here today, if not for all the special needs services that supported our children and families all these years. Since CaringSG’s inception, we have also received much guidance and support from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the SG Enable, the National Council of Social Service, our Angel donors, community partners and professional allies. We hope to work with you more closely in future for greater 3P partnership.

Last but not least, CaringSG comes from the hearts of caregivers. Through caregiving, many of us have gained a very strong and big heart. It’s estimated that there are 350,000 special needs caregivers in Singapore and we are a multi-talented community. Many of us can give back in many ways. Hence our logo of a multi-coloured heart with a tick. CaringSG wants to grow more strong and big-hearted caregivers, so that our talents can contribute to building a caring and inclusive Singapore.

So here we are today, CaringSG, by Caregivers, for Caregivers, and for the Community.

Caregivers are very busy people. If we do not have a good plan, we would not have come this far. Project 3i is this good plan we believe in and come this far for.

We want to specially thank our CaringSG’s founding donors, the Toteboard Enabling Lives Initiatives, the Temasek Foundation, the SG Enable, and the National Council of Social Service for jointly funding Project 3i. Thank you for believing in CaringSG and Project 3i.

In the next 2 years, CaringSG will pilot our 3i Caregiver support service model.

3i stands for integrative, individualised and intentional

  • Integrative for social-health integration through a bio-psycho-social and ecological approach
  • Individualised for services that meets the unique needs of caregivers, families and the community
  • Intentional for our focus in synergising with existing services for greater social impact.

The 3i model consists of 3 programs, and they are the CAREconnect, the CAREbuddy and the CAREwell programs. Together, the 3 programs form a continuum of support for caregivers across lifespan.

Notably, the CAREconnect program includes a unique grassroot training and collaboration, called the CAREkaki program. This will be implemented in Boon Lay and Kampong Glam in 2022, followed by another 2 constituencies in 2023.

The CAREbuddy program trains caregivers, whom we call as CAREbuddy, to support another caregiver through peer mentorship.

CAREwell will also collaborate with key community partners to bring more inclusive services to the special needs families. For example, we are collaborating with the Mount Alvernia Outreach Clinic to offer affordable inclusive medical and dental services for caregivers and their children. We will also be piloting Community Circles with the Institute of Policy Studies to improve community support for caregivers.

CaringSG has also borne other early fruits, including the formation of the CAREcottage, a community of home and small businesses started by caregivers for their children, such as Beads by Beads, Crunchy Teeth, Evol Studio, JojoMama, Mustard Tree and Young Star SG.

 
Assortment of CAREcottage products and sponsored gifts for CaringSG launch guests and special needs families in Boon Lay and Kampong Glam

Lastly, to celebrate our launch, we will bring care and fun to special needs families in Boon Lay and Kampong Glam in the coming weeks.

The CAREkaki will be distributing goodie bags to 60 special needs families, which has gifts from CaringSG’s caregiver sponsors, $30 vouchers from the Singapore Discovery Center, and surgical masks from the Mask Fellows. A special thank you to our sponsors, the Singapore Discovery Center and the Mask Fellows for your generosity, and our Fantastic CAREkakis for your labour of love.

This will certainly not be the last, but the beginning of all good things that will come with CaringSG and Project 3i for caregivers in Singapore.

Other Updates