Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chapter 14 : MWH cause 2009 - Aug/Sep update

We meet again, on 090909 ;) Hope this reaches you well.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just round the corner. This is the busiest time of the year for CEO of 2nd Chance Properties, Hasan Marican. One of 2nd Chance's businesses is the production of traditional apparels for the Malay community and they sell like 'hot cakes' during the festive seasons. Even so, every year, without fail, for the past 16 years, CEO Hasan would 'reserve' (before the start of the fasting month) the baju kurungs for the children of MWH. It took quite a while for us to convince CEO Hasan before he agreed to be featured in 'Many Roads Home'. His significant contribution brings hope and joy to the children during Aidilfitri and an excellent example of the role of 'Many Helping Hands' that the book hopes to portray. It is also an acknowledgement to the individuals/volunteers/corporations for their admirable effort to help the underpriviledged.

Among other ways exemplify 'Many Helping Hands' include the sharing of expertise and resources between agencies. In this instance, we are extremely grateful to Beyond Social Service for introducing a Social Circus Trainer, Andrea Ousley from Swinburn University. Andrea conducts an interesting and unique programme known as Cirque Du Monde (for young people) and she has extensive experience with troubled kids in different parts of the world. Cirque du Monde enables young people to achieve their full potential.

We are happy that the Executive Director of Beyond Social Service, Gerard Ee, himself, together with Assistant Director Vincent Lim, and their staff joined our humble Iftar or 'break fast together' during Ramadan on 29 Aug 09 at MWH. We are also pleased to receive Professor Dr Frank Früchtel from the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences (Faculty of Social Work) and other MWH volunteers Joe Lim, Jamil Yusak, Munirah and Sabariah. MWH also invites parents/guardians to spend time with their children in MWH during Iftar. Such gatherings definitely bring us closer and we are delighted to have the non-Muslims as well.

In this note, I would like to express thanks to Fazidah and the Ministry of Education for looking into providing some items for the classrooms for MWH new premise. And to Hsu Chern from Rabobank for making time to know more about MWH and exploring on what other ways to help.

MWH project 2009 would not have come this far without the continuous guidance and support from the MWH Project Advisors. These individuals are indeed 'unsung heroes' and community leaders in their own distinctive ways. You have to read about them and be inspired as much as they have inspired me! Nisa and former Superintendents Hamzah Abdul Rahman, Jamil Yusak and Tabrani have been very much active in the projects and they are the key source of motivation. With this, I hope I have answered RJC student Yusnellie's enquiry about the key individuals behind MWH's worthy endeavours.

At this juncture, MWH still requires the community's support in its effort to help the children in need. Do spread the word about:

'Adopt A Room' - urgent
Pre-order 'Many Roads Home'
Be a Volunteer

To all our student volunteers having exams, Persevere On! To our Muslim Brothers and Sisters, May you have a blessed Ramadan and to all, Have a meaningful week ahead.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chapter 13 : MWH cause 2009 - Jul/Aug update

The inspiration to document warm, human stories from the MWH was initiated in Sep 08. It is written, illustrated and designed by some 35 local and international professional volunteers and student volunteers from the Raffles Junior College (RJC). The book, tiltled 'Many Roads Home', is expected to be launched in Nov 09 at the National Library Board (NLB).

The editors, Stephanie Ho and Jaime Koh from the History Workroom are doing the final round of editing to the stories. Megat and Fadly from Avant Garde Imageworks are submitting the pictures of the Home, former residents and volunteers, to be inserted in the book. Hong Yin from Red Ink Communications will then look into the final book layout. We are ahead of time for the books to be printed in Oct 09. Thank you to all volunteers working in this endeavour.

On 29 Jul 09, MWH is honoured by a kind visit by the Director of Corporate Projects of the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), Addy Suhairi, Senior Executive SSC, Nor Ain and Executive Volunteer Management of Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee SYOGOC, Alan Chen.

Addy Suhairi strongly believes that sports can be an effective tool to make the positive change in disadvantaged youth. We agree with Addy Suhairi wholeheartedly. In fact, in one of the stories in 'Many Roads Home', we'll learn on how a former resident of MWH has made a significant turning point in his life by engaging and excelling in sports. He was abandoned by both his parents at a tender age due to their prolonged incarceration. He is now pursuing a tertiary education in Sports & Exercise Science and earning some income as a soccer coach to primary school students during the weekends. A well-written piece by volunteer Martina Ambrose from the National Youth Council (NYC).

Another MWH volunteer driven effort that takes off this year, 'Wish For Home 2009' project, aims to raise funds for the new MWH premise. The Home would officially open its doors in Dec 09.

We are also very pleased to receive unreserved support from our partners. Definitely, we are equally thankful to the following sponsors of 'Wish For Home 2009':
Rabobank - for the computers and adoption of the Computer Room
Volunteer Albert Chong - for the adoption of the Music Room
ITE College Central (Bishan Campus) and an individual sponsor - for the adoption of the Library
Singapore Malays Football Club - for the adoption of field and possible adoption of the street soccer court
NParks - for the landscaping and beautifying of the entrance area
MWH still needs your support for its shift to the new premise. We are still far off from reaching our financial objective of $1/2 million. There is still plenty of rooms available for adoption and abundance of opportunities for you to help these children in every way possible. MWH accepts donations in cash, kind or volunteer service. Do contact me for details, I'll be delighted to attend to your enquiries.

If you have missed last month's update, our heartiest congratulations to:

Nisa bt Majeed (Rahmatunnisa Abdul Majeed)
Nisa is presently appointed as the Acting Superintendent of MWH wef 1 Jul 09. She will be assisted by a team of capable and dedicated staff , which include the Head of Operations, Assistant Superintendent Rahim. He overseas all operation aspects of the Home. The Head of Rehab is Senior Social Worker Mardiana. Her team consists of 5 social/case workers. You can do it, Nisa!

Peter Gould
Peter is the designer for MWH book cover. He has recently won the ISNA's 2009 poster & branding competition and his work was exhibited at the ISNA convention in Washington DC in Jul 09. He had completed a series of events during his tour to UAE, UK, USA, Spain from 15 Jun to 15 Jul 09. All the best, Peter!

Volunteer Tasneem is opening the 1st halal Swedish restaurant - Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro at corner of Arab Street (257 Beach Road) in end Jul 09. Do check it out. Way to go, Tasneem and Fika!

Till we meet again, have a fun and fulfilling week ahead:)