Metta e-Newsletter: Vol 21 Issue 3

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Filial Piety: Love Thy Parents

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The months of May and June honours and celebrates parents and their influence in our lives and in society as we observe filial piety. Filial piety is a key pillar in the family structure. It is a concept, a virtuous act of being good to one’s parents; being respectful and taking care of them in honour of realising and repaying to parents’ their gift of life and love for their children.

As children, it is but a small measure to provide and care for our parents as they age, gratitude for the sacrifices made to nurture their children. Filial piety inculcated to children is also viewed in our Asian society as social indicators of a person’s sense of responsibility, maturity and reliability. Such family values, passed from elders to the young, one generation to the next will sustain our future generations in leading their lives positively.

To all mothers and fathers, you are the superheroes in our lives. I like to take this moment to wish all parents a Happy Mother’s and Father’s Day.

With Heartfelt Gratitude
Venerable Shi Pu En
President
Metta Welfare Association


METTA STAFF LEARNING DAY 2017

22 May 2017

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Our Staff Learning Day is a 1-day staff engagement program, organised to provide opportunity for staff to participate

in community work (CSR) and team activities in order to foster friendship with the communities and our colleagues.

This year, the CSR involvement was a resounding success that forged community partnership with South East Community Development Council (South East CDC) and Thye Hua Kwan @ Bedok Radiance Senior Activity Cenre.

With the active participation of 108 staff from all centres, the CSR was kick-started with goodie bag packing and distribution to two-room HDB rental units. The goodie bags comprised of items such as rice, cooking oil, toothbrush, toothpaste, detergent, body wash, dish wash and bathroom detergent. These items were hand-delivered by our staff to the seniors’ doorsteps. We also helped to check the house conditions and feedback to Bedok Radiance Senior Activity Centre.

Following that, we hosted the seniors to interactive games, songs and dance performances, put up by our staff with diverse range of talents. The event came to an end with our staff serving lunches to the seniors. We were heartened to see the smiles and joys on many faces of the seniors.

Harnessing on our mission and core values, this learning journey was a good experiential lesson aligned to the learning objectives, more importantly, for us to make a societal impact in our communities.


UPCOMING EVENTS

METTA CHARITY RUN 2017

run2.jpgA true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart. Have a big heart and join us in the 8th edition of the annual Metta Charity Run on 26th August 2017 at OCBC Square, Singapore Sports Hub.

In a specially curated ‘Superhero’ theme run, we honour and celebrate two leagues of ‘Superheroes’. The first being, our squad of heroic beneficiaries who live their lives fully despite their disabilities and the second, our pool of magnanimous supporters – basically, people like YOU! MP for Marine Parade GRC and Chairperson of GPC for Social and Family Development, Mr Seah Kian Peng, will grace the event as Guest-of-Honour and be among the superheroes running in the 5km league. Metta will not be where it is right now without these superheroes unstinting support.

Choose from the non-competitive categories of Powerful 5km, Legendary 10km or the Dynamic Duo parent & child 1.5km fun run. This fundraising event aims to raise $180,000 and provide runners with the opportunity to be amongst like-minded participants in a gathering to go the distance for a good cause and celebrate healthy living.

The fun does not just end there. A mini carnival awaits our runners after the run. Get lucky with our Super Draw and win exciting prizes while you’re there! Join forces with us as we work towards bringing a positive impact for our beneficiaries through this meaningful event.

Fastest fingers first!
Register now to book a slot: http://www.metta.org.sg/mettarun/

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There is a superhero in all of us. We just need the courage to put on the cape (and running shoes!)

Can’t join to run for us but want to do your part for charity? Now you can when you help us fundraise for the Metta Charity Run 2017 at https://www.simplygiving.com/event/mettacharityrun2017-510km

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METTA CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT 2017
13 July 2017
Raffles Country Club

golf2.jpgMetta Welfare Association is back with its annual charity golf tournament at Raffles Country Club. Join us in this collaborative effort as a corporate sponsor or an individual golfer. You can expect a good time, good food and good prizes all for a good cause. Nestled amidst luscious land, the golf club’s panorama blends in with the natural environment of carefully landscaped greens. Guest-of-Honour is Chairman of Keppel Fellows, Mr Choo Chiau Beng BBM.

Make a difference today to the lives of our beneficiaries and empower them to achieve their goals.

Register with us now at https://www.metta.org.sg/mettagolf

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METTA CHARITY MOVIE SCREENING 2017
Time: 5pm
Date: 8 July 2017
Location: The Cathay Cineplex

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Metta Charity Movie Screening 2017

Swing by Cathay Cineplex this July to catch teenage superhero, Peter Parker as he seeks to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging Spiderman. Under the new mentorship of Tony Stark and the threat of a new villain “The Vulture”, Spiderman must battle to save those he holds important.

Organised by Metta Welfare Association in celebration of our 25th Silver Jubilee milestone of serving the community, this action-packed adventure movie screening aims to raise funds for Metta’s programmes and welfare services for its beneficiaries.

You can be a superhero too when you help the less privileged simply by watching a movie at the Metta Charity Movie Screening 2017. Support this meaningful movie campaign as we come together to recognize that all of us have a part to play in engendering a compassionate society to the lesser privileged.

What are you waiting for?? Get your tickets here now!!
https://www.metta.org.sg/mettamovie

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Scan the QR code to catch a sneak peek at Spiderman: Homecoming.

*Allocated seats. Limited seats available for each category.


CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES (CSR)

Make Batik Painting Workshop Your Corporate CSR Checklist
19 May 2017

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A corporate social responsibility activity checklist for companies should include Metta Alumni’s batik painting workshop coached by our youths with special needs from Arts@Metta. Volunteers from local reinsurer, Singapore Re, took back a valuable skill of batik painting and their hand-painted floral artworks at this interactive workshop. The volunteer bonded over laughter, spilled wax and batik dyes as Metta Alumni’s youths got to play Coach to their adult students for the day. They conscientiously guided them in batik painting, a skill handled with ease by Metta Alumni’s youths with special needs.


HEALTH WISE

Caring For Elderly Parents

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Today, 8.5 percent of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over (Cire B. 2016). The world’s elder population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. In less than 15 years, according to Population.sg Team (2016 Aug 22), “the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above is projected to double to 900,000”. That means the number from 1 in 8 Singaporeans today in that age group will be up to 1 in 4.

In this ageing society, caring for an elderly loved one may become a reality for many people when a parent reaches the point where living alone is no long a safe option. While caring for an elderly parent can be rewarding, it can also be completely overwhelming. If you’re relatively new to caregiving and are unsure where to start, here are a few tips to help you successfully ease into your new role and effectively care for you aging parent.

  • Assess – first thing first, recognise the signs that your parent needs help in either physical or mental health. Focus on the areas like walking steadiness and gait, personal hygiene, cleanliness of the house, forgetfulness, loss of sight and hearing, incontinence, losing or gaining weight, and no longer enjoy doing what he or she used to.
  • Plan – call for a family meeting to determine the primary care giver and other family members’ involvement in the long run. Come to an agreement that who pays what. Also to work out the plan that allows the primary care giver to have periodic breaks while other family members cover the duty.
  • Organise – Gather important documents and information of your elder parent, such as personal details, medical and financial related. For example, parent’s IC, any health assist card, medical history or any referral letter or service contract, list of medication and dosing instruction, allergies, medical personnel’s contact details, insurance card or health insurance policy.
  • Home safety – Installing some basic safety measures can go a long way to help you in caring for your loved one by reducing home related accidents. For example, install grab bars in bathrooms, set lower temperature of water heater, place anti-slip mat on steps and shower floors, put brighter light bulbs and organise power cables to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Educate yourself – Find out everything you can about your parent’s condition and care needs, such as what type of medical care and therapies are needed, what to expect in terms of progression of symptoms and possible treatment plans.
  • Communicate – keep the communication open throughout the caring process with your parents, medical professionals and family members about who will do what and how you can support each other.
  • Be realistic – about your ability to help out and know your own limits. You should not try to do it all. For example, if the elderly parent is heavy for one person to lift, you should consider to hire help or get other family members involved.
  • Explore resources – There are services that can help caregivers and their parents. Calling on community resources can help ease the responsibility of caregiving. Find out about the community services that you can tap on, such as government agencies, voluntary welfare organisations. These include home care services, meal delivery, transportation support, financial support schemes etc.
  • Care for yourself – last but not least! It is normal for a caregiver to feel burnout, overwhelmed or helpless. Make an effort to give time for yourself to relax, eat well, exercise, see friends, and rest. Caring for yourself means better care for your parent.

Cire, B. 2016. World’s older population grows dramatically.
[https://www.nia.nih.gov/newsroom/2016/03/worlds-older-population-grows-dramatically]

Morris, V. (2014). How to Care for Aging Parents, 3rd Edition. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc

Laliberte, R. 2012. Learn everything you need to know about taking care of a loved one.
[http://www.womansday.com/relationships/family-friends/a6378/caregiver-elderly-parents/]

Population.sg Team. 2016. Older Singaporeans to double by 2030
[https://population.sg/articles/older-singaporeans-to-double-by-2030]


hariraya

Simply place your orders via email at mettacafe@metta.org.sg OR call us at 6580 4624 to order your cookies!


MY STORY

Full-time caregiver, Mr Goh T. M. to Mdm Ho K.L, a client of Metta Welfare Association, shares about why he chose to give up his job to care for his aged mother.

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Giving Back The Best I Could
My father passed away when I was nine years old. As the eldest child in the family, I left school at 16 and worked as a coffeeshop assistant. Along the way, I took on various odd jobs until I finally found a stable income as a Despatch Rider. The salary, supplemented with overtime pay, was enough to support the family and put my siblings through school.

“Who is going to look after mum?”

This was the question on everyone’s mind after Mum had a fall and was diagnosed with vascular dementia and osteoporosis in 2014. My three siblings said that they couldn’t afford to care for mother as each had to support their own families.

I had never felt so alone; it was just me against the world.

Due to her dementia, Mum required dedicated care round the clock. With the assistance of a Medical Social Worker, Mum was placed in Peacehaven Nursing Home. The monthly fees were tremendous and amounted to half my salary each month.

I visited Mum every weekend. There were moments where she could recognise me despite her dementia. The nurses told me that Mum had poor appetite. She would sit quietly in her wheelchair and rarely responded to questions. What pained me the most was the look of sadness on her face. I was left with an enormous sense of guilt.

In December 2015, I met with a motorcycle accident while at work which left my right leg with a permanent limp.

Following my heart
I took the accident as a sign. Giving up employment and becoming the sole caregiver for my mother would not be easy, but I wanted Mum to be happier being cared for in her own home, instead of being in a nursing home. She raised me and I want to give back.

Caregiver Isolation
Not everyone is cut out to be a full-time caregiver. While I am glad not to be juggling a full-time job with my caregiving responsibilities, I miss the work atmosphere. I miss my pay check. I miss the social interaction I had as an employed person. Without a salary, my savings were quickly being depleted.

Fortunately, Metta Welfare Association arranged for home visits by a staff nurse and social worker. The staff nurse provides regular check for my Mum’s vital signs and medication, while the social worker provides emotional support and financial assistance. Metta’s assistance has been invaluable, even arranging for the Social Service Officer to visit us at home instead of making the trip to their office.

With society’s high cost of living and limited financial resources, adult children who want to care for their ageing parents have tough choices to make. I am appreciative of the assistance and support provided by Metta Welfare Association.


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Mummy I Love You!

A personalised handmade gift is among the most priceless gift a mother can receive from her child. This is especially so for a gift that takes a child with special needs long hours and dexterous little fingers to create the ultimate gift of love for their mother.

Children at Metta Preschool@Punggol celebrated Mother’s Day by surprising their mums with handmade paper flowers gingerly guided by their teachers.

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You can also recreate this simple craft with your child too!

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And there you have it! Simple but full of LOVE!
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METTA CHARITY RUN 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                    

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METTA CHARITY RUN 2017

26 May 2017, Singapore – Charitable causes calls for charitable hearts! Metta Welfare Association is having its 8th running event, Metta Charity Run 2017, in a specially curated ‘Superhero’ theme run to honour the dedicated contribution of our ‘superheroes’: donors, volunteers, partners and beneficiaries.

The Metta Charity Run 2017 will be held at the OCBC Square, Singapore Sports Hub on 26 August 2017. The event starts from 7.30am till 11am.

Participants can expect a refreshing and scenic superhero running experience at the OCBC Sports Hub. The Run consists of a dual league of ‘superheroes’: a squad of heroic beneficiaries who live their lives fully despite their disabilities and our pool of magnanimous supporters – basically, people like YOU! MP for Marine Parade GRC and Chairperson of GPC for Social and Family Development, Mr Seah Kian Peng, will grace the event as Guest-of-Honour and be among the superheroes running in the 5km league. Metta will not be where it is right now without these superheroes unstinting support.

Metta Charity Run 2017 continues to hold non-competitive 5km, 10km run categories as well as the parent & child 1.5km fun run. This fundraising event, targeting to raise $180,000, provides runners with the opportunity to be amongst like-minded participants in a gathering to go the distance for a good cause and celebrate healthy living.

The fun does not just end there. A mini carnival awaits our runners after the run. Get lucky with our Super Draw and win exciting prizes while you’re there! Join forces with us as we work towards bringing a positive impact for our beneficiaries through this meaningful event.

This annual community event organised by Metta aims to raise funds for the disability care, medical care, special education and early intervention programmes that Metta provides in aid of some 1,000 beneficiaries from across various races and religions.

 

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Registration for the Metta Charity Run is open and available at:
https://www.metta.org.sg/mettarun

UPDATED: Metta 2017 Fundraisers

We know you are all excited and so are we too! Here’s bringing you the updated dates of our fundraisers in 2017! Do keep your eyes peeled for more updated information on our next Charity Movie Screening!

Love to give back to the community and do your part to make society a better place? Join us as a volunteer in our fundraising events!

You can now volunteer with ease on the Metta App for volunteers. Set your own skill sets, strengths, time and days of availability and be matched to your choice of welfare services to give your time and achieve that sense of fulfilment. Metta offers cradle to grave services from childcare to youths and adults with special needs till the elderly and terminally ill.

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Download our app and try it for yourself today!

Android users: Download HERE
Apple users: Download HERE

Metta e-Newsletter: Vol 21 Issue 2

President’s Note

Autism: Making Acceptance an Action

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The Lunar New Year Blessing Ceremony cum ‘Lou Hei’ Buffet Luncheon on 4 February marked the launch of Metta Silver Jubilee celebrations with a festive big bang. In celebration of Metta’s 25th milestone, I am thankful for the community, our corporate partners and committee members as they joined us to officiate the launch through the symbolism of breaking apart two upsized fortune cookies baked by Metta Cafe.

The recently ended Metta Charity Carnival 2017 saw a great success with a Superhero theme that honours our long-time supporters, donors and volunteers. It is the support of our ‘superheroes’ that Metta has come this far. It doesn’t matter the size of the contribution, it is the gesture that counts and Metta is honoured to have these ‘superheroes’ making a difference to the community in their own ways.

The World Autism Awareness Day is observed in the month of April with the aim to raise awareness on the needs of persons living with autism, as well as a highlight of their strengths. More concerted effort needs to be done apart from raising the awareness by making acceptance an action. Putting that step towards acceptance of persons with intellectual disabilities creates an ideal compassionate society that we aim to become. Metta is working to achieve its mission to encompass acceptance through the collaboration of community projects to its disability care centres as part of its training programme and integration of our beneficiaries into the community.

I take this opportunity to thank Metta’s ‘superheroes’ for coming forward in their selfless efforts to engender a spirit of giving and grace to the less privileged.

With Heartfelt Gratitude

Venerable Shi Pu En
President
Metta Welfare Association


Recent Happenings

Metta Charity Carnival 2017
19 March 2017
Metta Building

DSC_0157 Metta Charity Carnival 2017

19 March saw a smashing Sunday for Metta Charity Carnival goers as Walk participants and volunteers came dressed in their best superhero costumes. With a superhero theme to the Metta Charity Carnival 2017, it represents the unsung heroes of our supporters from the stall holders, donors and volunteers who have dedicatedly served and supported Metta over the years.

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Gracing the event as Guest-of-Honour was Ms Jessica Tan, MP for East Coast GRC and Advisor to East Coast GRC GROs as she flagged off the morning 3-km Charity Walk around the Simei estate that preceded the Carnival. President of Metta Welfare Association, Venerable Shi Pu En delivered an opening speech and together with Ms Jessica Tan, they adorned a bamboo screen with a pair of clay butterflies adopted from Arts@Metta as a symbolism of growth to new heights and officiating the start of the Carnival. Ms Jessica Tan also presented the Scholarship Awards to 10 Metta School students who graduated in 2016 from the ITE Skills Certificate courses in Baking Practices and Facilities Technology.

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Getting to and from the Carnival was also a breeze with a $5 discount promotion tie-up with ComfortDelgro through the latter’s cab booking app. Garnering among the best attractions of the day were five volunteers from the 501st Legion Singapore Garrison who came dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Starfighter pilot of the Rebel Alliance, and a host of storm troopers. A family of Spiderman and various superhero characters joined in together with an entourage of Harley Davidson bikers who came in their Harleys to pose for pictures with the public.

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The Carnival also saw new vendors such as the Smoothie Bike by the Vegetarian Society (Singapore), Churros factory, Minato Singapore (sole distributor of Japanese Disney themed confectioneries) among the new stall inclusions. Entertaining the crowd with magical illusions was Tommillusions, a premium magician who works with Mediacorp on serials such as “The Truth Seekers” and “Soul Reapers”, performances by students of Metta School and Fuchun Primary School, amongst others.

Our satisfied superhero stallholders had nothing but praises for the Metta Charity Carnival.

“The Metta Charity Carnival 2017 appears to be doing better than the previous years. I will continue to participate again and I hope that our Carnival will get better in the coming years.”

Ms Lian Lin Lian, long-term
supporter and stall holder of
Metta Charity Carnival.

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“Vegetarian Society (Singapore) is glad to be able to help at this carnival and we thank Metta Welfare Association for the partnership in helping build a kinder, healthier and greener world.”

          Yeow, new supporter and
stall holder of Metta Charity Carnival.

Despite a hot Sunday, the weather did not hamper the crowd as many came with their families and joined in the afternoon fun.

IF YOU MISSED BEING WITH US AT THE RECENT METTA CHARITY CARNIVAL 2017, DO JOIN US NEXT YEAR!

We’ll like to thank all our donors/sponsors, volunteers and staff for making this event a fruitful one.

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

An Afternoon of Joy and Fun ~ PUB
30 March 2017

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40 Metta Home clients had a fun-filled afternoon when staff from PUB came down to engage them in games and an interaction session. The ever-popular bowling game got the clients ecstatic as each took turns to knock the pins down with the help of PUB staff. Jenga, stacking and balancing of paper cups atop each other and throwing ping pong balls into the box are among the other challenging table games for the afternoon. It was a joyous moment as huge smiles and boisterous laughters filled the faces of our clients especially when PUB staff belted out sing-along songs that got some of the clients joining in to dance, sing along and be merry.

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Banking in on Love, Batik and Flowers ~ Standard Chartered Bank
15 February 2017

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Waxed batik painting may seem like an easy craft to many of us but little is known that the eye candy artwork takes an artist with years of experience and keen dexterity to create a beautiful masterpiece. Such is the honed experience of our Alumni youths with special needs who spend their apprenticeship with Metta Alumni’s Arts@Metta upon graduation from Metta School. Staff from Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) got their hands-on experience at the intricate artwork when they came down for a half day batik painting workshop to get a feel of handling the complexity of the wax canting. Coached by Metta Alumni’s young artists, SCB staff realised that it isn’t easy to keep a steady hand while waxing the outline of the designs. It was a fun and humbling workshop for SCB staff as through the practical experience, they realise how much more concentration and hard work has been put in by Metta Alumni’s youths, who despite their challenges, are able to regularly produce batik paintings for sale.

Interested in joining our batik painting class to learn more about the intricate art and be coached by our youths with special needs? Drop us an email at alumni@metta.org.sg to sign up!


HOPE HAS WINGS

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The butterfly is an epitome of Endurance, Evolution, Hope, and LIFE!

Brightly coloured butterflies are aplenty yet dull-coloured butterflies often goes unnoticed; much like Metta Welfare Association’s beneficiaries.

The butterfly is a significant metaphor of Metta’s beneficiaries and their daily struggles through the metamorphosis of life’s stages. With diligence, patience and endurance, Metta’s Alumni youths with special needs individually hand-crafted these ceramic butterflies through a long and tedious process of kneading, rolling and cutting. The butterflies are then left to dry for hours before they are fired in the kiln.

Through the creation of the clay butterflies, this initiative is a representation of the efforts to educate, rehabilitate and improve the lives of Metta’s beneficiaries.

Look past their disabilities and see the beauty in them. For every $5 donation, you adopt an e-Butterfly and show your support for Metta’s beneficiaries.

Click here to find out how you can help them

With every struggle overcome, hope awaits.

Watch how our Alumni youths create the ceramic butterfly.

Adopt a butterfly today.
Be a Superhero and transform lives.

For more information, please email us at events@metta.org.sg, or call at 6580 4688


FEATURE

“My biggest challenge in caring for my son with autism is knowing what makes him happy”

Caregiver Mdm Koh, mother of MHDAC client, Edsel Quek
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Edsel: “Lego, my favourite activity at Metta Day Activity Center!”

21-year old Edsel Quek, was enrolled with Metta Home Day Activity Centre since 2015.  Edsel has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) since birth which saw the young man having frequent bouts of depression and mood swings prior to his enrolment with Metta Home Day Activity Centre. His mother, Mdm Koh, hopes that at the Day Activity Centre, her son can learn independence and contribute to society. She acknowledges that the journey is a long and arduous one but she is heartened with every little progress that her son makes.

1 in 150 children in Singapore are diagnosed with ASD, in a report by SG Enable’s 3rd Enabling Masterplan (2017-2021) published in December 2016

Currently, there are a range of services (both non-residential and residential) that cater to the young and old with autism. There are also services that match people with ASD with employers in sheltered workshops that offers a structured environment as well as those who attends Day Activity Centres (DAC).

Residential services are available for individuals who require long-term care with the assistance of SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities to disability related services.


MAKE A WISH

The Kampung Days

Visiting the last kampong in Singapore brings back nostalgic memories for these pioneer generationers.

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Almost everyone has their bucket list and for some of us, it would mean reliving old memories and nostalgic moments to reminisce fond recollections. Such is the wish and dream of Metta Hospice patient, Mr Tan Poh Lye, Mr Jaafar Bin Uyob and the late Mr Koh Howe Chua. The pioneer generation and baby boomers spent their childhood in pre-industrialised Singapore where kampong living was the norm for everyone in those days. As Singapore progressed, the kampongs dwindled in numbers as they made way for urbanisation.

But all is not lost as in Singapore still stands the last surviving kampong at Lorong Buangkok. Rustic attap houses with plywood doors and window grills are surrounded by lush trees bearing tropical fruits from coconuts to jackfruits. Accompanied by Metta Hospice’s palliative care team of nurses and counsellor, the trio were visibly ecstatic at being in a village that smelled and felt like where their childhood belonged.

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“I used to climb coconut trees to pluck the coconuts!”
Gushing like a little boy, Mr Tan shared fond memories of his childhood days to everyone as he manoeuvred his way along the rows of lime plants and banana trees

Mr Tan’s Hospice companion, Mr Jaafar, was more collected. Not a man of many words, Jaafar remained in silence throughout most of the journey as he keenly observed the nature surroundings leading to the village. He opened up as the team reached the kampong and shared stories of his fondest memories while growing up. Unlike his usual routine, the fresh air, greenery and open space was an immense change otherwise.

Despite spending just half a day at Lorong Buangkok, it was nevertheless a fulfilling outing and dream for all three men. The “Make-a-Wish” program would never happen without the sponsorship of The Singapore Ireland Fund (TSIF) and Singapore Jain Religious Society (SJRS).

Metta Hospice Care introduced the Make-A-Wish program in April 2014 for its patients to fulfil their final wishes. This program aims to bring across the message to our clients that regardless of where we come from, who we are or what we have become, no one should deserve anything less in our final moments. The Metta Hospice Make-A-Wish program is sponsored by The Singapore Ireland Fund and the Singapore Jain Religious Society.


HEALTHWISE

Fun Beyond the Classroom
Article contributed by Metta Preschool psychologist, Ms Evania Yeo

In celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, Metta Preschool’s psychologist, Ms Evania Yeo, shares some engaging activities and tips on interaction that parents can do at home with their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Its cause is still unknown today. However, new research suggests that the mind of people with ASD is not integrated or connected the way it is in neuro-typical individuals. This deficit inevitably affects quality of interaction. Hence, it is imperative for young children with ASD to seek early intervention in the hopes of alleviating or correcting symptoms such as being socially disconnected.

Here are some activities which you may replicate at home which reinforces the therapies shared in the classroom:

  1. Develop Connectedness
    Developing connectedness can take place in any daily situation: from art and craft, food preparation, playing ball, reading a story, to keeping toys. For example: during a food preparation activity, you can slice up a banana and your child can lay the banana slices on a plate to be served. When keeping toys, you can hold the storage basket and your child can learn to pick up his toys and drop them into the basket. The key is to create back and forth interaction by establishing a pattern with clear roles for your child and you.
  1. Simplify
    In our enthusiasm to do our best for our children, we do too much at times. Remember that less is more. Keep the room clean and simple so that you can focus on establishing a connection with your child. What distracts him? Cars, building blocks, or the iPad? Keep these distractions temporarily out of his sight. At the start, it will be difficult, however it brings the focus back to your relationship with your child.
  1. Encourage Thinking
    Help your child to develop thinking skills. For example: roll a ball back and forth. Make it fun for the both of you. Once the pattern is established, pass the ball a little differently. Toss it instead of rolling it, change your position, and wait for your child to orientate his. Establish the pattern first, then add variations. It usually takes a child a few minutes to understand the value of “us”.
  1. Give Responsibilitya) Avoid verbal instructions.
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    Your child needs to be aware of things around him and realise what he has to do. By giving a verbal instruction, you are over compensating and not letting his brain work. It’s the easy way out, and counterproductive in the long run. Therefore, describe what you see, instead of telling him what to do. For example: you may say “Your hands are dirty” instead of “Go and wash your hands”.b) Give Time
    A child takes about 45 seconds to process information. In a game activity that involves rolling a ball around the room or passing the ball, does your child notice if the ball has rolled away? Pause instead of fetching the ball immediately for your child. This period of inactivity will encourage him to think of the next course of action. However, if on an occasion that you have to fetch the ball, do say “Your ball has rolled away”.
  1. Save Positive Memories
    The more exercise your child’s brain receives, the better connected it becomes. Record a video on the progress of your child and share it with him. He will feel proud about being your communication partner with a sense of competency achieved. This will spur him on to try out new things as he will have positive memories to find comfort in.

JOIN US TO DO YOUR SHARE FOR OUR COMMUNITY

Be Our Fundraising Partner

As part of Metta’s fundraising efforts to raise funds for its beneficiaries from nine various welfare centres, we invite corporate partners to join us in placing our donation boxes at your stores and outlets to cultivate the spirit of generosity and giving back to the community.

To join us as a Donation Box Placement partner, please register your interest to events@metta.org.sg or call our fundraising team at 65804688.

Living with Autism

“My biggest challenge in caring for my son with autism is knowing what makes him happy”

Caregiver Mdm Koh, mother of MHDAC client, Edsel Quek

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Edsel: “Lego, my favourite activity at Metta Day Activity Center!”

21-year old Edsel Quek, was enrolled with Metta Home Day Activity Centre since 2015.  Edsel has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) since birth which saw the young man having frequent bouts of depression and mood swings prior to his enrolment with Metta Home Day Activity Centre. His mother, Mdm Koh, hopes that at the Day Activity Centre, her son can learn independence and contribute to society. She acknowledges that the journey is a long and arduous one but she is heartened with every little progress that her son makes.
1 in 150 children in Singapore are diagnosed with ASD, in a report by SG Enable’s 3rd Enabling Masterplan (2017-2021) published in December 2016

Currently, there are a range of services (both non-residential and residential) that cater to the young and old with autism. There are also services that match people with ASD with employers in sheltered workshops that offers a structured environment as well as those who attends Day Activity Centres (DAC).

Residential services are available for individuals who require long-term care with the assistance of SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities to disability related services.

Hope Has Wings

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The butterfly is an epitome of Endurance, Evolution, Hope, and LIFE!

Brightly coloured butterflies are aplenty yet dull-coloured butterflies often goes unnoticed; much like Metta Welfare Association’s beneficiaries.

The butterfly is a significant metaphor of Metta’s beneficiaries and their daily struggles through the metamorphosis of life’s stages. With diligence, patience and endurance, Metta’s Alumni youths with special needs individually hand-crafted these ceramic butterflies through a long and tedious process of kneading, rolling and cutting. The butterflies are then left to dry for hours before they are fired in the kiln.

Through the creation of the clay butterflies, this initiative is a representation of the efforts to educate, rehabilitate and improve the lives of Metta’s beneficiaries.

Look past their disabilities and see the beauty in them. For every $5 donation, you adopt an e-Butterfly and show your support for Metta’s beneficiaries.

Click here to find out how you can help them

With every struggle overcome, hope awaits.

Watch how our Alumni youths create the ceramic butterfly.

Adopt a butterfly today.

Be a Superhero and transform lives.

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For more information, please email us at events@metta.org.sg, or call at 6580 4688

Banking in on Love, Batik and Flowers

15 February 2017

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Waxed batik painting may seem like an easy craft to many of us but little is known that the eye candy artwork takes an artist with years of experience and keen dexterity to create a beautiful masterpiece. Such is the honed experience of our Alumni youths with special needs who spend their apprenticeship with Metta Alumni’s Arts@Metta upon graduation from Metta School. Staff from Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) got their hands-on experience at the intricate artwork when they came down for a half day batik painting workshop to get a feel of handling the complexity of the wax canting. Coached by Metta Alumni’s young artists, SCB staff realised that it isn’t easy to keep a steady hand while waxing the outline of the designs. It was a fun and humbling workshop for SCB staff as through the practical experience, they realise how much more concentration and hard work has been put in by Metta Alumni’s youths, who despite their challenges, are able to regularly produce batik paintings for sale.

Interested in joining our batik painting class to learn more about the intricate art and be coached by our youths with special needs? Drop us an email at alumni@metta.org.sg to sign up!

An Afternoon of Joy and Fun

30 March 2017

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40 Metta Home clients had a fun-filled afternoon when staff from PUB came down to engage them in games and an interaction session. The ever-popular bowling game got the clients ecstatic as each took turns to knock the pins down with the help of PUB staff. Jenga, stacking and balancing of paper cups atop each other and throwing ping pong balls into the box are among the other challenging table games for the afternoon. It was a joyous moment as huge smiles and boisterous laughters filled the faces of our clients especially when PUB staff belted out sing-along songs that got some of the clients joining in to dance, sing along and be merry.

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