Metta e-Newsletter: Vol 20 Issue 5

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Celebrating Children’s Day: Empowering Children with Knowledge

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Every first Friday of October is a day of celebration of all children in Singapore. Observing Children’s Day is not just a day for children to celebrate their youth, innocence and vitality, but a tribute to childhood. Children are the world’s valuable resource and the best hope for future generations. Notably in Singapore where natural resources are limited, children aid in citizenship renewal to an ageing population as every person can play his part in contributing back to our society.

Every child deserves a chance to realise their dreams. At Metta Preschool and Metta School, we believe in nurturing and developing our children to their fullest potential through an enriching curriculum regardless of their level of ability, race or religion. Designed with their holistic development in mind, our curriculum encompasses programmes that equip these children with the skills and abilities necessary for further education. Early diagnoses of their disabilities coupled with appropriate intervention programmes, a good support and training can help them cope with the disabilities and prevent the conditions from deteriorating while maximising their development and capabilities.

Our society has a role to play in assuring that children have the opportunity to reach their potential. Children with special needs can contribute back to society with the sufficient training and support through proper guidance by parents and teachers. Improving that level of care is where Metta, together with the support of the community, can make that difference.

With Triple Gems Blessings
Venerable Shi Fa Zhao BBM


RECENT HAPPENINGS

Metta Charity Run 2016 – The Run That Binds Ties

10 September 2016@The Big Splash
Metta Charity Run 2016

Metta Charity Run 2016

“Sunshine after the rain” is an adage that holds true for the recently ended Metta Charity Run 2016. The 7th annual sporting fundraiser saw good success amidst the initial stormy weather that looked to hamper the enthusiasm of our runners. Despite that, the determined and selfless spirits of the runners and volunteers showed through as everyone huddled close together under tentages and ensuring that no one is left out in the rain. Held on 10 September 2016 with 1,250 runners supporting the event, the charity run saw more than $82,000 raised.

“Running helps us to stay healthy and bond.  The Metta Charity Run is non-competitive that allows one to run at your own pace, and to really enjoy the run with family and friends.  This embodies the spirit of harmony, peace, family bonding and friendship. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the participants, corporates and sponsors for their support and our staff and volunteers for their hard work and passion to make this event a success.”
Ms. Felicia Wee, Deputy Executive Director, Metta Welfare Association

It turned out to be showers of blessings as the delayed flag-off saw eager runners making a beeline to the start point with the cool weather ambient in working up a sweat for the runners. Adding on to this year’s Run is the memorable experience of having students from Metta School and clients from Metta Home for the Disabled joining the runners, as merry beneficiaries from Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly cheered everyone on with brightly coloured pom poms. Gracing the event was Guest of Honour, MP of East Coast GRC, Ms. Jessica Tan who also gave out the Tokens of Appreciation to our key contributors including Singapore Pools, Changi Simei Grassroots Organisations, Big Splash, Singapore Police Force Training Command and Vu Marcoms.

The non-competitive run consisted of 3 categories of 10km, 5km and a Parent & Child 1.5km Fun Run. The 1.5km route was packed with challenging games and activities that engaged the family. A convivial mini carnival greeted the runners after their run. In addition to the food and games, there was also a Milo truck that provided free-flow of chilled Milo to the participants and a photo booth set up to capture the moments as parents and children each took home a Pikachu or Bulbasaur balloon. Entertainment highlights by Metta School’s Stomp Warriors who gave an exuberant Bahiana Funk performance, another group of Metta School students provided an exciting Wushu performance, together with many other multi-racial performing talents.  The Triskelion Singapore Council, a Filipino community whose members work in various industries in Singapore, were also there to perform their versions of popular contemporary songs.

METTA CHARITY BOWL 2016- Bowling Good Times

22 October 2016 | Orchid Bowl @Downtown East

2016 marks the 3rd bowling tournament of Metta Welfare Association since its inception. Held at Orchid Bowl at Downtown East, this bowling tournament has corporates joining in for a good camaraderie with clients and students from Metta Day Activity Centre for the Intellectually Disabled and Metta School respectively. It was an exciting challenge as corporates and professional student bowlers pit their skills against one another for the grand championship title and bag home prizes sponsored by Aerogaz, York Hotel, Citrusox, Singapore Pools, among others.

Gracing the event as our Guest-of-Honour is Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mayor of South East District, Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman who handed out the prizes to the winners and the grand championship trophy title to Team Crowne Plaza Strikers.


UPCOMING EVENT

METTA CHARITY MOVIE SCREENING 2016
26 November 2016 | 4pm | The Cathay Cineplex

THE OCEAN IS CALLING

Sailing into local cinemas for families and children is an enchanting CG-animated adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios of a spirited teenager, Moana, who sails out on a daring seafaring mission to save her people and uncover her own identity.
Organised by Metta Welfare Association, this epic action-packed adventure comedy starring Dwayne Johnson as the voice of demigod, Maui and Auli’i Cravalho as female protagonist Moana is an exciting animation not to be missed.

Now you can help the less privileged simply by watching a movie at the Metta Charity Movie Screening 2016. Show your support to the community when you bring your family and join us for this event in November. Ticket sales will go towards funding of Metta’s programmes and services for its beneficiaries.metta_v20i5_forweb-3

HURRY!! What are you waiting for? To book your tickets, visit: http://www.metta.org.sg/mettacharitymovie2016

Scan the QR code to catch a glimpse of the official trailer to Moana.

*Allocated seats. Limited seats available for each category.


CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

A Mid-Autumn’s Love of Sharing and Caring
26 August 2016

Staff volunteers from Deloitte & Touche LLP spent a memorable afternoon with clients from Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly when they came down to interact and create mid-autumn crafts with our beneficiaries.

Deloitte staff briefly picked up the art of snowskin mooncake making from Metta’s kitchen chef, Ms Jessica Feng, and proceeded to teach and guide and the clients with their new found skills. Over 60 beneficiaries were each accompanied by a Deloitte staff who assisted the clients in creating pretty rainbow-hued snowskin mooncakes with yam or green tea flavoured lotus seed paste and snowskin pastry. On top of the confectionery craft, Deloitte staff also assisted the clients in decorating paper lanterns with punch art paper butterfly embellishments. This CSR activity not only serves as a bonding and social interaction moment, but also acts as an occupational therapy for the elderly clients as it trains their motor skills.


FEATURE

WHAT’S UP KIDS!
6 October 2016

Children’s Day Celebration@PreSchool Punggol

ANGRYBIRD.jpg

A little ’Angry Bird’ and ’Pig King’ dropped by at Metta PreSchool@Punggol to delight a group of our preschool children on Children’s Day. Entertaining hosts from Fantasy Parties enthralled the little ones with engaging game activities using coloured balls, bright cheery play mats and a kids’ tunnel challenge. The hosts put up an entertaining Angry Birds Show and handed out themed goodie bags of snacks, candies and bubble blowers to the delights of the children which made the party a memorable Children’s Day for everyone. The celebration is fully sponsored by Mr. Poon Cher Hock, who personally believes in helping the less privilege by giving back to the community.


NURTURING TIES

RUN, SO OTHERS CAN
Runninghour Cooperatives Limited

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Research findings have contributed to a constructive debate in Singapore on the inclusion and education of children with special needs, according to a study commissioned by the Lien Foundation: (Ng, Jing Yng. (2016, July 4). One in three special-needs children faces insensitive treatment: Survey. TODAY Online. Retrieved from http://www.todayonline.com.)  Although the study found many Singaporeans supporting the idea of inclusive public spaces, far fewer were willing to interact with the special needs community, indicating some disparity between Singaporeans’ tolerance and actual acceptance.

Ryan.jpg

Jenny, mother of 16-year old Ryan, knows better. Ryan is a student with Metta School’s ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) programme. Jenny had hoped that Ryan would be able to join his peers in outdoor sports activities for better social interaction, fitness and acceptance. Upon the introduction of Runninghour by a Metta School teacher, Jenny enrolled Ryan for the programme immediately.

Runninghour is an inclusive running club that promotes the integration of PWSNs (People with Special Needs) into society through running. It also provides the platform for PWSNs to interact with their peers, ordinary youth and adults to build bonds and enlarge their social networks. Unlike most mainstream running communities, Runninghour’s fitness training are geared towards helping PWSNs get accustomed and cope with the high impact sports activity. Its trainers are experienced running guides who volunteer their time to run alongside a PWSN.

Founded by John See Toh, a Metta School teacher, the running club has made significant progress to the overall wellbeing of its members since its inception 7 years ago.

“Running is more than just a sport. Aside from running, our members get to be mentored by responsible adults in areas such as life skills. Through the participation of mainstream activities, they gain confidence and social skills to operate in the community setting.”
Founder of RunningHour Cooperatives, John See Toh

Being a special needs educator, John and Runninghour co-founder, Jan, first initiated the idea to form an interest group catering to a small group of students who graduated from Delta Senior School. The inclusive running club was then set up on 18th of April 2009 by John and a group of fitness enthusiasts. These enthusiasts act as buddy runners every Saturday morning to special members who are mildly intellectually challenged. Its members are mainly students, ex-students from APSN (Association for People with Special Needs), CFA (Center for Adults) as well as Metta School students and their caregivers. Runninghour has been supported by Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) as a Healthy Lifestyle Club (HLC).

Presently, Runninghour has 15 Metta School students and 6 caregivers among its pool of members. Running sessions inclusive of an overall fitness training are organised thrice weekly. The initiative was warmly received as caregivers of the students noted the improvements in their charges and signed up as the club’s members and volunteer guides. Among the club’s members and advocacy is Kelvin Tan Wei Lian (陈伟联), a visually impaired local Mandopop singer, who went on to participate in the 10km run of the Singapore Marathon.

As for Ryan, things have never been the same since he joined Runninghour. The regular sessions gave the boy a fitter appearance and better discipline in following instructions from his mentors and fellow mates. Thanks to an inclusive running club like Runninghour, the hopes for parents with special needs children to get involved in healthy outdoor sports activities is a dream turned reality.

HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S MY SON

Daniel-Eddison-Tan.jpg(Daniel Tan and son, Eddison at a Runninghour run)
Metta School student Eddison Tan is only 17 years old when he took part in the Runninghour.

He is currently with Metta School’s vocational training programme for Students with Mild Intellectual Disability and is an active member of the inclusive running club. Eddison’s father, Daniel Tan, speaks about the improvements on his son’s progress through the sporting initiative.

What spurred you to enrol Eddison with Runninghour?
Daniel: I found out about the club when my wife and I attended our son’s Kota Tinggi pre-camp briefing session at Metta School in September 2015. We decided to join RunningHour as we believe that running can build our child’s determination and confidence which in turn brings about better health and happiness as endorphins are released.

What did you like about Runninghour’s programme?
Daniel: During the first running session, I was amazed and deeply touched to see so many passionate individuals come together. Eddison and I felt really good as the members are a cohesive group of like-minded enthusiasts giving strength and encouragement to their buddies along the way.

How has Runninghour made an impact on your child’s life?
Daniel: Eddison has become more confident, sociable, independent and happier since he joined Runninghour. And he is always looking forward to the next running session.

What advice will you give to people who are thinking of joining Runninghour?
Daniel: Just drop by during one of the running sessions and experience it for yourself. A thousand miles start with the first step!


MY STORY: A BRIGHTER TOMORROW

15-year old Amirul Syafiq Bin Mazlan is not just your average shy kid on the block. The Metta School student has mild intellectual disability (MID) and autism since birth. Life isn’t easy for Amirul and his family. The low-income household situation has made the family live on ends. Amirul’s father is the sole bread winner of the family of five. Amirul’s mother is a housewife and both his older sisters are currently furthering their education at a university.

training-in-school

In a personal struggle with MID and autism, Amirul finds much difficulty in interaction with strangers. He is not able to open up comfortably as would most normal teens of his age. This would be a stumbling block for Amirul’s social life and his parents are concerned that it might hinder his capability at work in the future. Despite his reticence, Amirul is a determined and courteous boy. He puts in much effort in learning, unafraid of new tasks and is always willing to help peers who are less abled than himself.

As luck would have it, things looked up for Amirul when he joined Metta School in 2009. Among Metta School’s regular training programme, Amirul is able to grasp job-related skills from personal grooming, interpersonal skills, vocational behaviour and communication skills, to generic hard skills such as packaging, assembly and sorting of packages, etc… For students like Amirul, each skill is broken into small tasks to ensure mastery and acquisition before moving on to the next challenging level. Amirul’s learning experience is also enhanced as a result of working with diverse types of materials and items in the course of his training. Among the vocational curriculum that Amirul learnt are housekeeping, laundry and various pre-vocational skills. Tasks assigned to him are simulated as close to real life for his familiarity when he goes out to work.  Amirul is presently attending pre-vocational training to prepare him for possible future job attachments.

Being a student of Metta School is not the only joy for Amirul and his family. As a Metta School student, Amirul is eligible for the School’s financial assistance scheme. Under the scheme, Amirul’s educational needs are fully met, of which includes the provision of school uniforms, shoes and stationeries. He is also receiving full subsidy for transport allowance. In addition, Metta Welfare Association provides the family with a $40 NTUC Voucher Grocery Assist and other staple items on a monthly basis. At Metta School, we believe a child can learn better when their basic needs are met.

With the new skills gained, Amirul’s parents hope that he will be more independent and eventually be gainfully employed. Through the support from Metta School, the community, Amirul’s family and his own perseverance and efforts, Amirul will be able to lead an independent and meaningful life moving forward.


ACTIVITY

HEALTHY CRAFT ACTIVITY: BEAT THE HEAT WITH HOMEMADE HEALTHY FRUIT POPSICLES

The past few weeks have been a sweltering inferno in Singapore and naturally, most of us would love to quench ourselves in cold sodas and sweetened drinks. But sweetened drinks and sodas are bad for health, causes hyperactivity in children and are known to promote tooth decay. Here’s what our creative teachers at Metta PreSchool Punggol did as an alternative to quench the thirst, excite the taste buds, educate and train the motor skills of our pre-schoolers.

“Traffic Light Ice Lollies” is a colourful ice popsicle of frozen blended fruits that teaches the children to differentiate the colours for road safety. Through touch, smell and sight, the young pre-schoolers learn about the various types of fruits and the concept of coolness to the touch. The motions of peeling the fruits, scooping and cutting them up with a blunt-edged knife promotes eye-hand coordination skills at the same time.
Try this with your child the next time you need a good cooling boost!

Ingredients:                  Tools:
Strawberries                    Blender
Mangoes                           Popsicle moulds
Kiwis                                  Popsicle sticks
Honey (optional)            Spoons (for scooping)

Method:

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Step 1: Peel the skin of the kiwis and mangoes.
Step 2: Cut all the fruits into small pieces.
Step 3: Separate the fruits into different bowls according to their colours.
Step 4: Put the fruits into a blender and drizzle some *honey to taste. Blend the fruits in separate batches according to their sorted colours.
Step 5:  With the assistance of an adult, blend the fruit chunks into puree.
Step 6: Carefully spoon the pureed fruits into popsicle moulds accordingly red, yellow and green (strawberries, mangoes and kiwis).
Step 7: Insert a popsicle stick or an ice- cream stick into the filled individual popsicle mould.
Step 8: Chill the popsicles in the freezer until frozen
Once frozen, the yummy rainbow-coloured ice popsicles are ready to eat!
TIPS: You may omit the honey if you do not want the popsicle to be too sweet for your child.

Metta e-Newsletter: Vol 20 Issue 4

PRESIDENT’S NOTE:

Rainbow of Colours

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Our nation has come a long way since racial harmony was incepted into the Singaporean culture. Commemorating the 1964 Racial Riots in Singapore, Racial Harmony Day is celebrated every year on 21 July. This is in remembrance to the importance of living in peace and tranquillity with one another, regardless of race or religion.

Racial tolerance and acceptance resonate with Metta’s core value of Harmony in treating our stakeholders, clients, donors, volunteers and staff with equality and sensitivity. It is with this value that we firmly believe in inculcating tolerance and respect in our beneficiaries through engaging activities that serve to promote their motor skills at the same time. Apart from these activities, creating awareness and understanding of each cultural norms and practices builds a deeper understanding towards different cultural habits. Metta is proud to embrace the collective efforts of its staff who make an effort to dress up in their ethnic attire and celebrate Racial Harmony Day with its clients and philanthropic corporate partners.

I like to take this moment to extend my sincerest blessings to everyone and remind all that mutual respect, patience and tolerance are essential for our society to go a long way. May we co-exist with one another for a meaningful purpose in a world beyond colours.

Yours in the Dharma

Venerable Shi Pu En
Executive Director
Metta Welfare Association


UPCOMING HAPPENINGS

METTA CHARITY RUN 2016
Date: 10 September 2016
Location: East Coast Park (Big Splash)

Dashing through another year of charity events, Metta is back again for the Metta Charity Run 2016. The 7th annual event organised by Metta Welfare Association is a non-competitive running event comprising of categories 10km, 5km and a Parents and Child 1.5km Fun Run. Giving your child a good workout while ensuring she has fun? Take her to our Parent and Child 1.5km Fun Run where the trail is lined with exciting activities and fun games.

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Joining us for the consecutive year as our Platinum Sponsor is Siemens Pte Ltd. As part of the corporation’s philanthropic efforts, staff from Siemens will volunteer their time to raise funds for the development and enrichment of Metta’s disability, medical, special education and early intervention programmes in aid of some 1,000 beneficiaries from various races and religions.

Look out for attractive goodie bags, stage performances and exciting lucky draw prizes during the carnival after a good run. This is a healthy family sporting event not to be missed!

For more information about the Metta Charity Run 2016, visit: https://www.metta.org.sg/mettarun2016/


HEALTH WISE

Healthy Local Breakfast Choices
Source: By Lim Siew Choo, Senior Dietitian, Nutrition & Dietetics, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of theSingHealth group.

Was grandma right when she said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day? Unless you wake up for a snack in the night, breakfast does refuel the body after the long ‘fast’ through the night.

Breakfast is still the most important meal because it provides the fuel for the day. Studies have shown that overweight children, adolescents and adults are less likely to eat breakfast than their thinner counterparts. Skipping breakfast often leads to eating a heavier lunch or to having a snack (often high-calorie) before lunch. Hence, eating a healthy breakfast can help in control weight gain.

Ultimately, one should never forget that it is the net energy intake (i.e. the energy consumed minus the energy expended throughout the day) that determines if we lose weight or gain weight.

A healthy and nutritious breakfast consists of slowly digested carbohydrates (e.g. fresh fruit, whole grain cereal, low-fat dairy products) paired with protein foods (e.g. egg, reduced fat cheese, tau huay). These will give you the energy and nutrients you need to jump-start the day.

Nutritious breakfast ideas

  • Wholegrain ready-to-eat breakfast cereals with low-fat fruit yoghurt or low-fat milk
  • Sandwich (e.g. wholemeal or multigrain bread) with low-fat cheese / tuna or mashed egg with light mayonnaise (add lettuce and tomatoes)
  • Instant or quick-cooking oatmeal prepared with low-fat milk and topped with sliced fresh fruits (bananas are great!) or dried fruit (e.g. raisins)
  • Bean curd (tau huay), with less syrup, and raisin bun
  • Dosa (thosai) or idli with lentil (dhal) curry
  • Low-fat yoghurt with fresh fruit (can also be blended into a smoothie)
  • Plain crackers with low-fat cheese and low-fat milk or reduced-sugar soya bean milk
  • Fish porridge with chopped spring onions (no fried garnishing or dough fritters)
  • Fishball noodles (beehoon, kway teow or mee sua) soup (no fried garnishings)
  • Vegetable pau with soya bean milk (tau huay) with less syrup

Dim sum
Singaporeans like fast, takeaway breakfast options, including popular dim sums.
Choose wisely from the vast options available in Singapore. Here is a listing of nutritional content for various dim sum, to enable you to make healthier choices:

Food Items Lor Mai Kai  Dim Sum, Siew Mai, Steamed Pork Pau Dim Sum, Spring Roll, Deep Fried Dim Sum, Har Gow, Steamed Chee Cheong Fun With Char Siew  Dim Sum, Yam Cake, Steamed 
Per serving size
149
(1pc)
16g
(1pc)
123.6g
(1pc)
22g
(1pc)
18g
(1pc)
80.5g
(1pc)
133g
(1pc)
Energy (kcal)
322 29 360 70 27 65 193
Total fat (g) 7 1 16 4 1 1 3
Saturated fat (g) 2.7 0.4 5.6 1.7 0.3 0.6 1.3
Trans fat (g) 0 0.03 N.A N.A N.A N.A N.A

Source: Health Promotion Board

Although fat is a concentrated source of calories, weight loss still depends on the overall energy intake throughout the day and physical activity. It is important to remember that calories are also found in foods containing carbohydrate, protein and alcohol.

Unhealthy breakfast options

Both pancakes and Danish pastries are made from flour, eggs and milk, etc., either topped with a sweet spread (maple syrup, jam, honey, etc.) or a savoury mixture (margarine, nuts, etc). Danish pastry is also very high in fat. Whilst providing energy, fat and carbohydrates, they don’t provide many important nutrients. This also applies to local breakfast ideas e.g. fried carrot cake, roti prata, kaya and butter toast.

Healthier choices include lower fat options: tuna bun, Japanese style pancake, vegetable pau, etc. Choose soup noodles instead of dry noodles and chicken porridge instead of pork porridge.

Article contributed by the Dept of Nutrition and Dietetics at:

The above article is extracted from: http://www.healthxchange.com.sg/healthyliving/DietandNutrition/Pages/Healthy-Local-Breakfast-Choices.aspx

NURTURING TIES

Celebrating Multi-Racial Food Culture

Food binds people as it binds cultures. As part of Metta Preschool’s learning curriculum to introduce multi-racial diversity to its pre-schoolers, our teachers engaged the children in fun and interactive activities such as basic food preparation of local fares. The children had a filled day learning to flip roti pratas in a pan, skewering satay mock meat, cooking mock prawn noodles, separating kangkong leaves from its stems, slicing mock meat with plastic knives and stirring scrambled eggs. Such exploratory activity trains the children’s eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills with a fun element.

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Segregated into groups, each child also tasted various local foods from you tiao, soybean drinks, bandung drinks, traditional Malay kuehs, roti pratas and murukus as they try to differentiate the different food types to the respective race and its culture. Whoever says you can’t have fun while learning!

A Mid-Autumn’s Love of Sharing and Caring

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

When: 26 August 2016

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Staff volunteers from Deloitte & Touche LLP spent a memorable afternoon with clients from Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly when they came down to interact and create mid-autumn crafts with our beneficiaries.

14355697_1172697059443199_61244841934265355_n 14264131_1172697922776446_9172512141353805218_n img-20161020-wa0008img-20161020-wa0007
14264192_1172698016109770_6847436635212002586_nDeloitte staff briefly picked up the art of snowskin mooncake making from Metta’s kitchen chef, Ms Jessica Feng, and proceeded to teach and guide and the clients with their new found skills. Over 60 beneficiaries were each accompanied by a Deloitte staff who assisted the clients in creating pretty rainbow-hued snowskin mooncakes with yam or green tea flavoured lotus seed paste and snowskin pastry. On top of the confectionery craft, Deloitte staff also assisted the clients in decorating paper lanterns with punch art paper butterfly embellishments.

This CSR activity not only serves as a bonding and social interaction moment, but also acts as an occupational therapy for the elderly clients as it trains their motor skills.

Metta Charity Run 2016: The Run That Binds Ties

RECENT HAPPENINGS

When: 10 September 2016@The Big Splash


THE RUN THAT BINDS TIES

Metta Charity Run 2016

Metta Charity Run 2016

“Sunshine after the rain” is an adage that holds true for the recently ended Metta Charity Run 2016. The 7th annual sporting fundraiser saw good success amidst the initial stormy weather that looked to hamper the enthusiasm of our runners. Despite that, the determined and selfless spirits of the runners and volunteers showed through as everyone huddled close together under tentages and ensuring that no one is left out in the rain. Held on 10 September 2016 with 1,250 runners supporting the event, the charity run saw more than $82,000 raised.

Metta Charity Run 2016

dsc_0276


“Running helps us to stay healthy and bond.  The Metta Charity Run is non-competitive that allows one to run at your own pace, and to really enjoy the run with family and friends.  This embodies the spirit of harmony, peace, family bonding and friendship. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the participants, corporates and sponsors for their support and our staff and volunteers for their hard work and passion to make this event a success.”

Ms. Felicia Wee, Deputy Executive Director,
Metta Welfare Association

 

It turned out to be showers of blessings as the delayed flag-off saw eager runners making a beeline to the start point with the cool weather ambient in working up a sweat for the runners. Adding on to this year’s Run is the memorable experience of having students from Metta School and clients from Metta Home for the Disabled joining the runners, as merry beneficiaries from Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly cheered everyone on with brightly coloured pom poms.

dsc_0356Gracing the event was Guest of Honour, MP of East Coast GRC, Ms. Jessica Tan who also gave out the Tokens of Appreciation to our key contributors including Singapore Pools, Changi Simei Grassroots Organisations, Big Splash, Singapore Police Force Training Command and Vu Marcoms.

 

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Metta Charity Run 2016

The non-competitive run consisted of 3 categories of 10km, 5km and a Parent & Child 1.5km Fun Run. The 1.5km route was packed with challenging games and activities that engaged the family. A convivial mini carnival greeted the runners after their run. In addition to the food and games, there was also a Milo truck that provided free-flow of chilled Milo to the participants and a photo booth set up to capture the moments as parents and children each took home a Pikachu or Bulbasaur balloon. Entertainment highlights by Metta School’s Stomp Warriors who gave an exuberant Bahiana Funk performance, another group of Metta School students provided an exciting Wushu performance, together with many other multi-racial performing talents.  The Triskelion Singapore Council, a Filipino community whose members work in various industries in Singapore, were also there to perform their versions of popular contemporary songs.

 

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.

Metta Charity Bowl 2016: Bowling Good Times

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Date: 22 October 2016
Location: Orchid Bowl @Downtown East


BOWLING GOOD TIMES

METTA CHARITY BOWL 2016

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2016 marks the 3rd bowling tournament of Metta Welfare Association since its inception. Held at Orchid Bowl at Downtown East, this bowling tournament has corporates joining in for a good camaraderie with clients and students from Metta Day Activity Centre for the Intellectually Disabled and Metta School respectively. It was an exciting challenge as corporates and professional student bowlers pit their skills against one another for the grand championship title and bag home prizes sponsored by Aerogaz, York Hotel, Citrusox, Singapore Pools, among others.

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Gracing the event as our Guest-of-Honour is Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mayor of South East District, Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman who handed out the prizes to the winners and the grand championship trophy title to Team Crowne Plaza Strikers.

Moana (Disney Animation Movie) @ Metta Charity Movie Screening 2016

Time: 4pm
Date: 26 November 2016
Location: The Cathay Cineplex (2 Handy Road, Singapore 229233)

THE OCEAN IS CALLING

ocean-is-calling-poster

Sailing into local cinemas for families and children is an enchanting CG-animated adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios of a spirited teenager, Moana, who sails out on a daring seafaring mission to save her people and uncover her own identity.

Watch the trailer below!

Organised by Metta Welfare Association, this epic action-packed adventure comedy starring Dwayne Johnson as the voice of demigod, Maui and Auli’i Cravalho as female protagonist Moana is an exciting animation not to be missed.

HURRY!!
What are you waiting for?

Now you can help the less privileged simply by watching a movie at the Metta Charity Movie Screening 2016. Show your support to the community when you bring your family and join us for this event in November. Ticket sales will go towards funding of Metta’s programmes and services for its beneficiaries.

Movie tickets at S$30, S$50 and S$100. All tickets consist of a popcorn combo set and goodie bag. Wait no more! *Register with us HERE!!

*For tax exemption claims, please indicate your NRIC number in the form fields.
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Photo taken from Metta Charity Movie Screening 2014.

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Photo taken from Metta Charity Movie Screening 2014.

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Photo taken from Metta Charity Movie Screening 2014.

Metta e-Newsletter: Vol 20 Issue 3

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

MENTAL & PHYSICAL WELLBEING

1In our society, the hurried fast pace of living has led many to compromise on their general wellbeing. Wellbeing is not just the absence of illness or mental ability. It is a complex combination of an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors. Believing that worldly possession is the key to happiness can also harm a person’s wellbeing. A person who chooses to over work misses out on time with family, friends, leisure pursuits and his health as a result of stress-induced habits. A poor lifestyle ultimately may culminate into serious health ailments which could deteriorate if habits are not changed. Quality of living might be compromised as poor health impede simple daily tasks’ performance or might jeopardise the livelihood of an individual.

It is essential that we play our part by making positive changes to our lifestyle and be responsible for our own health and wellbeing. Metta regularly upgrades it healthcare services to meet the rising challenges of the ageing population and people with special needs. Introducing Metta Home Nursing, it bridges intervention and medical assistance of elderly patients requiring frequent re-admittance to the hospital. This allows the elderly to age in place by providing nursing services at their homes through telecommunications and home visits.

Together with appropriate care, adequate family and social support, our clients can still enjoy a meaningful and good quality of life. Metta will continue to work towards the seamless and holistic care of our clients for their total wellbeing through the enhancements of our programmes and services. Ultimately, our goal is to help our clients lead a beneficial and fulfilling life with their loved ones.

With Triple Gems Blessings
Venerable Shi Fa Zhao BBM


UPCOMING EVENTS

KEPPEL OFFSHORE AND MARINE-METTA CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT 2016

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28 July 2016
Tanah Merah Country Club (Tampines Course)

Metta Welfare Association is back for its annual 17th fundraising golf event, Metta Charity Golf Tournament 2016 partnering with Keppel Offshore and Marine again. The tournament will be held at the Tanah Merah Country Club.

It will be an exciting tournament as golfers pit their skills against each other for a good game. Participating golfers stand a chance to win a Hole-In-One prize of a Mercedes-Benz CLA 180 Shooting Brake among other prizes. The fulfilling afternoon wraps up with a relaxing dinner with entertaining performances and a lucky draw.

Wish to do your part for charity and join us in this golfing tournament? Log on to www.metta.org.sg for more information.


HEALTHWISE

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PLAYING GOLF

Golf has quickly become a popular sport all over the globe. Players of all ages, walks of life and geographic locations find solace in a good game of golf. Golf can be good for your health and your heart. Be it taking the buggy or walking on the course, you would be working every single muscle in your body with just a golf game. If you traverse 18 holes 3 to 5 times a week, you’ll get an optimal amount of endurance exercise for your heart. If you pull your clubs or carry them, you’ll burn even more calories and benefit much more.

  • Golf players who carry their bags while walking the course burn 721 calories on average.
  • Players who travel the course using pull-carts actually burn 718 calories on average.
  • Golfers who walk the course, but have caddies carry their bags burn 613 calories on average.
  • Those who ride in golf carts throughout the game still burn an average of 411 calories.

Benefits of Golfing!

  1. Reduces Stress – It’s been said that playing a round of golf releases endorphins. These are all-natural, powerful, mood-enhancing “drugs” within our brains. Basically, golfing helps one to relax and reduce stress, which can affect health drastically.
  2. Stimulates Blood Circulation – Some studies suggest that playing golf may actually stimulate blood circulation within our brains. This helps to improve nerve cell connections, and may actually delay an onset of dementia.
  3. Improves Mortality Rate – A Swedish Study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports concluded that golf just may affect life expectancy. According to the publication, of those who play golf regularly, there was a 40% decrease in mortality rates. That’s an increase of a 5-year life expectancy.
  4. Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep – It’s during sleep when our bodies heal most. Therefore, any activity that causes us to sleep well, naturally, is good for our health. Between walking the course, lugging your bag, prepping and swinging, you’ll get enough of a physical workout to fall asleep fast and stay asleep all night long.
  5. Improves Vision – It takes pretty good vision to zoom in on that round, little white ball. Each time you take a swing at it, you get the opportunity to evaluate the keenness of your vision. This is especially true when you’re trying to figure out where your ball has landed.
  6. Gets Your Bladder Trained – This is a surprising revelation from the golfers worth taking note of. Those frequent visits from your friendly course beer-cart steward can give your bladder a run for its time. The longer you learn to hold it, the more you strengthen the capacity of your bladder. And, as noted by several women golfers, it is also an effective way to strengthen leg muscles, especially the thighs. Crouching manoeuvres used by those who can’t “hold it” are a unique way of doing leg exercises.
  7. Stimulates the Heart – Remember that any form of physical exercise helps to get your adrenaline going. This, in turn, gets the blood pumping to the heart, strengthening it naturally. Exercising for just 30 minutes each day can help you lower your blood pressure by up to 5-7 points. Workouts also help you improve your cholesterol, lose weight and lower one’s risks of getting heart disease.

Article republished from: http://www.sggolfcoach.com/#!health-benefits-of-golfing/cq1i


ACTIVITY

HEALTHY FRIED VEGETARIAN BEE HOON

3This simple Chinese-style fried vegetarian bee hoon with mixed vegetables and shiitake mushrooms is fuss-free and easy to prepare in the kitchen. Contributed by Mdm Jessica Feng, who created this recipe, this dish, free of alliums such as garlic and onions, is among the many vegetarian meals served to the beneficiaries at Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly.

Ingredients:

  • 600 g rice vermicelli (bee hoon)
  • 20 dried or fresh shitake mushrooms, for dried shitake, soaked till soft, discard the stems and slice the caps
  • 200 g celery, sliced
  • 200 g round cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 100 g french beans, sliced into ½ inch
  • 100 g carrots, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce (can be substituted with mushroom sauce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust according to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, julienned
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 500g water or vegetable stock
  • Pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Chillies, sliced for garnishing

Method:

  1. Soften vermicelli in cold water for 15-30 minutes till soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in wok over high heat and saute shredded ginger. Pour in mushrooms, carrots and stir-fry until fragrant. Add in sliced celery, cabbage and french beans.
  3. Stir in soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sugar, and water or vegetable stock. Mix evenly then braise over low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Add vermicelli. Cook until water is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Stir continuously to coat all the noodles and incorporate all the vegetables.
  5. Use tongs or a large pair of chopsticks to toss the vermicelli, so as not to risk breaking the vermicelli strands up.
  6. Serve and garnish with sliced chillies.

Recipe courtesy of Mdm Jessica Feng. Jessica is a cook at the Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly who has been whipping up vegetarian meals for the centre’s beneficiaries since 2008.


SHOUT OUT

GOING DIGITAL

Metta Café is proud to jump on board with food delivery service, Food Panda, and rush-hour discount app, 11-Hour.

Now you can enjoy our various range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare delivered hot to your doorstep! Follow Metta Café on 11-Hour and be updated Live on special promotions and discount deals.

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NURTURING TIES

PRACTICE GOOD HANDWRITING HABITS

Article contributed by Metta Preschool Occupational Therapists, Amelia Juntado and Heidi Mosqueriola.

5.jpgSome children may find writing an easy and fun activity but to some others, it may find be a difficult and tedious process. Legible handwriting technique requires coordination of the eyes, arms, hands, pencil grip, letter formation and body posture. There are many reasons why some children have difficulty holding a pencil, sitting with a good body posture, learning to form letters, and writing legibly and neatly. Often, Occupational Therapists are present to assess a child’s muscle strength, coordination, endurance and motor control and guide them through a series of activities to improve their handwriting skills.

Metta PreSchool Occupational Therapists, Amelia and Heidi, offers some simple activities which can be practised in the classroom or at home.

  1. Sports and Games that could improve visual, motor, and coordination skills
    –    Play ball (catching, throwing, rolling, bouncing)
    –    Play balloon ( catching, throwing, hitting)
    –    Toss rings over a pole
  2. Hand/Finger Activities
    –    Play dough (rolling, pinching, pulling, twisting, cutting)
    –    Clip/unclip clothes pegs
    –    Pick small objects such as beads, blocks, pom-poms using tongs or tweezers
  3. Pencil Grasp Activities
    –    String beads
    –    Pick up sticks
    –    Crumple bits of paper for arts and crafts
  4. Letter Formation
    –    Form letters by gluing together beans, buttons, seeds
    –    Form letters with play dough, putty, clay
    –    Form letters in the sand, shaving cream
    –    Write letters in the air
    * Note: Letters should be written from top to bottom and from left to right
  5. Writing on Paper with Guided Lines
    –    Use coloured lines to indicate top, middle, and bottom line for tall letters and shorts letters
    –    Highlight the bottom half of the line
    –    Make a raised base (bottom line) using glue
  6. Word Spacing
    –    Teach your child to use “finger space” by placing an index finger after each word that is written
    –    Place a dot or small line after each word the child writes. Erase it after he/she has finished writing.
    –    Play a game of arranging cut-out words to form a sentence on a whiteboard and placing coloured magnet after each word

Coaching a child good handwriting skills is not an easy task as it requires patience, attention, communication, and constant encouragement. Thus, teachers and parents are encouraged to schedule and plan activities for handwriting to be fun, interactive and enjoyable. Make it a habit to let your child write, draw, colour or create little notes. More importantly, remember to bring out those fanciful stamps; stickers; or just simply reward your child with a kiss or a big hug in showing how proud you are about his/her performance.


MAKE A WISH

LIVING HIS DREAM

What would you do if you knew your days are limited? Most of us would try our best to live our hopes and dreams in that remaining period of our time. For hospice patient, Mr Lim Eng Chui, that is a chance to visit the Gardens by The Bay for the first time with his loved ones.

6.jpgMost of us would have visited Gardens by The Bay since it opened its doors to the public in 2012. However, for some like Mr Lim, it is a dream come true to get close to nature and step foot in the City in A Garden. Unfortunately for the 45-year old, he is not able to walk long distances and move as freely as before. The former coffee-shop assistant used to toil long hours at work, neglecting his health until he was inflicted with colon cancer in late 2014. Hospice patients like Mr Lim are grateful for The Singapore Ireland Fund and Metta Hospice’s Make-A-Wish program that enables patients like himself to fulfil their final wishes.

Accompanied by Mr Lim’s girlfriend and the Metta Hospice palliative care team, Mr Lim spent an enjoyable fruitful day at the Flower Dome in Gardens by The Bay. He was exceptionally blown away by the many various variety of sakuras and cherry blossoms on display in the air-conditioned flora enclosure. What completed the day was having his girlfriend by his side all through this time as he hopes to leave behind lasting memories for her.

“It doesn’t matter if it is short-lived. What matters most is that I have lived it.”
Mr Lim Eng Chui, 45 years old, Metta Hospice patient

Metta Hospice Care introduced the Make-A-Wish program in April 2014 for its patients to fulfil their final wishes to their heart’s content. 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.

 


WHAT’S NEW

METTA HOME SHELTERED ARTS WORKSHOP

7.jpgMetta Home for the Disabled has introduced a new art therapy that aims to provide relaxation and calm agitated behaviour in our adult clients with special needs. The Sheltered Arts Workshop is an indoor craft session that involves paper quilling among other art activities. Held in an environment that is familiar to the clients, the workshop is conducted by staff who are trained to work with people with special needs. The objective of this new art therapy provides an opportunity for our clients to have a sense of achievement while enhancing their skills.

Adopting simple step-by-step instructions by Metta’s workshop supervisor, Lalitha, clients are taught to coil and shape narrow strips of paper to create designs such as hearts and flowers for their quilling project. This activity requires focus, attention to fine details and helps in improving the fine motor skills of the client with each degree catering to the individuals’ level of competence.

The fun workshop is a hit among our clients as they look forward to each session conducted on a daily basis. Under close supervision, several clients have shown improvements as they independently complete the paper quilling to produce a final artwork.

Art pieces are available for sale. Enquire about these pieces at Tel: 6365 7666.


CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES EVENTS

BRINGING JOY AND LIFE TO THE ELDERLY
30 April 2016

Clients from Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly spent a fruitful Saturday afternoon on a “fishy” excursion to S.E.A Aquarium (Sentosa), accompanied by volunteers of philanthropic organisation, Direct Life Foundation. It was a great time of interaction between the clients, volunteers and staff of Metta. Random bits of knowledge were exchanged along the way as each volunteer accompanied a client. Direct Life Foundation founder, Darren Cheng and his wife, Jenny Tay (accompanied by Mr and Mrs Roland Tay) joined in the fun-filled outing as they wheeled the clients around the gargantuan compound of the indoor aquarium. Clients thoroughly enjoyed the outing which ended with delectable bento lunches for all.8.jpg

Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly thanks Direct Life Foundation and all participating volunteers for the eventful day.

 

CUPCAKES WITH LOVE – BAKING WITH NKF AT METTA PRESCHOOL@SIMEI
13 May 2016

9.jpgIn a series of ongoing community outreach programme, a team of staff from National Kidney Foundation (NKF) dropped in for a bake and play time with Metta’s pre-schoolers. The staff took turns to mix and prepare the batter while the children had a whole lot of fun unleashing their creativity on the baked cupcakes. With little fingers, the children piped yellow icing in various designs and topped it off with colourful rainbow jimmies.

It was a refreshing experience for the staff of NKF who deals with a different set of clients in their daily work.

“This outreach is a different experience from our daily work. The only similar concept to our job is the care and passion to what we do.” Chua Cheng Wah, NKF Volunteer Leader

 

A CURIOUS MIND IS A BEAUTIFUL MIND
6 May 2016

10.jpgMetta Home Day Activity Centre clients got their curiosity filled when they visited the Science Centre with an energetic group of Zendesk volunteers. Enthusiasm and laughter were clearly seen on the clients’ faces as they touched and explored the magic of science. Eager Zendesk volunteers patiently guided and explained to the clients the various exhibits which fascinated them to no end.

Visiting the Eco-Garden, Tesla Coil Show, Immersive Experience and Butterfly Sanctuary gave the clients an opportunity to feel the allure of Mother Nature. They felt the touch of a butterfly, experienced the force of a typhoon, observed the mesmerising beauty of electricity and awaken their auditory sensory perceptions to the pattering sound of rain.

Thank you Zendesk for making it an unforgettable day


MY STORY

AGAINST ALL ODDS
An early retirement is the last thing on the mind of Mr. Mohamed Rafi Bin K M Abdul. The feisty-spirited 52-year-old who was previously a private bus driver, suffered a stroke in 2013 that rendered him poor mobility to be gainfully employed.

11.jpgA client of Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly since April 2015, Rafi was stricken with partial stroke late one night. Awoken to numbness on the right side of his body, Rafi called for an ambulance and dragged himself to allow the medics in. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment and spent the next 5 months at the hospital. Fortunately for Rafi, his condition stabilised and he spent an additional 5 months at a community hospital before his admittance to Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly for regular rehabilitation therapy.

During Rafi’s difficult times, his selfless sister gave up her job to become his main caregiver. This adds on to an additional loss of income for the family. Thankfully for Rafi, he receives subsidy from Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly. The family also receives basic food rations which Metta Welfare Association regularly hands out to its clients in need.

Always having an optimistic outlook on life, Rafi enjoyed independence and meeting new people when he used to work. Despite his current challenges in limited Activities of Daily Living (ADL), it did not stop him from continuously receiving rehabilitation at Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly in order to be independent again. Rafi’s persistence and perseverance paid off and almost a year later, he is able to perform simple tasks such as going to the nearby shops by himself. With a never-say-die attitude, Rafi hopes with regular rehabilitative therapy, he would get back on his own two feet and return to the workforce. Chirped the optimistic man,

“I have no problem coming to Metta. I like coming every day for my therapy.”


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Metta Welfare Association has recently launched a new FREE mobile app that makes tracking of our upcoming fundraising events, various welfare centre’s information and best of all, registering and tracking the progress of your volunteer application a breeze!

What you can expect:
Volunteering Opportunities – Registration now made easy on the app. Be a volunteer at our events, activities and our various welfare centres islandwide. Get alerts on your volunteering sign-ups.

Event Updates – Receive updates on events from Metta such as our community fundraising activities with easy participation and sign up through the app.

Publications – Read the latest bi-monthly Metta News from the app. Get updated on the latest CSR activities, news, information, health tips and inspirational stories of our clients.

Donate – Easy, fuss-free online donation to do your part in helping the less privileged.

Metta App is currently available on GOOGLE PLAY and APPLE STORE

Metta e-Newsletter: Vol 20 Issue 2

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

Embracing Acceptance of Disabilities

1World Autism Awareness Day fell on 2 April and it is with great comfort to know that the world is beginning to open up and accept autism with more awareness to the condition.

People with autism and other various mild intellectual disabilities rightly want to feel accepted in schools, at work places and in a community setting. They also want to be heard. Programmes with specially tailored training and activities need to make reasonable improvements to make sure there is full inclusivity for people with mild intellectual disabilities. At Metta, we play our part by providing early intervention programmes for our young beneficiaries in the hope that they may overcome their challenges and be self-reliant.

There is, however, a lot more we can do to embrace people with special needs. Public perception of young adults with mild intellectual disabilities can be intimidating. Too many employers are still missing out on the skills of people who would love to work for them and who would do a great job. I am heartened to know that we have assistance, such as the Metta Alumni, in place to not only match jobs for our youths, but also train them for life skills necessary for independence and assimilating to society.

It is with the dedication and compassion of our donors, sponsors, volunteers and stall that supported the cause of Metta in providing these services to the less privileged. I like to take this moment to thank all of whom have come together over the years to share our passion in engendering a compassionate society.

Yours in the Dharma
Venerable Shi Pu En
Executive Director
Metta Welfare Association


RECENT EVENTS

METTA LUNAR NEW YEAR BLESSING CEREMONY cum ‘LOU HEI’ BUFFET LUNCHEON 2016
13 Feb 2016
Metta Building

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In our time-honoured tradition, the Lunar New Year “Lou Hei” Luncheon was held at Metta’s premises to acknowledge its charitable donors, volunteers and supporters for their stalwart contributions to the organisation throughout the year. Bringing alive to the ceremony was the lively lion dance troupe by students of Metta School. The lions ushered in the New Year by performing a “Cai Qing” (Picking the Green) segment to usher in auspicious luck to all attendees. The hearty event commenced with a blessing ceremony and welcome speech by Metta’s Executive Director, Venerable Shi Pu-En.

And like almost all Lunar New Year luncheons, no feast is complete without the yusheng tossing tradition. Good wishes were loudly proclaimed as the “Lou Hei” progressed. Amidst the hearty fare and mingling, everyone was also entertained by a group of youths from the Seik Phu Taung Youth Development Centre who performed lively beats of the traditional ethnic dance moves from the Karen tribesmen of Myanmar.

METTA CHARITY CARNIVAL 2016
20 March 2016
Metta Building & Metta School

Metta Welfare Association (MWA) recently celebrated its annual mega, familybonding charity carnival in the heartlands. Gracing the event was Guest-of-Honour, Ms Jessica Tan, MP for East Coast GRC and Advisor to East Coast GRC GROs, who flagged of the 3-km Charity Walk around Simei estate that preceded the carnival. Five Metta School students from the “Healthy Fit Club” kept the adrenalin kicking with an energetic Zumba warm-up prior to the Walk. After the invigorating walk, participants were greeted by a gastronomic endless array of vegetarian spread from mouthwatering dim sums, vegetarian kong bak paus (braised ‘pork’ buns), curried potato spring rolls, rich and savoury lontongs and laksa, sushi, and many more.

Entertaining the masses were a non-stop programme of stage performances from Metta School’s Lion Dance, Stomp Warriors and Hotsteppers; Compassvale Secondary School; Serangoon Secondary School; Bollywood dance group, Dedancestar; balloon sculpting, and many more! We took the opportunity to award 7 out of our 17 students who graduated from Metta School last year. These students had undergone four modules of ITE Skills Certificate courses in Baking Practices and Hospitality Services. They did well in their Workplace Literacy and ISC courses and are currently studying Nitec Courses in ITE College West.

The Carnival also saw the launch of the new Metta mobile app that was introduced during the event. Explore volunteering opportunities with Metta and be updated on all its future fundraising activities and online news with the new app which shows the various  volunteering duties available in Metta’s respective centres. Making a unique highlight to the Carnival this year is a Sherlock Holmes-style, “Metta Adventure Discovery Trail”.

Participants had to hunt around Metta’s premises to uncover answers in order to win a prize in a sure-win lucky dip. And what is a carnival without a bazaar of good deals from fashionable shoes, bags and costume jewellery, to attractive terrariums, electrical  appliances, health food products and many more! Young kids had a frolicking good time on bouncy castle inflatables, joyride on animal kiddy rides and indulge themselves in challenging Gladiator inflatable and other games!

IF YOU MISSED BEING WITH US AT THE RECENT METTA CHARITY CARNIVAL 2016, DO JOIN US NEXT YEAR!3


NURTURING TIES

6 CLASSIC OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

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If you have to pick a time of year to get outside, this is it! Step away from the computer and get outside for some sunshine and fun. Sounds, sights and feelings are at their peak therapeutic value and all you have to do is to admire nature. But before you do, let’s take a look at some top favourite outdoor activities so that you can maximize the time you spend with Mother Nature.

1. Obstacle Course
The great outdoors provides the most awesome of obstacle courses. Jump over a stick, run around a bush, hug a tree and down the slide you go! You really don’t need much in equipment, though it can enhance your obstacle course options. Be creative and let your child help you set it up.

2. Head for the Playground
Who doesn’t love a playground? Well maybe your sensory avoiders, but a playground is a perfect place for children to work on motor planning, balance, vestibular orientation, confidence and social skills. Though you don’t need to hover, stay close by for safety and to encourage some new heights and skills.

3. Hide N’ Seek
This game just never gets old. Most people like to play it indoors, but outdoors is great. Little ones just giggle when you find them sticking out behind a pillar. You can incorporate counting, turn taking and visual perception.

4. Treasure Hunt
Make a list and send your children out to find the items listed. Rocks, sticks, leaf, etc.… can be just a few of the items on the Treasure Hunt list. Or make it a real hunt and place notes in various spots outside. Each note can direct your child to a new location and at the end you  can have a special treasure waiting. You can even download the Geocache app and go  hunting for a real hidden treasure with your children not too far.

5. Water Therapy
Of course you think I’m referring to a swimming pool, but I’m actually talking about rain! Wait for the rain and send your children outside. With clothes or swimsuits, it doesn’t matter. Hand them an umbrella or let them just get soaked. Give them buckets to collect water and a broom to slosh it up with. The rain provides a phenomenal sensory integration experience.

6. Rolling Along
Got wheels? Then your child is good to go! Bikes, scooters and skateboards encourage balance, motor planning and linear acceleration, all necessary for effective sensory processing. Make sure helmets and pads are worn at all times! Have a reticent roller on your hands? That’s OK. Start out slowly. Try taking the pedals off the bike, lowering the seat so their feet are flat on the ground. Once they learn to walk and glide, you can put the pedals back on and raise the seat.

Caution
Please don’t leave your children unattended outdoors! An ounce of prevention goes a long way. In addition, make sure their feet are protected with shoes appropriate for the outdoors and they have plenty of sunscreen applied. Have a wonderful time in the great outdoors!

Article republished from: http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2015/05/19/6-classic-outdoor-activities-for-children-with-autism/


HEALTH WISE

THE BEST BRAIN FOOD YOU SHOULD BE EATING

Here are some suggested foods to protect your brain cells, improve memory, and even reduce your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Walnuts
5eThese wrinkly nuts—which kind of resemble the human brain—are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center studied the lifestyle habits of 6,000 people who were unaffected by the memory-robbing condition, and found that those who ate the most vitamin E-rich foods had a reduced Alzheimer’s risk. Vitamin E may trap free radicals that can damage brain cells, explains the Alzheimer’s Research Center.

Eggs
5aThose bright, round yolks are rich in choline, a B vitamin-like nutrient. When you eat eggs, your brain uses choline to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that may be important  for maintaining memory and communication among brain cells. Boston University researchers tracked the eating habits of nearly 1,400 healthy adults for 10 years and found that choline intake correlated positively with better performance on certain types of memory tests.

Blueberries
5d“Brainberries” is what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, calls these antioxidant packed fruits on WebMD.com. In select animal studies, researchers found that blueberries helped protect the brain from oxidative stress, and may have worked to reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, Pratt said. A Harvard study published last year in the journal Annals of Neurology found that women who reported eating more blueberries and strawberries were  likely to have less-rapid cognitive decline than those who ate fewer of the fruits. (The research was partially funded by the California Strawberry Commission.)

Wine and Champagne
While too much alcohol can certainly destroy healthy brain tissue, drinking in moderation  may be good for your mind. A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that the antioxidant EGCG— found in red wine and green tea—helped stop beta-amyloid proteins from harming brain cells in the lab. Additionally, research from  UCLA found that wine’s antioxidants may block proteins that build brain-destroying plaques. In other recent news, British researchers discovered that rats improved spatial  memory when they consumed what would be the equivalent of a daily glass of Champagne; certain antioxidants in the bubbly may encourage growth of and better communication among nerve cells.

Avocados
5cAvocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health, Dr. Pratt told WebMD.com. These buttery fruits are rich in monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood #ow in the brain, according to Ann Kulze, MD, author of Dr. Ann’s 10-Step Diet: A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality. They may also help lower blood pressure, which can reduce your risks for hypertension or a stroke that could permanently damage brain tissue.

Kale and Other Cruciferous Veggies
5bThese superfoods contain powerful antioxidants that can protect your brain from toxic free  radicals. One study of older women found that those who ate the most green, leafy vegetables had minds that functioned like women who were one to two years younger than they actually were, compared to women who ate fewer leafy greens, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Salmon
Your brain loves omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to play an important role in cognitive function. According to the New York Times describing research in the journal Neurology, low levels of these unsaturated fats in the blood are linked with smaller brain volume and worse performance on certain tests of mental function. Omega-3s, which are found in salmon and other cold-water fish, may also bolster the brainpower of younger adults. According to University of Pittsburgh research published last year, adults under age 25 who increased their omega-3 intake over six months improved their scores on tests measuring working memory.

Article republished from: http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/best-brain-food/


CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES EVENTS

PUB BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT METTA PRESCHOOL @PUNGGOL
29 January 2016

6In our regular bi-monthly CSR initiative with PUB, PUB staff made the day of 16 Preschool@Punggol students when they came down to celebrate the birthdays of children born in the months of January and February.

In view of the Lunar New Year season, arts activities related to the festive period were the theme of the party. Each kid prepared their own Chinese lion mask with help from PUB volunteers in colouring and decorating the tail. The indispensable birthday cake cutting and presents for the birthday girls and boys completed the memorable and joyful day for the children.

HANDMADE EDIBLE TREATS WITH PRESCHOOL @SIMEI
19 February 2016

7As part of its ongoing volunteering programme with Metta, staff of NKF volunteered their time to join Preschool@Simei students in a baking craft session. Coming well equipped with cookie moulds and ingredients, the NKF volunteers helped the students create various cookie shapes and designs in a hands-on ‘Play Doh’ session. The children’s creativity were unleashed by creating works of edible art in a theme of the festive Lunar New Year.

INTERACTIVE LEARNING PLAYGROUND AT THE CITY WITH METTA PRESCHOOL @SIMEI
24 February 2016

8Staff from Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics Pte. Ltd. (SPPAL) took a day off to bring our preschoolers to The City at Liang Court. The City is an Interactive Learning Playground that brings an exciting, first-of-its-kind children’s indoor ‘playground’. Role play & pretend play experiences in realistic environments and scenarios such as being in a supermarket, a doctor’s office and superhero rooms were among the settings to enrich the child’s playful imagination. It was both fun and educational at the same time as the children were enthusiastically trying on various costumes with the volunteers engaging them in the role play.

From the looks of it, it was definitely a fun-filled enjoyable experience for our students!

LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVITIES WITH METTA DAY REHABILIATION CENTRE FOR THE ELDERLY
20 February 2016

9A team of energetic staff from Eelit Placement Agency LLP spent a fulfilling day with elderly clients from the Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Mr. Desmond Choo, MP for Tampines Changkat made his appearance as the Guest-of-Honour to the event when he mingled with the elderly. Volunteers from Eelit arrived early in the morning to pack the goodie bags and distributed them to the elderly later in the afternoon. Everyone was treated to a lion dance performance from Metta School, a Chinese dance by Metta’s multi-cultural staff and volunteers, an entertaining magic show act, the indispensable auspicious lou-hei tossing, and a vegetarian buffet lunch. A special appearance by the God of Fortune brought smiles to the faces of our clients as each took home a hong bao.


MY STORY

WHERE THE SMALLEST SUCCESS ARE THE MOST JOYOUS
Name: Rachel Tan Wei-Lin
Age: 21 years old

10Every little step and every little achievement is a milestone for 21 year old demure Rachel Tan Wei-Lin. While most of her peers are in tertiary education or basking in the latest trends, Rachel, who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at a young age, face basic challenges such as social interactions with people around her.

Rachel was a graduate from Metta School which she transitioned to Metta’s Alumni  programme for youths with special needs upon her graduation. These youths undergo an apprenticeship to be skilled in either the arts or in an F&B setting. For Rachel, the new role at Arts@Metta was a dream come true as that could mean unleashing her creativity and self-expression in the world of colours. Among the creative art pieces done by Rachel are cross stitching works and acrylic paintings which are made into bookmarks, bags, and handphone charms for sale.

As Rachel spends her youth with her equally like-minded and cheerful colleagues at Arts@Metta, she has also improved on her interaction skills and ability to adapt to new changes in the environment. She has opened up to her mentors and gained more courage to ask for assistance from the people around her. Fortunately for Rachel, she has the strong support from her mother who guides her patiently which helps bolster her development.

Looking forward, Rachel hopes to be able to be more self-reliant and independent as she gets older. For youths like Rachel, the support of a good social community is essential to give them a chance to experience self-reliance, proper work conduct, responsibility, employment and develop good social skills.


SHOUT OUT

WE HAVE FINALLY FOUND A NAME FOR METTA’S ELEPHANT MASCOT!

11.jpgAmong the many entries poured in on our Facebook page since January 2016, it was a tough decision for our judges to determine the winner as all entries were equally creative. After much deliberation, we would like to congratulate two Facebook fans for their entries and winning the contest.

Congratulations to Jane Chong and Pulu Pumen Pulu for their creative entries. Metta’s elephant mascot is now called Ello the Precious!

Winner 1: Pulu Pumen Pulu
Submission: Precious the Metta Elephant
Why was the name chosen:

In Buddhism, the elephant is a symbol of strength. Exhibiting noble gentleness, the mammal represents the symbol of the calm majesty possessed by one who is on the path.

Winner 2: Jane Chong
Submission: MettaEllo
Why was the name chosen:
A cute name that would convey a happy mascot because Ello sounds like Hello.

METTA’S VOLUNTEERING SERVICES ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT THE TOUCH OF YOUR FINGERS!

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Metta Welfare Association has recently launched a new FREE mobile app that makes tracking of our upcoming fundraising events, various welfare centre’s information and best of all, registering and tracking the progress of your volunteer application a breeze!

What you can expect:
Volunteering Opportunities – Registration now made easy on the app. Be a volunteer at our events, activities and our various welfare centres islandwide. Get alerts on your volunteering sign-ups.

Event Updates – Receive updates on events from Metta such as our community fundraising activities with easy participation and sign up through the app.

Publications – Read the latest bi-monthly Metta News from the app. Get updated on the latest CSR activities, news, information, health tips and inspirational stories of our clients.

Donate – Easy, fuss-free online donation to do your part in helping the less privileged.

Metta App is currently available on GOOGLE PLAY.

The Metta Charity Carnival 2016 Is Back Again!

Date: 20 March 2016
Venue: Metta Building
Time: 9am – 4pm

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Metta Welfare Association (MWA) recently celebrated its annual mega, family-bonding charity carnival in the heartlands.  Gracing the event was Guest-of-Honour, Ms Jessica Tan, MP for East Coast GRC and Advisor to East Coast GRC GROs, who flagged off the 3-km Charity Walk around Simei estate that preceded the carnival.

 

After the invigorating walk, participants were greeted by a gastronomic endless array of vegetarian spreads from mouth-watering dim sums, vegetarian kong bak paus (braised ‘pork’ buns), potato spring rolls, rich and savoury lontongs and laksa, sushi, and many more.

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Making a unique highlight to the Carnival this year is a Sherlock Holmes-style, Metta Adventure Discovery Trail. Participants have to hunt around Metta’s premise to uncover answers in order to win a prize in a sure-win lucky dip.

And what is a carnival without the bazaar of good deals from fashionable shoes, bags and costume jewellery, to attractive terrariums, electrical appliances, health food products and many more!

Not forgetting the little ones as they immerse themselves in bouncy castle inflatables, joyride on animal kiddy rides and indulge themselves in challenging Gladiator inflatables games!

Entertaining the masses are a non-stop programme of stage performances from Metta School; Compassvale Secondary School; Serangoon Secondary School; Bollywood dance group, Dedancestar; balloon sculpting, Lion Dance, and many more!

IF YOU MISSED BEING WITH US AT THE RECENT METTA CHARITY CARNIVAL 2016, BOOKMARK YOUR CALENDAR AND JOIN US FOR NEXT YEAR!

As part of the Metta Charity Carnival 2016’s success, we like to thank one of our sponsor for their support in our cause.

French restaurant OCF Singapore, at Arts House at The Old Parliament, serves up classic French cuisine with top-notch wines. It’s sister establishment, Olivia & Co. Bistro with their inspiration from world cuisines, are both pleased to be among the sponsors for the Metta Charity Carnival 2016.

More on OCF Singapore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pckG3RBOb38