Reviving the Child in Us
When we are children we seldom think of what’s to come. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind. There is nothing more pure than the innocence of a child’s laughter.
Children’s Day is a day celebrated to honour all children in the world; a day where every child can unleash himself/herself as a child.
The month of September and October is a joyful one for most of us as we relish in the spirit of the festivities for everyone young and old, even as we passed and celebrated the recent nation’s milestone of 50 years of independence in a jubilee celebration on 9 August 2015.
I am happy that this Children’s Day celebrations has given the opportunity for participating organizations and their volunteers to come together in a meaningful cause to make a difference in the lives of our students at Metta School and Metta Preschool.
I wish to thank our stakeholders, donors and volunteers for walking the path with us all these years as your dedication and contribution have helped made all this possible for our students and beneficiaries. Together, let us join our hands and realise the dreams of our children.
Yours in the Dharma
Venerable Shi Pu En
RECENT & UPCOMING EVENTS
KEPPEL OFFSHORE & MARINE – METTA CHARITY GOLF 2015
15 & 16 July 2015
Tanah Merah Country Club
The recently ended annual flagship fundraising event held consecutively over two days at the Tanah Merah Country Club proved to be another successful collaboration between title sponsor, Keppel Offshore and Marine and Metta Welfare Association. Joining us again as our Guest-of-Honour is Mr. Choo Chiau Beng, Senior Advisor to Keppel Corporation.
With over 200 golfers joining us in our 16th charity golf tournament, the fundraising event raised over $250,000 on both days.
Despite inclement weather hampering a few hours of game play, it did not dash the spirits of our golfers as they gamely took to the course when the skies cleared up.
The programme ended with a sumptuous dinner and performances by our students from Metta School. In recognition of the long stalwart support with Metta, we presented the first ever Metta Star Partner award to Keppel Offshore and Marine during the award presentation segment that evening.
METTA SHINE NIGHT 2015
6 November 2015
ITE College East
Into its 12th year, Metta Shine Night will be making another comeback with its annual talent repertoire among students, clients and staff of Metta’s various welfare centres.
You can expect to see entertaining highlight performances such as lion and dragon dance, percussion Stomp Warriors, captivating Circus Arts stunts and joint performance collaboration with ITE College East.
Held at the ITE College East on 6 November 2015, this line-up of performances will take on a Singaporean feel to the stage as it embraces our local arts, culture and heritage.
*Photos taken from Metta Shine Night 2014.
10 Foods for the Growing Child
A dietitian’s tips for preparing healthy foods for children.
During a child’s growing years, foods that supply protein, calcium, iron and vitamins are critical to their growth and development, says Dr Han Wee Meng, Head and Senior Principal Dietitian at the Nutrition and Dietetics Department, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH). Without them, children may be stunted and, in serious cases, it can impact the development of their mental and motor skills. These nutrients are present in the major food groups – grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein foods.
Here are Dr Han’s 10 top picks for a healthy diet for your child:
Strawberries and blueberries are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals. They protect healthy cells from damage, boosting the immune system.
High in protein and vitamins, eggs are one of the richest sources of choline – an essential nutrient that aids brain development.
- Cow’s milk
It is a good source of calcium and phosphorous, which are important for building bones and muscles. Serve full-fat milk, not low-fat or skimmed varieties, if your child is not yet two years old. Unless she is overweight, she will need the extra energy to grow.
- Peanut butter
Rich in monounsaturated fats, peanut butter provides children with energy and protein. However, some brands contain added salt, sugar, palm oil and partially hydrogenated fats, which reduce nutritional quality.
- Wholegrain foods
Fibre in these foods maintains digestive health and prevents constipation.
It is a great source of protein and iron. Iron optimises brain development and function, and supports the immune system.
Packed with protein, fish helps build healthy muscles and bones. Oily fish like salmon, tuna and sardines also contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which support eye, brain and nerve development.
Filled with protein, calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D, cheese is great for healthy bone growth.
It is packed with nutrients that optimise eye development and ward off cell damage. It also provides lots of fibre that boosts digestion and prevents constipation.
- Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables
These include carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, tomato and papaya, which are high in beta carotene and other carotenoids that are converted into active vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for good skin and vision, growth and repair of body tissues.
We are accredited the Singapore Quality Class certification!!
As Singapore attains a milestone in celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Metta Welfare Association too celebrates its attainment of SQC accreditation in Metta’s Business Excellence journey.
We thank our team of dedicated staff and partners for their continuous support in moving ahead with us.
Metta Cafe is now Halal certified!
Metta Café is open daily from 7am to 5pm, except on public holidays.
REVIVING THE CHILD IN US
Reviving the Child in Us: Metta School SG50 Celebrations
Contributed by Liu Ho Pui Han, Metta School Vice-Principal
This year, Metta School is celebrating SG50 in line with the national overall theme – all Singaporeans to celebrate as one people.
Several activities have been planned and spread across the months. We hope that with this mix of programmes, everyone at Metta School will be able to find something enjoyable and meaningful as we celebrate SG50 as one people.
From February onwards, there was an Art Competition for all students to take part. Students were to draw pictures entitled ‘My Singapore’. Many beautiful art pieces were created. Another contest was on Photography, with the theme ‘Appreciating the Past’. It was open to all and responses were overwhelming. Winning entries from both contests were creative and of high standards.
The highlights of the celebration was in March. It started with Sports Corner on 6th March. On that day, all students at Metta School enjoyed a day of sporting activities such as Captain’s Ball, Bowling Challenge, flip corners, hoop walk, basketball shoot-out and tele-matches for both AM & PM sessions. Every student took part in the event and medals were presented for their participation.
On 13th March, an exciting cooking competition was held. A total of 12 teams came up with creative ideas to fuse local and western dishes together. Teams comprised of students, staff & friends of Metta School. Prizes were presented to the winning teams whose dishes were created with as many “Singapore elements” as possible.
On 22nd March, Metta School collaborated with Metta Welfare Association in organizing SG 50 Metta Charity Walk cum Family Carnival.
It was a joyous occasion for all Metta School students, their family members, school staff, friends in the community – from our CC & RC neighbourhood and our partners, to come together and immerse themselves in an array of activities. The highlights included sports, games, arts, entertainment and savouring “True Singaporean” food.
Early that morning, our Guest of Honour, Ms Jessica Tan, MP for East Coast GRC & Advisor for East Coast GRC GROs, arrived at Metta School and flagged off for the run. There were also stage performances, stall exhibits and most exciting of all- our Metta Kampung on Level 4 – in which authentic Singapore local delicacy including nasi lemak, mee siam, kacang puteh, ice-lolly, malay kueh kueh, vadai, otah and so on were served. All participants were welcome to have a taste of various items at the food stalls. Children & families also enjoyed themselves in games like chapteh, ground zero, tin can, marbles, five stones and even congkak.
On level 2, in our V Café, winning dishes of the fusion food competition and a specially created Metta Mocktail by our instructor Chairul were prepared for all to enjoy as well.
On 26 July, 40 of our students participated in the national “Youth Celebrate!” event. One of our students was selected to join in the Record Setting Feat with hundreds of others on that day. Metta School student, Soh Wei Lun, was among the swimmers to participate in both feats “Largest Floating Singapore Flags” and “Most Number of Laps Swam in One Hour”.
The whole SG50 Celebration not only provides a good opportunity for bonding and harmonious interaction amongst members & friends of Metta School, but also fosters deeper emotional ties and cultivating a stronger sense of belonging to the nation.
HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY SINGAPORE!
Our chirpy teachers and occupational therapists at Metta Preschool in Simei and Punggol organised a National Day celebration for the little tots to commemorate this major milestone in our nation’s history.
It was an afternoon filled with games and songs, singing the National Anthem and National Day songs and reciting of the national pledge. Among the fun activities, the children participated in art and craft and cookie-making to resemble mini Singapore flags!
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EVENT
ITG Cup – The Great Tee-Off
Metta Cafe is proud to be the beneficiary of the recent ITG, organised by PTC System(s) Pte Ltd. An annual event for the IT End-users vs IT Vendors to pitch their skills in a golf game, the golfing tournament took place at Sembawang Country Club on 28 July 2015 which saw over a hundred golfers strutting their pitch, raising a gross amount of approximately $70,000 in aid of Metta Café programmes and services, whose mission is to train and create employment opportunities for youths with special needs.
Official Opening of Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly’s Kampung Garden
14 August 2015 marks a celebratory day for Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly (Metta) as it saw the official opening of the centre’s Kampung Garden. This is made possible with the generous donation by Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (Mizuho), Garden City Fund and the Community in Bloom of National Parks Board.
Under NParks’ Community in Bloom programme, the staff of Mizuho had raised a total of $20,888 to help set up a lush landscaped garden with a kampung theme. This garden provides opportunities for the centre’s clients to get in touch with nature through gardening.
The official opening was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Ms Irene Ng, MP for Tampines Changkat; Mr Guan Yeow Kwang, Senior Joint-General Manager, Management team of Mizuho; Venerable Shi Pu En, Metta’s Executive Director; and Ms Loh Chay Hwee, Assistant Director of Community in Bloom, National Parks Board.
Ms Ng helped care for the plants in the garden together with centre’s clients, and the pioneers of the Kampung Garden project. To ensure a beautiful set up for the garden, Mizuho’s staff also helped to paint the concrete walls of the raised planter beds.
With the successful opening of the Kampung Garden, we look forward to more volunteers stepping forward to help us maintain our little vegetable and fruit plot.
Racial Harmony cum Hari Raya Celebration with Walton International
Real estate investment company, Walton International, celebrated an enjoyable belated Racial Harmony Day cum Hari Raya with the elderly clients from Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly on 24 July 2015. Organised by the staff of Walton International, our elderly had fun engaging in rewarding games such as Pass the Parcel, Bingo, rolling the dice and passing rubber bands on chopsticks challenge.
In conjunction with the festive Hari Raya season, green packets were given out to the elderly clients as well as a celebration of sponsored birthday cakes for clients whose birthday fell in July. The fruitful day ended with an entertaining karaoke session by the volunteers and our elderly clients.
Standard Chartered Bank CSR – Mural Wall Painting
Kudos to approximately 20 staff and interns from Standard Chartered Bank who took time off their busy work schedule to engage in a CSR activity with us on 20 July by painting murals on the walls around the perimeter of our compound. Their enthusiastic goodwill shows in the creativity that can be clearly displayed in their final artwork. Thanks you SCB for brightening up our premises!
Caregiving of a Child with Special Needs
Contributed by Metta Preschool Occupational Therapists, Ms Juntado Amelia Tungcol and Ms Belga Heidi Vasquez
Caregivers are facing more challenges in caring for their children with special needs in areas of academic work, socialization, and integration into society. Many find it difficult to teach their child about concepts and how to apply it academically, making friends, engaging in communication and interaction, and to perform usual daily activities similar to their peers in an outdoor environment. Occupational therapists and paramedical staff can contribute to the child’s quality of life by providing additional education and training to the caregivers.
We share some strategies by our therapists in training caregivers with a child with special needs:
- Education: The therapist acknowledges the caregiver’s role in the improvement and the child’s quality of life. Among the treatment plan is education for caregivers about therapy goals, strategies and training.
- Flexibility: The therapist appreciates the caregiver’s responsibilities and demands of their role. They adjust the training methods in consideration of the caregiver’s demands and expect repetition and changes in information and instructions.
- Showing empathy: Making an effort to empathize with the worries of the caregivers, the therapist is always ready and patiently addresses their concerns accordingly.
- Continuous caregiving: The therapist collaborates with staff from the paramedical team to ensure that the caregiving process is continuous. When necessary, they refer the caregiver to respective professionals for additional education and counselling.
- Practical learning: The therapist transfers their knowledge from preschool to the child’s home setting. Home visits are conducted to assess the environment and to give practical suggestions and strategies to the caregiver in coaching the child.
- Recommends additional support: The therapist identifies and suggests possible resources, therapy centres, training, courses, or workshops for continued caregiver education and support for the future.
Indeed, caregiving is a rewarding but challenging role. However, the challenges can be overcome with collaborative efforts between educators and the full support of the child’s family members in achieving his maximum independence and attain a better quality of life.
The Attitude of Gratitude
Name: Zheng Yu Kai
Age: 34 years old
34 year old Zheng Yu Kai is just blessed to be able to communicate in a smattering of English and hold a colour pencil to sketch colourful simple art pieces. Born with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability, Yu Kai has been a client of Metta Home Day Activity Centre (MHDAC) for 15 years. The middle of 3 children, Yu Kai’s mother is a housewife and caregiver to the young man who attends Metta Home’s day care service from Monday to Friday.
In a one to one setting, Metta’s training officers would constantly engage with Yu Kai to train his social and interaction skills with simple tasks such as learning to call the training officers and fellow clients by their names. Yu Kai also loves music as he would get into a little dance by himself whenever music is being played. This a far cry from his usual self when Yu Kai first came to Metta Home Day Activity Centre. An extremely non-social and quiet youth, Yu Kai would not talk to anyone nor engage in any social activities. Life hasn’t been easy for Yu Kai as he struggles with basic motor and social skills.
“When Yu Kai first joined us, he didn’t know simple tasks such as holding a pencil or even interacting with anyone around him. “
DAC Training Supervisor, John Tan
With the help of Metta’s training officers and years of patient coaching, Yu Kai has gradually opened up and progressed beyond his extremely introverted self. The cheerful young man is now capable of sketching simple rainbow hued art pieces and engage in basic community games and activities, such as passing of the ball. With much progress, John and his team of dedicated staff hopes that one day, Yu Kai’s art pieces would be displayed in an arts exhibition.