Life in 40 Stories

Read more about lives empowered through MWS

Life in 40 Stories

Read more about lives empowered through MWS

Dr Patrick Kee

MWS Chairperson (1989-1991, 1993-1997)
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June Cheong

Sunshine Group (MWS volunteer group since 1981)
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Chan Kum Kit

MWS Chairperson (2001-2005)
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Dr. Patrick Kee

PIONEER

Walking through the MWS Girls' Residence at St George’s Lane reminded me of those days when these dormitories were wards - one for the men, the other for the women. I remember spending my Saturdays here, seeing the elderly sick and attending to them.

Once, when we were doing our rounds in the ward, there was this elderly lady. She was blind and confused, and shouting. She shouted even louder when the nurses tried to calm her down. When I came to her bed, I told her in a soft voice that I am a doctor, and I held her hand gently. She immediately turned into a sweet old lady. This taught me an important lesson, that we need to ‘enter the world’ of the elderly who are confused.

From caring for the elderly sick at the Methodist Home for the Aged Sick, I was led to care for the dying in my vocation as a doctor. Caring for the elderly sick and dying is not a one way street. The elderly sick and the dying have been my teachers - inspiring and teaching me how to grow old and to face death with the grace of God, in order to live life more fully.

Dr. Patrick Kee, MWS Chairperson (1989-1991, 1993-1997)

June Cheong

PIONEER

God loves the elderly, and we wanted to show them they are not alone. So back then, I simply got a few friends together, sang and played music to bring joy to the elderly at the Methodist Home for the Aged at Whampoa. After that, we began to reach out and befriend the elderly at MWS Bethany Nursing Home.

I recall a resident who was highly critical and did not always get on well with others. But we continued to be patient with her, loved her as God had commanded us to, and showed her how to accept love from others. The Bethany team was also very dedicated in their care for her. 20 years on, this resident told us she wanted to get baptised. We were overjoyed! This really showed us that God’s love can overcome all obstacles. Praise the Lord!

Tan Ee Leng, MWS Chairperson (2005-2007)

Chan Kum Kit

PIONEER

I can still recall that moment when I was asked if I would volunteer with MWS. It felt natural to say Yes. Like many of us then, I volunteered with the skills and professional experience I had and I was an accountant. At that time, volunteers handled a lot of the services at MWS, be it at the Methodist Home for the Aged Sick or the Family Service Centres, or others. It was all hands on deck. Volunteers were indeed the bedrock of MWS then, and we were so thankful. Today we are blessed with many professional staff at all levels and that has helped us expand our scope of services. I can see the work going from strength to strength. But more than ever, I hope more volunteers will come forward to touch the lives of the many more beneficiaries.

Chan Kum Kit, MWS Chairperson (2001-2005)

Deborah Koh

beneficiary

EMPOWERED TO RELEASE HATRED
AND STEP INTO FULLNESS

In 2019, my father and husband both fell ill and were eventually admitted into different hospitals. Life was very hectic then. After working from 9 to 5, I would rush down to both hospitals to care for them. After my dad passed on in January 2021, I diverted all of my attention and care towards my husband. He was a proud and temperamental man who would often shout or scold me when he was in pain. This made me extremely afraid and stressed to a point where I would literally tremble in fear every morning. Beyond just balancing work and caring for my husband, I was also struggling emotionally as I harboured deep hatred towards my husband over things that had happened in the past. So it was very difficult for me to care for him. Thankfully, with a doctor’s recommendation, I got to know of MWS Home Care & Home Hospice. The team not only supported me by giving me practical guidance on caring for my husband physically, they were also a huge source of comfort and support. I would call them on several occasions in the middle of the night to cry for help, and they were always there for me. Amazingly, with the help of the MWS Chaplaincy team, I also managed to reconcile with my husband before he passed on peacefully. We even had heart to heart talks and would display affectionate love signs to one another! I was floored and beyond grateful for the change I witnessed in my husband during his last days, as he became gentler and more loving. The MWS Chaplaincy team also fulfilled one of my husband’s last wishes, which was for us to be baptised together before he passed. The pastor came at 8pm that day to baptise us. I was very touched by their thoughtfulness and willingness to go the extra mile for us. MWS entered our lives and supported us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am extremely grateful for MWS because without them, I really cannot imagine what life would have been like for me.

Deborah Koh,
Caregiver to Beneficiary
MWS Home Care & Home Hospice

Siow Yu Ming

beneficiary

EMPOWERED TO GROW

My favourite thing about coming to MWS Christalite Student Care Centre is spending time with my friends and teachers here. The teachers are very helpful and encourage me whenever I am troubled. They listen to me, advise me, and I feel supported here. If I stay at home instead of coming to the Centre, I will be very bored and lonely as there is no one to talk to or play with. Over the years, I not only learnt new words and idioms to improve my English, the teachers also taught me many values. Excellence is one of them. I learnt that there is a time for fun, and a time to apply what I’ve learnt to do my schoolwork well. My parents are proud that my grades have improved, especially my English, as well as how I manage my time. My goal is to do well for PSLE and I will continue to work hard with the practice papers and with the support of the Centre.

Siow Yu Ming (10 years old),
Student, MWS Christalite Student Care Centre

Bee Li and Hannah

Staff & volunteer

SERVING AND EMPOWERING
THE ELDERLY AS A FAMILY

Hannah: I’ve been joining my mom on her befriending sessions with the elderly since I was a child. I guess that’s how I got inspired to continue volunteering. These experiences really open my eyes to the challenges that elderly people face. For everyone who is participating in some activities at the various centres, there are still others whom we have not reached. Many also face mental health issues or are feeling lonely. Really, everyone deserves to be cared for and connected with. I feel that befriending allows me to be the bridge between isolated seniors and the community. My soft spot for the elderly is also why I’ve decided to pursue Gerontology at polytechnic. Bee Li: I’ve always had a heart for the needy. Even as a child, I remember I’d save my pocket money and give it to elderly beggars I come across. You can say this is a calling, and so I went into social work. As Singapore faces an ageing population, I hope more seniors can age well and in place. I would encourage all who empathise and have a willingness to volunteer to simply do it! Many times, we doubt ourselves and feel that we should wait until we are more ready. But it’s easy to keep putting it off especially amidst the busyness of life. No one is born ready to volunteer, we all learn and grow along the way! I’m glad to be working in MWS this season of my life and that Hannah has chosen this path too. As a family, we hope to continue engaging lonely seniors and to empower them to age well.

Hannah Lee, 19 years old
Her mother Sng Bee Li is the
Head of MWS Senior Activity Centres

Noor Kesuma

STAFF

SERVING FROM AN OUTFLOW
OF ACCEPTANCE

People are sometimes curious as to why I’d work for a Christian organisation. But why not? My interest is in helping people in need, and MWS serves all races and religions so it’s no problem. My team mates are very helpful and understanding. They’ve never made me doubt myself just because I rely on a wheelchair to get around. I still remember my manager inviting me to recce the office so I can feel assured before taking on the job. Such thoughtfulness makes me feel safe and accepted as I am. This has empowered me to do my best for my patients and their families. In my role, I provide admin and service support for families of patients battling chronic illness. I also train them on how to replenish important consumable supplies on an online store so they don’t need to panic when things run out. In some ways, this empowers and assures my clients as it gives them control over the availability of supplies.

Noor Kesuma Binte Manap,
Admin Executive,
MWS Home Care & Home Hospice

Harry Soo

volunteer

I VOLUNTEER BECAUSE
I’M A METHODIST

My wife and I have been volunteering with MWS Nursing Home - Yew Tee since Oct 2017. We were new to MWS and didn’t know what to do. The Home suggested that we hold birthday parties for the elderly residents and we’ve been doing so ever since, till the pandemic broke out. Every month, we’d gather a few church mates from Grace Methodist Church to befriend 25-30 residents at the Home, sing and play games with them, enjoy the birthday cake and simply celebrate them for who they are. What was amazing was when I see young volunteers (whom we invited from NUSH, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and so on) who would not just perform and chat with the residents but also take time to feed them. It was very moving. One of the most memorable moments in all these years of volunteering must have been when I managed to get Singapore Polytechnic’s Robotic Club to bring their robot and a primary school to perform together at the nursing home. There was one elderly lady who usually keeps to herself and never ever participates in our activities. But this time, she reached out and tried to play with the robot. We were surprised and very touched. We suspect the robots remind her of her grandchildren. We were so thankful that this simple activity made her come out of her shell that day. MWS’ work is really important. Many of us are unable to see the plight of the lonely and elderly. I started volunteering with MWS because I’m a Christian and a Methodist – it’s natural for us to do so! I hope more Singaporeans can come forward to contribute and make another life easier, brighter. I pray that God will continue to bless MWS on its mission of love.

Harry Soo,
Volunteer, MWS Nursing Home – Yew Tee

Glen Ho

Beneficiary

EMPOWERED TO GROW AND THRIVE
IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT

I remember my days at Charis Student Care Centre fondly. Despite being there for just over 2 years, the genuine staff left an impression on me. After nearly two decades, I still remember them: Aunty Mary, the cook back then, Aunty Yan Kee, Uncle Jo and others. Even when I visited them 17 years after I had graduated, Aunty Peggy, the principal could still remember me! Like a ship docked at a safe harbour, the Centre was a cherished place of learning, fun and rest while growing up. While my memories are hazy, I recall having fun playing with my friends, doing homework, taking naps and having the opportunity to go on excursions. I am thankful for the role the Centre played in my growing years.

Glen Ho,
Student, Charis Student Care Centre (1995-1997)

Jimmy Chua

volunteer

REACH OUT, TOUCH LIVES, GIVE BACK

During my school days, I used to help my mum to do house cleaning to help support my family. Life wasn’t easy but I’m ok now, and it’s my turn to help others. My motto is to reach out, touch lives and give back to society, because I know how difficult it can be. Nobody wants to be in that kind of situation and sometimes, it’s not their choice. The chance to reach out to younger families is good because I can help steer the family out of their current crisis. When they grow up, they can be better persons, progress in life, help their families break out of their situation and fend for themselves. That is what empowering means. Besides volunteering with MWS, I’ve also been leading my church’s social concerns ministry for the past 6 years. When you’re given this job, you got to do it well and do it right, cannot go halfway. I go and do whatever God wants me to. He sees and He knows when you’re taking care of his people. We must really focus on God. I hope more Methodists will come reach out to the needy. Mother Teresa could not help everyone but when she helped one family, she gave that one family their turning point.

Jimmy Chua,
Volunteer, MWS Family Development Programme

Chan Ah Choo

Beneficiary

BUOYED BY MWS’ FRIENDSHIP

My husband passed away in August 2020. He had to rely on a wheelchair in the last few years so I used to push his wheelchair to help him get around. That’s what being husband and wife is right – we support and be there for each other, through thick and thin. But over time, my back started to hurt and now my legs too. Even before my husband passed away, we were already quite isolated because due to the pandemic, we couldn’t meet many people. As we don’t have any children, I became even lonelier after his passing. My siblings are also quite elderly so they couldn’t visit me either. So most of the time, I just stay at home. Things improved after I got to know Suet. She said she’s a befriender and she encouraged me to visit the MWS centre to make friends and take part in different activities. I saw the gym machine; I think I will like to use that. Because of the pain in my legs, it’s hard for me to go to the Centre often. But Suet would come to visit me regularly. She’s like a friend to me now. I still miss my husband but it’s much easier to get by each day knowing I’m not really all alone.

Chan Ah Choo,
Beneficiary,
MWS Senior Activity Centre – GreenTops@Sims Place

Judy Kwek

Beneficiary

SIBLING LOVE EMPOWERED

Eric is my eldest brother. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age and considered medically unfit for work. As a result, he’s always had to rely on our parents for support. When our parents passed away, Eric continued to stay in our family flat together with our younger brother. But they were never close so I became Eric’s main caregiver. It was not easy to take care of my brother because I live separately from them and I have to work. But I visited him regularly to bring him home-cooked meals, cut his toenails and wash his clothes. When Eric started falling frequently because of his weak lower limbs, I approached MWS to put him in the nursing home. That was in 2015. I don’t earn much as a McDonald’s cashier but I do what I can to settle the nursing home fees. As a cancer survivor myself, I also need to stay positive in order to take care of my brother well. Thank goodness MWS helped me apply for financial support. They also taught me how to help my brother get stronger, or to motivate him to exercise, so that gave me more confidence to care for him. I’ve taken care of my brother for so many years now, I’ve lost count of things. As long as I can, I’ll continue to look after him and with MWS’ support, I believe I can.

Mdm Judy Kwek, 69 years old Caregiver to resident at MWS Bethany Nursing Home - Choa Chu Kang

Connie Ng

staff

5 LOAVES & 2 FISHES

I grew up living with my grandma so I’ve always found myself drawn to elderly people, and wanting to use my training as a social worker to serve in the senior care sector. God knew my heart and opened doors for me in Methodist Welfare Services which had many eldercare services even back then. Over the years, the various transfers between services and centres eventually landed me the opportunity to head up Daybreak Family Service Centre and Student Care Centre. We were a very tight-knit and fun team and everyone worked so well together. Having said that, it has been a faith-stretching experience - like I was working with just ‘5 loaves and 2 fishes’. Whether it’s with funding or manpower, often, there was a lot of uncertainty. But God really opens doors and He always comes through, blessing us with the resources we need. I can truly testify to His never-ending goodness. To me, empowerment means supporting the other person to tap on his or her ability, equipping them to make their own decisions, overcome challenges, and face consequences if needed. I recall counselling a child at our student care centre, whose mother was a client at our family service centre. He had experienced a very traumatic childhood. This child subsequently grew up to become a social worker and wrote a book about his experience. I was so surprised when he invited me to pen a note for his book! It is a privilege to be in a position to empower the life of another and to see lives turned around. Heading up MWS Family Support Programme now is a new challenge I relish. The strengths-based approach where we facilitate our clients to learn and apply parenting techniques in their individual situations is very empowering. These 20 over years at MWS has allowed me to realise my ‘Ikigai’ - the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. I certainly experience work-life-ministry integration in what I do at MWS. MWS may be 40 but we’re still young! My wish is that we continue to create more positive social impact and be the light and hope for those who need, so that they may experience the love of God.

Connie Ng,
Head, MWS Family Support Programme
MWS Staff since 1998

Ho Kian Yi

beneficiary

EMPOWERED AND ABLE AGAIN

In 2019, my life took a tragic turn when I got into a traffic accident. At only 35 years old, my world crashed. The accident left me with severe head trauma, brain injury and partial paralysis. While others my age were at their prime, I lost my job as a senior engineer, my independence and any hope of ever achieving my dreams. I was also wrecked with guilt for being a burden to my parents at this season of their life. As my parents are elderly and I’ve no other siblings, they decided to admit me to MWS Bethany Nursing Home so I could receive better care. Despite how badly I was feeling about myself, the MWS Bethany team was gracious and very patient with me. Through countless therapy sessions, they helped me regain physical strength so I could move about more independently. Meeting counsellors and making friends with the church volunteers also helped me deal with my emotions and frustrations However, I was most inspired by my parents who never failed to encourage me. Slowly but surely, especially when my movements began to improve, I found myself more confident again. Funny how we take these things for granted but I was so happy when I could resume having a normal diet and not depend on those liquid feed. After a two-year journey, I finally discharged from the nursing home in August 2021 under the Return-To-Work programme, offered by Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations (ABLE). I’m so thankful for how the MWS Bethany team was there for me throughout this whole episode. They really showed me what caring as a Christian is like, such that despite what I was going through, I could experience the best quality of life.

Ho Kian Yi, 37 years old
Former resident of
MWS Bethany Nursing Home – Choa Chu Kang

Rev Daniel Koh

Pioneer

FAITH, THROUGH LOVE IN ACTION

I have always had a heart for Christian social outreach. Our Christian faith is not one that simply talks about God's love. We show His love by offering practical assistance to the vulnerable and voiceless; the poor and powerless. When I first joined the pastoral ministry in 1981, there was no Methodist Welfare Services. A few of us - Dr. Patrick Kee, David Ong, John Cheong, Peter Joe Chia, Cheong Seng Hock, Richard Tambyah, and Khoo Hock Nam - started looking into organising ourselves better to meet the social challenges of our time. We eventually received the blessing of The Methodist Church in Singapore and got MWS registered. In the early years when MWS’ range of outreach was small, the whole agency was practically run by volunteers. My own involvement was ad-hoc initially. I served in the committee that organised a food and funfair fundraising event held at Bethany, before the residents even moved in. My wife, Pastor Dianna Khoo, and I initiated the annual Hongbao donation drive to introduce young children in schools and our Christian homes to the works of the MWS and give them an opportunity to share the money they received for Chinese New Year, with those in-need. In my mid-60s, I accepted the nomination to serve as Chairperson of the MWS Board of Governance. I believe a pastor can provide leadership in a volunteer welfare organisation, and a person who has passed the retirement age of 65 can still hold critical leadership for the Methodist Church, so long as that person is healthy and considered suitable to lead. Over the years, MWS has provided me the opportunity to apply my faith to real-life challenges faced by vulnerable segments of people in our society. I pray that more of our younger Methodists who care for the well-being of our society will offer their service to MWS, and that our churches will see MWS as an important outreach ministry of the MCS, worthy of our support.

Rev Dr Daniel Koh,
MWS Chairperson (2015-2019)

Pastor Raymond Fong

Partner

MORE THAN WELFARE BUT
A MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION

We are very appreciative of MWS and the work you have done. MWS gives us the platform to ​serve through outreach in the community. I am glad that our partnership with MWS through MWS Wesley Active Ageing Centre - Jalan Berseh and our befriending ministry at MWS Bethany Nursing Home have deeply impacted the lives of the seniors and residents. I have also seen transformation in the lives of church members as they work out their faith; it is these little acts of love that have moved them and so richly blessed them. My prayer for MWS is that it will always remember the ​least, last and lost; fulfilling God’s mandate not just through welfare but through ushering His true shalom peace, wholeness and blessing through its compassionate outreach. May MWS’ work allow many more to participate in ​His ministry of reconciliation, as we continue to be ambassadors of Christ.

Rev Raymond Fong,
Pastor-in-Charge Wesley Methodist Church

Jenny Bong

staff

PRIVILEGED TO SERVE
AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE

It was quite uncanny how I came to join MWS. I was previously heading up a charity which reaches out to families and with the objectives met, felt it was time to move on. I remember praying and asking God to open doors for me but He told me not to apply for a job anywhere. So I obeyed. Next thing I know, I was introduced to MWS and here I am till today. What has been most satisfying working at MWS? One of the most important pieces of work we had done is the restructuring of the leadership team to strengthen our corporate governance and service delivery. We also align our various centres and services as ONE MWS which helps to unify and bring out the organisation’s strengths. Recognising Singapore’s ageing trend early on and moving in to build up our eldercare capabilities was another strategic move. I’m glad we are now well-placed to serve a wide range of seniors’ needs in the community. Another matter that’s always been close to my heart is engaging our church partners to serve alongside. The GOOD (Get Out Of Debt) programme initiated in conjunction with the 130th anniversary of The Methodist Church in Singapore, was one of the more successful initiative. It is a debt relief programme for the poor. It really brought the Methodist community together and seeded the beginnings of MWS’ debt and savings matching programme today. I’m thankful I’ve been able to put my Christian values in action at MWS - to serve with compassion and to recognise the worth and dignity of the people we help. My hope for MWS is that we’ll continue to have the courage to go where the need is so that we may empower more lives. Having said that, I have learnt that we can only do so much on our own, and it is God who blesses. Most of all, commit everything to prayer and He’ll work through our many challenges ; He never fails us.

Jenny Bong,
Cluster Director, Residential Services,
Former MWS Group Executive Director (2008-2018)

Natalie*

beneficiary

BROKEN, BUT NOW
EMPOWERED TO DREAM

After losing my dad when I was 11 years old, I felt lost and alone. However, the reality that he was not around anymore only started to sink in for me when I entered secondary school. I soon fell into bad company, played truant, and lost interest in studying. My relationship with my family also worsened over the years. We hardly communicated and I stayed out a lot. Eventually, at 15, I was referred to MWS Girls’ Residence (GR) and life has not been the same for me since. At MWS GR, they walked me through managing my emotions, my time, and my grief. The staff created a safe environment for me and made me feel supported and heard. Although it was a tough journey having to manage my anxiety and also study for my N Level examinations, I am glad for the support that made it possible. I can now regulate my emotions more effectively and process my grief. My relationship with my family also improved significantly and we now spend time during my home-leave and we chat more than before. I am grateful for the guidance I’ve received at MWS GR and my family’s unwavering support for me. Today, I am working as a healthcare professional and aspire to be a nurse one day. I am proud of the progress I’ve made and will continue to work hard towards my dream!

Natalie*,
Beneficiary, MWS Girls' Residence
(*not her real name)

Alina*

Beneficiary

EMPOWERED FOR
SUSTAINABLE CHANGE

I left my job even though my family was struggling financially because I wanted to take better care of my children. So my husband Ben and I tried to be careful with our spending by prioritising our children’s needs and education. But it was challenging to rely on his income as a driver alone. Ben is a very responsible man, and he’s known for that and his positive attitude at work. He told me he wanted to upgrade his skills so he could get a better-paying job. But how can he go for training if that means he has to first quit his job? We really need a regular income. To make things worse, we found out that Ben has a muscular condition which will lead to long-term organ failure. That’s when I felt really lost, so I approached MWS. I really appreciate Edna, the MWS social worker who did not treat me as ‘just another case’. She patiently walked the journey with me to understand my family’s needs and hopes, and helped us know our strengths. Over time, I became more open to tapping on community resources like meals delivery, and even accepted laptops for my children’s home-based learning. With support from MWS, I managed to take up a course with WSQ certification, and I hope to join the early childhood sector when I graduate. Even though things remain challenging, I’m proud that my family has been very resilient and we’ve grown closer together.

Alina*,
Beneficiary,
MWS Family Service Centre – Tampines
(*not her real name)

Vincent Wu

Donor

FRONT ROW SEATS TO
THE NEEDS OF THE AGED

Despite everything we may know, it's hard to fully appreciate the struggles of the elderly sick unless you are in their position or are a caregiver. My previous job working with the aged care sector gave me an insight to their needs. I came to understand the good and necessary work of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWO) like MWS, and how it complements the government's efforts. I can see that what MWS is doing is really God's work. That's why I continue to support MWS.

Vincent Wu, MWS Donor since 2008

Yan Yuelong

beneficiary

RESILIENCE TO WEATHER
TOUGH TIMES

My family of 7 consists of my wife, mother-in-law and 4 children. Back then, I was working as a cook and I was the sole breadwinner. Even though I work long hours, I barely made enough to cover my family’s basic needs. Our family’s financial situation took a hit when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013. I was so stressed it affected my relationship with my wife and children. That’s when my wife decided to approach MWS. They helped us first deal with the urgent financial issues by getting subsidies where available, giving us cash vouchers and putting us on a food ration programme. MWS also helped my family work towards financial stability and build assets to buffer against crises. In addition, MWS guided my wife and I in better managing our children. Who knew things could get worse but MWS’ support empowered me to manage new challenges when the pandemic hit. As the food business was badly affected by COVID-19, I made the difficult switch to working as a warehouse worker this year to support my family. I am very grateful towards MWS for all the help given to my family during our time of need. I hope many more will be able to receive such support and know that they need not walk this journey alone.

Yan Yuelong,
Beneficiary,
MWS Covenant Family Service Centre and
MWS Family Development Programme

Andrea*

Beneficiary

TRIUMPHING OVER TRAUMA

It was hard coping with all the changes when I was growing up. School work was stressful and I was constantly bullied. Mother was often too busy working to make ends meet so I had no one to turn to. Then I got to know this neighbour and I thought he was kind to me. Little did I know… Sometimes, I would still get nightmares of him pointing a knife at me. I also turned to drugs, started stealing and skipped school. I missed most of my Sec 2 and 3 studies that year. In July 2019, MSF referred me to MWS Girls’ Residence (GR). That’s when I met Mirabel, my social worker. She was very patient and supportive, and helped me deal with all the fear, anxiety and sadness I had. One night, I was having flashbacks again and woke up crying uncontrollably. Mirabel and her colleague comforted me and listened as I told them what I felt and saw. Nobody has ever listened to me like this before. Mirabel taught me how to ground myself so that my mind does not focus on the scary and terrible things that had happened. She and the other staff at MWS GR listened to me, and made me feel safe and that I was important to them. They would ask me and let me decide on some of the activities in what they call my ‘care plan’. It made me feel like I’m in control of things that matter to me. MWS GR also helped me return to school. I recently graduated from secondary school and also took my GCE N-Level exams. When I realised that I have a talent for playing the guitar, singing and song-writing, I told Mirabel I wanted to develop myself in these areas. Thanks to their strong recommendation, I enrolled in an Arts Incubation programme. Last year, I wrote a song for my school about overcoming difficulties during COVID-19. This year, I wrote the Ministry of Education’s Teachers’ Day Song. Mirabel has been guiding me on managing my schedule, taught me financial literacy skills and also put me on a savings matching programme. I’m also learning about having healthy relationships and how to keep myself safe. I know they are preparing me to return to the community one day. I am really proud of myself and thankful for the support that I have received from MWS. Without their guidance, I would have been lost. I also want to say that with perseverance, you can get back up again when you fall.

Andrea*,
MWS Girls' Residence Beneficiary
(*not her real name)

South Central Community FSC

Partner

PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION

We're thankful for the long and fruitful partnership with MWS especially with its Family Development Programme (FDP). FDP is more than a financial assistance scheme; it has been a great tool for motivating couples and families to build assets and cast their perspective on the future. Over the years, we've seen couples whose relationships have grown stronger because they now have common goals about their financial resources, can better trust each other and see the possibilities of pursuing their aspirations. Many low-income families have also used their savings to purchase basic home furnishings, giving the family a sense of place and belonging. Some clients have taken the opportunity to inculcate good financial habits in their children while others have continued saving even after graduating from FDP, giving us the assurance that FDP can really help clients make sustainable transformation.

South Central Community
Family Service Centre (FSC),
MWS Family Development Programme Partner

Melissa Fong

Staff

EMPOWERING PATIENTS
IN THEIR LAST DAYS

In my job, I care for patients ranging from those who are socially isolated to those who are frail and facing end of life. Beyond attending to their medical and nursing needs, I often find myself drawn into the sphere of their private lives. Journeying with patients through their last days has given me a new perspective of what pain means to them, and what the illness journey entails. Often, we think of pain in terms of physical pain but there are actually different dimensions of pain – physical, emotional and spiritual. As a palliative care nurse, I recognise the importance of providing relief in these different aspects. To be able to journey with my patients and their caregivers, holding their hands when they feel lost and hopeless, right till the end... I’m glad to be given a glimpse of the world that they live in.

Melissa Fong,
Assistant Nurse Clinician
MWS Home Care & Home Hospice

ACS International

partner school

RAISING A GENERATION OF LEADERS
WITH DEEP COMPASSION

It is our vision that all who come through the gates of ACS International will become future leaders with deep compassion for humanity based on Christian values and beliefs. MWS' range of work in the community consistently reflects our shared values and heritage, making it a natural choice for us to partner with MWS. Our students are always bursting with energy and eager to do good in the community. Through the various platforms and partnerships over the years, from befriending residents in the Nursing Homes to engaging Holland Village Methodist Church and raising funds for MWS, our students were able to channel their positive energy to make a positive impact in the communities. We look forward to more years of fruitful partnership with MWS.

Gavin Kinch,
Principal of ACS International,
Partner School

Veronica Poore

Volunteer

EMPOWERING ALL SEGMENTS
OF THE COMMUNITY

Being in my church’s Social Concerns ministry and the Women's Society of Christian Service (WSCS) of the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC), I saw the urgency to work with the other two conferences to meet the needs of those financially less fortunate. When the opportunity was given to serve on the founding team of MWS whose first task was the setting up of the Methodist Home for the Aged Sick, I stepped up. Back then, the Committee had to handle everything – from processing applications, recruiting staff to fundraising. It was a challenge! Some of ETAC’s major contributions to MWS, then, came in the form of Mr. Richard Tambyah’s leadership and Miss Susan Verghese’s professional nursing experience as matron of the General Hospital. One of the challenges was to persuade ETAC churches to support a nursing home for the elderly sick as it was not in the culture of Indian families to send their elderly or the sick and disabled to welfare or nursing homes. Yet, there were many Tamil-speaking destitute who did not get much attention because of the language and culture barrier. Over time, many more women from ETAC churches came forward to assist in this ministry: to visit and befriend the residents. I believe those early efforts have helped to expand the Tamil churches’ ministry in the community which is a vibrant one today. The idea of beginning something like MWS in faith, and seeing it grow to what it is today has been wonderful. Personally, my experience with MWS has also helped me better understand the needs of the society. More than welfare, MWS plays the role of being a ‘third place’ – for church members who need help but want privacy from their own church, or for those who need help beyond what the church can do. It is very gracious of MWS to provide aid to all regardless of religion and race, and to continue supporting and empowering even more of the Indian community.

Veronica Poore,
MWS Committee Member (1980's-1993)

Miko Lew

Beneficiary

EMPOWERED, FOR A
MORE SECURE FUTURE

Two years ago, my husband walked out on us, leaving me with our 3 children and my parents-in-law. With mounting debts and no savings nor job, I found my world crashing down on me and I fell into depression. I started to avoid opening my mail because I didn’t dare to see the bills… I had no way of paying them! This went on for a while till a friend suggested that I join the MWS Family Development Programme (FDP). That’s when I met Jo, one of MWS’ volunteers. Jo helped me prioritise the bills to pay, get waivers, and became a friend and pillar of emotional support. Gradually, I cleared $2,000 in debts within 7 months, and began saving. When I saw my savings grow from $20 to $1,000, I broke down with joy. I feel so much less stressed now and I can see a future, especially for my children. In the middle of 2021, my pay as a receptionist in the wellness industry got affected by the pandemic. To make things worse, I had to take 2 weeks of unpaid leave to accompany my youngest daughter on a quarantine order. Even though it was really stressful, I’m so glad I managed to stick to my savings plan and still pay all my bills punctually. Being on MWS FDP and having emergency savings to fall back have given me great peace of mind. With Jo to journey with me, and the budgeting and money management skills I’ve learnt, I feel more confident of securing a brighter future for myself and my children.

Miko Lew,
MWS Family Development Programme Beneficiary

Joanne Chua

Volunteer

NEVER TOO YOUNG TO
MAKE A DIFFERENCE

I became inspired to volunteer with MWS after going on a community service trip overseas. I had returned from the trip with a heavy heart and a desire to make a more long-lasting impact. Volunteering with my dad through MWS Family Development Programme (FDP) turned out to be a great and really meaningful decision. I was worried initially but was reminded that God equips His people for His good works, regardless of their age. Since then, I have completed the volunteer training programme, created a video for FDP, and even hosted a session where volunteers share their experiences to enhance their knowledge and skills. While the pandemic meant that most of my volunteering activities are now online, I look forward to meeting the beneficiaries in person again and getting to know them better very soon!

Joanne Chua, MWS FDP Volunteer

Albert Lim

PIONEER

EMPOWERING LIVES BY
WALKING THE TALK

I joke that I've carried all the titles available on the MWS Board but it's true, because I really believe in the work of MWS. Over the years, I have been on the ground serving as a volunteer, chairperson, and now a board member. In my early years working with our Family Service Centre at Yishun, I made it a point to hold regular meetings with the social workers and to attend key activities that the centre organised. Being there with them helped me to understand their struggles and their work, as well as better support the team. This allowed me to raise important issues to various stakeholders, such as the government and other agencies, to empower our staff so that can work better to serve our community. Today, I continue to champion our work by engaging the churches and walking alongside MWS management. As I look back, I am grateful for the many people I got to journey with, not from afar, but shoulder to shoulder with.

Albert Lim MWS Chairperson (2009-2011)
and former Co-opted Board Member

Danny & Lois Goh

Volunteers

BLESSED TO BE A SOURCE OF COMPANIONSHIP & COMFORT

We first learnt about MWS from reading its magazines, and decided to step forward and volunteer. In the beginning, we conducted exercises for the elderly and simply reached out and befriended seniors whom we met at the Centre. Subsequently, we joined the Centre’s Community Befriending Service, visiting frail home-bound seniors. Some seniors no longer know what happiness is. They experience loneliness and isolation because they have lost their mobility, or because their social circles became smaller over the years. When we meet these seniors, we see how their faces light up and fill with joy when we chat with them, sing and play our ukulele. Even when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and home visits had to stop, we kept in touch with one of the seniors, Anne, over the phone and Zoom. She is in her 70s, and is recovering from cancer, osteoarthritis and depression. Anne enjoys beadwork, singing and music. She joined us for vocal lessons even when they were moved online. Over time, the pain in her legs disappeared and even her counsellor said her mental well-being has improved! These joyful activities have helped her in her recovery journey. For us, we simply feel blessed to be able to bring companionship and comfort to seniors like Anne.

Danny & Lois Goh, Volunteers at
MWS Charis ACE Active Ageing Centre - Geylang East

Lim Moi Moi

beneficiary

A LIFE WITH NO REGRETS

I have been an active member volunteer at MWS Senior Activity Centre (SAC) - Teck Ghee Vista for the last five years. Life at the Centre is never dull! My daily visits keep me active. From exercising and dancing to craftwork, not only do I get to try many interesting activities and make new friends, I am also empowered to give back by sharing my skills in craftwork with other seniors at the Centre. As a member volunteer, I feel very accomplished when I make others happy, especially when other seniors learn craft skills from me. Watching them glow with pride when they complete a craft fills my heart with joy. I am happiest and most satisfied when I volunteer. My favourite memories are those with good friends I have made at the Centre, such as coordinating with Siew Fua to teach the other seniors crafts together, and with Teacher Amy who thinks of me whenever she sees materials that can be used for craftwork. Although I am unable to continue my regular visits now, I miss everyone at the Centre dearly. They are my second family and my home away from home. My life has been enriched due to volunteerism and I have no regrets in this life. I hope that more seniors will be able to experience the kinship I have at Teck Ghee SAC, and that everyone will continue to be active and live meaningfully.

Late Mdm Lim Moi Moi (73 years old),
Member Volunteer since 2017 MWS Senior Activity Centre - Teck Ghee Vista

Dr Chen Ai Ju

Volunteer

THIS IS WHAT
HUMANITY IS

For many years working in public health and being involved in studying the rapid aging of Singapore population, I was privy to the needs of different groups of elderly in Singapore. I was glad to learn that MWS had purpose-built the Bethany Methodist Nursing Home for the chronically sick, and started Home Hospice Care for all, irrespective of race or religion.
Being a member of the Centre Governance Committee, I realised that based on their socioeconomic status, the amount which residents, patients and clients have to pay for the care received was very much subsidised by government and by Medifund. However, because of the long-term care required, some cannot afford to pay the subsidised fees and for stateless persons who do not qualify for any subsidy, MWS would step in to cover their expenses. I am very touched by MWS’ policy. It made me think this is really what humanity is about.

Dr Chen Ai Ju, Volunteer,
Member of Centre Governance Committee of
MWS Bethany Nursing Home and
MWS Home Hospice (formerly Agape Methodist Hospice) (2004-2017).
Current Chairperson, MWS Medifund Committee

Suganthi D/O C N Rajandran

staff

EMPOWERED TO
EMPOWER OTHERS

While adapting to COVID-19 has been challenging for many, as a single mother with a young son, 2020 was especially trying for me. Sometime in August 2020, my then 15 months old son Viaan, suffered from a sudden stroke due to birth defects that were unknown to us. A few months after, I also discovered that he was having developmental delays and suspected autism. Those months nursing Viaan back to health and planning for the future were extremely exhausting, and I would not have pulled through if it weren’t for an amazing team of colleagues at MWS Family Service Centre – Tampines. My supervisors were extremely empathetic towards my situation and the rest of the team supported me too. Never once did I feel judged or less because of my circumstances. From checking in regularly to changing my work portfolio so I can better manage, my teams' words and actions made me feel belonged and empowered. Although my journey as a mother may be unconventional, I am grateful for my family in MWS and how this experience has strengthened me as a person. I look forward to serving more clients that come through our doors so that more can be empowered to have life to the full, just as mine has been.

Suganthi D/O C N Rajandran,
Assistant Senior Counsellor
MWS Family Service Centre – Tampines

Benny Thiam

staff

RISING ABOVE THE STRUGGLES
TO LIFT OTHERS

“…when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” is a verse from the Bible that has encouraged me during my last incarceration, to become a social worker to help others. It was this verse, coupled with the help I received from social workers and counsellors that spurred me on. I first learnt about MWS’ good work through the MWS Family Development Programme (a debt clearance and asset building scheme). I was a social work intern with MWS Family Service Centres at that point, and had experienced its rigorous clinical standards and depth of assessment. MWS felt like a place I could contribute to and develop professionally. I also saw how the staff could benefit personally from pastoral care available. Thankfully, that’s indeed been my experience in the last 4.5 years, and I’ve been given ample opportunities to lead and grow. That said, the work is difficult as there is much need in the society. I feel sad whenever I see people settling for something less, and feeling like they’re not worthy of love or deserve to be abused. As such, I will continue to journey alongside my clients in helping them believe in themselves, regain their self-worth, so that they may have a better quality of life. I recognise that I’m in a very special position to care for those who are struggling because I know what it’s like to struggle.

Benny Thiam, Social Worker
MWS Family Service Centre - Yishun

Loo Jo Lee

Beneficiary

RISING FROM CHALLENGES
FOR SELF AND SERVICE

I came to MWS Bethany 6 years ago. Back then, I had suffered a stroke and had just come out of a 3-month long coma. Life was made more challenging as my marriage was also falling apart, and my daughters were only teenagers then. It was difficult. I shut myself in and did not want to speak with anyone. I refused to accept that this is my life. But the Chaplains, the nursing team, the staff at Bethany, they really cared for me. Slowly, I came to know Christ through the regular worship sessions I attend. With my new found faith and the help of the clinical team, I began to accept my circumstances and started working towards my recovery. Although I still have a little difficulty lifting my left arm, it's better than before and I look forward to the therapy sessions every Monday. In May 2019, I got baptised and I can say my joy is in the Lord; I give thanks to Him for my life. These days, I also enjoy serving as a cashier in MWS Bethany's Cafe Joy, and meeting and chatting with people. Sometimes, I’ve even found myself cheering up another resident! I always end off with "Take Care, because I Care!" and I mean it. It feels good to contribute. Who knows, I may soon be able to return to work in future!

Mdm Loo Jo Lee, Resident
MWS Bethany Nursing Home - Choa Chu Kang

Angeline Tambyah

pioneer

LOVE NOT JUST WITH WORDS
BUT WITH ACTION

All he ever wanted was to show compassion to others, to restore dignity in the person, no matter who the person is. So Richard (dad) simply took what was natural to him, and along with several others who shared his passion, set up MWS. He taught us: Love not just with words but with action. We joined him at the Methodist Home for the Aged Sick during the weekends back then. We really saw his love for the people. Of all the places he was involved in, MWS was the closest to his heart.

Angeline Tambyah and family,
on their late husband and father Richard Tambyah, Founding Member of MWS & Chairperson
(1980-1982, 1984-1986, 1988-1989)

David Wong

PIONEER

LOVING ALL MEANS LOVING ALL

I have always been a firm believer in MWS' role as an enabler of the Church, to activate God's call for us to love others. And this includes showing love to volunteers and staff too, not just our beneficiaries. I was very moved by how the foreign staff in MWS gave their all, and treated MWS and our beneficiaries like their family. That's truly what loving all means, that our staff can find a home away from their homeland.

David Wong, MWS Chairperson (2011-2015)

Tan Ee Leng

PIONEER

DIVINE APPOINTMENT

'What can I do, I am only a businesswoman?' I had asked at first. It turned out that my experience in corporate governance was very helpful, as the charity sector battled scandals and intense public scrutiny during those years. Thinking back, I can only say my appointment as Chairperson was a divine opportunity as my faith was very much strengthened through my journey with MWS. As much as I hope to have empowered our beneficiaries, I feel I have gained so much more than I have been able to give.

Tan Ee Leng, MWS Chairperson (2005-2007)

Amy Wong

Donor

THEY CAME, THEY HELPED.
NO HESITATION

I’ve always felt assured donating to MWS because I trust MWS; it’s part of the Methodist group. During my father’s last days, I recall desperately looking for help with palliative care. When I contacted MWS, the care team from Agape Methodist Hospice (now known as MWS Home Hospice) was extremely forthcoming. No questions asked; they just came and took care of my father. My sister was particularly impressed and appreciative, and saw how Christians step in when the need calls.

Amy Wong, MWS Donor since 2002

ACS Independent

Partner school

EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION TO MAKE A SUSTAINABLE CHANGE

Our partnership with MWS is a reflection of our shared Methodist heritage and values. In addition, it is also aligned with our institution's core purpose in nurturing catalysts for change to effect positive outcomes in our community. Over the years, especially since we've incorporated a structured Values In Action (VIA) programme into the school curriculum, our students have enjoyed the opportunity of working with like-minded organisations like MWS to help the disadvantaged in society. We are greatly inspired by the groups of people MWS reaches out to, regardless of their race, language or religion. We are confident that our students will grow to become empathetic and active citizens who will lead and serve others. ACS (Independent) hopes to continue working closely with MWS in empowering our students and staff to make a sustainable impact in the community.

Judy Ho, Deputy Principal of
ACS Independent, Partner School

Contact Us
70 Barker Rd #05-01
Singapore 309936
ce@mws.sg

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