Collaborations as a Driving Force to Better Serve the Community

On Friday, 10 August, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, visited Agape Village (AV) and met up with the Caritas Singapore team to learn about our programmes and services on the ground here in Singapore.

Minister Desmond Lee (centre) flanked by Caritas Singapore board members Prof Tan Cheng Han and Ms Janet Ang (Chair), and the visiting and Caritas teams.

Ms Janet Ang, Chairman of Caritas Singapore, shared on the background and work of Caritas Singapore including the current research study on youths at risk with Lien Centre for Social Innovation. She opined, “Caritas’ work should be more data driven and to be reflective on root causes so as to address the needs upstream.”

Ms Teo Jin Lee, Chair of the Agape Village Management Committee, touched on how Agape Village was set up by Caritas Singapore with focus on integrated case management to work with the vulnerable and marginalised to befriend and empower individuals and families. With integrated case management, case workers are able to provide holistic care to bring about positive change in the community.

Janet highlighted the good work of Catholic Welfare Services, who also serve as the lead case worker at AV, and their efforts to care for the elderly in Singapore through the various homes in Singapore.

Freddie Low, executive Director of Morning Star Community Services, also shared their good work in reaching out to the children and families through services such as after-school care, the NOVA Learning Intervention Labs, Care Nights, and parenting workshops and counselling interventions.

Mr Desmond Lee met some ABLE’s clients at the respite centre.

Taking a peek into ABLE’s rehabilitation centre.

The visiting team toured Agape Village, making stops at ABLE Rehabilitation and Respite Centre, Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical and Dental Clinic, and Mamre Oaks Day Activity Centre. They also made stops at the Mamre Oaks Games Session in the multi-purpose room, the cooking room where migrant participants in ACMI’s cooking programme, and also at the dance studio where some clients of ABLE were undergoing Group Rehab Therapy.

Mr Desmond Lee meeting a member from Mamre Oaks during their games session at the multi-purpose room.

Mr Desmond Lee interacting with staff from ACMI Singapore and the migrant participants of ACMI’s cooking programme.

Christine Wong, Executive Director of Caritas Singapore, shared, “All of us at Caritas and our member organisations are honoured with the visit by Minister Desmond Lee. It was heartening to hear that with the various sources of support, those who need help, can be helped, and in some special cases, exceptions can be made.”