Our Social Worker’s Journey

IN THE NEWS

Our Social Worker’s Journey

“People might not understand their background, the environment and circumstances these children grew up in. Most of them lack their parents’ companion and care, and this sets them back compared to others. However, I believe they all have their potential and with encouragement and guidance from the right people around them, they can still achieve their goals when they are adults.”

Gabriel Lee has been a social worker with Life Community since he graduated with a degree in marketing. He decided to pursue a career in the social sector instead, hoping to guide/mentor children and youths from underprivileged backgrounds.

He handles cases of children and youths, aged 12-19 years old, under the Friends of Children and Youth program. This program serves beneficiaries whose parents are presently/formerly incarcerated.

Recalling one incident when he first started, “One of the children told me I will give up on him soon”. But Gabriel never did.

“I sincerely wanted to help him, and I wanted him to know this, that someone cares. Slowly over time, we built trust which changed everything. He gradually became more responsible. He started to care for his siblings and had plans to improve himself. Even though this child has graduated from our program, he still remembers our time together. Seeing him grow and improve so much brings me much satisfaction. It is why I am doing what I do.”

Truth be told, youths have their own thinking and peer influences, and sometimes they disappear and us caseworkers have a hard time contacting them. However, we understand their situations, and still try to reach out to them in whatever ways we can. We hope through this, they will know that someone has not given up on them and hope to guide them on the correct path in life.

My wish is for society to be understanding and not label them quickly. With guidance and a helping hand given, change is possible.”

Life Community provides our children and youths case workers to conduct monthly house visitations, workshops and activities to build character and life skills, provide mentoring and guidance, as well as food rations.

Update in 2020

Today Gabriel in his seventh year with Life Community and is as passionate as ever in what he does.

He is now the Assistant Manager of Friends of Children & Youth program, mentors a group of caseworkers under him, and looks forward to seeing more children and youths’ lives being transformed.

– Article and Photo Courtesy of LianHe ZaoBao
– Read the Original Story here

关怀囚犯孩子

IN THE NEWS

关怀囚犯孩子

《联合早报》常年慈善活动 “早报送暖”再次启动,今年早报编辑室将把佳节欢乐带给一群“黄丝带计划”受惠者。

今年是本报第六次举办“早报送暖”,过去的对象包括独居老人、特殊需求学生等,早报也曾通过植树活动提倡爱护大自然。

早报编辑室将在12月10日前往活力社区服务协会,与“儿童之友”的受惠孩童欢庆圣诞。协会通过“儿童之友”计划为前囚犯和囚犯的孩子提供援助,获黄丝带基金的部分资助。

黄丝带基金用于帮助前囚犯与他们的家庭,协助他们重返社会。

活力社区服务协会是“黄丝带计划”的协作志愿福利组织之一。从本周起,《街访街坊》每周将通过一篇人物介绍,让读者认识这个协会如何帮助前囚犯和他们的家庭。

想支持黄丝带计划者,可上网www.yellowribbon.org.sg/take-action/donate/捐款。

为帮助囚犯孩子摆脱生活的“恶性循环”,避免误入歧途,林玫瑰三年前放弃高薪加入活力社区,她坚信转行决定是正确的。她希望给这些孩子感受到社会给予他们的温暖。

 

“这些孩子因父亲或母亲入狱,从小就欠缺完整家庭的温暖。这类家庭往往也面对经济问题,父母其中一方得维持生计,没有时间照顾孩子,有些把孩子交由祖父母等亲戚照顾。孩子少了家人的细心督导,较容易误入歧途。”

活力社区服务协会(Life Community Services Society)理事长林玫瑰(45岁)在分享协会的工作时,强调关怀这群孩子,为他们树立榜样的重要性。

成立至今20年的活力社区服务协会先后在2004年与2008年推出“儿童之友”和“青年之友”,为前囚犯和囚犯的孩子提供支援。社工和志愿“友伴”(befriender)等定期上门跟进情况,从中帮助他们建立良好价值观。这两项计划目前获得黄丝带基金的部分资助。

林玫瑰说,有研究显示家长入狱对孩子的影响,因家庭背景复杂,来自这类家庭的孩子走向歧途的可能性比其他孩子更大。

因为想帮助这群弱势孩子摆脱生活的“恶性循环”,林玫瑰坚信转行决定是正确的。她曾在跨国公司任职多年,三年前放弃高薪加入活力社区。

她分享说,一些志愿友伴对孩子的关爱、孩子与他们所建立的感情都让她感动。

“我希望,即使这些孩子没有家庭的关爱,他们也能感受到社会给予他们的温暖。同时,给前囚犯一个重生机会,不论是在就业或其他方面,我们就是在帮助他们,让他们更有能力去照顾和关爱他们的孩子及家人。”

想成为协会义工的公众,可电邮lcss@life-community.org了解详情。

– Article and Photo Courtesy of LianHe ZaoBao
– Read the Original Story here.