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Amidst life's challenges, ComLink+ Family Coaches and volunteer befrienders are strong pillars of support that empower families in need to uplift themselves. Meet Madam Purnawati, a 37-year-old homemaker, and her husband, Mr Kuah, a 59-year-old enforcement officer. They live in a HDB rental flat with their three children aged 4, 5, and 6, and have been receiving assistance through ComLink+.
The family of five received ComCare assistance in November 2022. Their volunteer befrienders, Ms Kim Danker and Ms Koko Yap, visit them once a month. Kim, a mother herself, often shares parenting tips with Madam Purnawati. With Kim’s encouragement and support, Madam Purnawati plans to seek employment once her younger children attend full-day childcare, to supplement the family’s household income.
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|Firdaus, 29, has visual impairment and mild intellectual disability. When his mother, Madam Enon, first read about the Enabling Services Hubs (ESH) in the newspaper in August 2023, she was excited to join its activities with her son.
The ESH aims to develop a stronger ecosystem of support for persons with disabilities (PwDs) in the community, bringing befriending services, social recreational activities, and courses closer to the homes of PwDs and their caregivers.
|"I look forward to ESH's activities as they connect me with other caregivers. While our children may have unique needs, we often share common challenges, creating a sense of mutual understanding. ESH’s activities also give me ideas
of how I can better engage Firdaus at home."
– Madam Enon
|“I get to join different activities and make new friends at ESH. I’m also excited to be able to play basketball, which is my favourite sport!”
PwDs, their caregivers and families have been able to access community and employment support closer to their homes, with the launch of the first ESH at Tampines West Community Club in August 2023. ESH@Tampines was set up by SG Enable in partnership
with charity SPD.
[Stay Tuned] In addition, the first Enabling Business Hub (EBH) is set to launch later this year in Jurong beside Lakeside MRT station, bringing training and employment opportunities to the neighbourhoods and promoting best practices in disability-inclusive hiring.
|“During our extensive discussions with fellow participants at the Summit, we gained invaluable insights that enriched our approach to corporate volunteerism. A highlight was learning about 'ELLA,' a humanoid robot used by the Cerebral
Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS) to help their students develop and practise social-emotional skills.”
|ELLA can do it all – she smiles, walks, talks, and even expresses human-like facial expressions with remarkable clarity and consistency. This intriguing blend of technology and learning has made it very exciting for CPAS’ students, especially those with autism, to better understand facial expressions and emotions. By interacting with ELLA, they have been picking up social skills with enthusiasm and effectiveness.
She adds, “We are excited to embrace this digital mindset in our corporate volunteerism efforts, and envision a future where technology and compassion can make a meaningful impact.”