This is an English translation of the Berita Harian article “Kian ramai penjaga tampil dapatkan sokongan” published on 7 Feb 2022, translated by our CaringSG CAREconnect volunteer Faraliza Zainal.
Featured photo of Faraliza Zainal: File photos by Berita Harian
CaringSG has helped almost 1000 parents and caregivers of children with special needs through various programs. More than 1500 caregivers are now members.
More than 1900 people, including almost 1500 parents and caregivers of children with special needs have enrolled with CaringSG, a non-profit organization, supported by SG Enable. Out of the 1500, almost 1000 have benefited from the inclusive programs and events that have been conducted.
Dr Lim Hong Huay, the board chair of CaringSG, shared that since CaringSG was established in November 2020, it has continuously increased awareness among parents and caregivers with regards to its programs, services and assistance provided.
According to Dr Lim, with a consistent routine, a child with special needs will be able to function better. However, it is not easy for parents or caregivers to carry it out continuously. A disrupted routine will cause a big issue for the parents and caregivers.
To give support to parents and caregivers in managing such an issue is the main objective of the organization.
Dr Lim, an epidemiologist and paediatrician, has two children with special needs.
One of the programs that CaringSG provides is Project 3i with the objective to focus on individuals, families and community of parents and caregivers of special needs. It is supported by MSF and funded by Temasek Foundation Cares, SG Enable, Tote Board-Enabling Lives Initiative, and NCSS.
According to Dr Lim, there are three programs to Project 3i, namely CAREbuddy, CAREWell and CAREConnect.
CAREBuddy connects caregivers (who feel lonely as they are not being supported) with other more experienced caregivers. CAREBuddy hopes that more caregivers who are able to take time to spend three to five hours a week and are more experienced in managing children with special needs, to join CaringSG as volunteers.
Presently, there are fifteen members who have received support through CAREbuddy program.
Apart from CAREbuddy, there is also CAREwell for those who wish to seek advice and support from the experts. This programme is carried out in close cooperation with established doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists.
The third program, CAREconnect, involves numerous support groups of caregivers of children with special needs, professionals and community supporters.
Faraliza Zainal, a mother of a young adult who has autism and the founder of MIJ Hub, is one of the volunteers of the CAREconnect program. “My role is to give support to caregivers so that they do not feel that they are alone through the sessions, which share knowledge and recommendations,” she said.
Dr Lim explained that CAREconnect is inclined towards knowledge development through webinars on issues faced by caregivers of children with special needs as well as in organising various activities to build close relationships within family members of the special needs community.