Tuesday 27 August 2013

Adopt-A-Precinct to benefit more families

By Dylan Loh, Channel NewsAsia, 25 Aug 2013

40 more needy households in western Singapore will benefit from an ongoing assistance scheme run by the South West Community Development Council.

Called Adopt-A-Precinct, the programme watches over vulnerable residents in three-room flats and has already reached out to over 110 households in Hong Kah North and Chua Chu Kang.

Taman Jurong is the latest division to come under the initiative, which was launched in July last year.

53-year-old Lily Teo has help from grassroots leaders and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West, along with corporate partners Vopak Terminals Singapore under the Adopt-A-Precinct programme.

Madam Teo has high blood pressure and diabetes, and she has to look after her children - a pair of twins with Down's syndrome.

The single mother earns less than S$500 monthly as she is unable to work full-time due to her health.

Madam Teo said: "I feel good they help me, I feel happy because I found out the volunteers all came here to help, they are very good."

ITE student Muhammad Ridwan, a volunteer with Adopt-A-Precinct programme, said: "I have free time, so I try to help the elderly… So when (I have) free time on Saturday, Sunday then I try to help them."

Madam Teo is getting help in installing new home fixtures.

Grab bars are being provided to households which need them by volunteers. These home improvement initiatives are geared towards helping residents live their lives easier.

Besides aiding residents with home improvement, the Adopt-A-Precinct initiative gets needy residents to participate in health care, enrichment and social wellness programmes.

Paying a visit to Madam Teo's home on Sunday were Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and South West District Mayor Amy Khor.

Mr Tharman said: "It's all about community, volunteers and unity or people regardless of race, and regardless of whether you're rich or you're poor."

Organisers of the Adopt-A-Precinct initiative said the scheme mirrors the spirit of the Volunteer Youth Corps announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally - in building a strong, caring and inclusive community.

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