|MWS supports children needing after-school care at MWS Christalite Student Care Centre.|
Eleven-year-old Um'myra used to take her food for granted, leaving leftovers on her plate without thinking twice. One day, along with a roomful of other children at MWS Christalite Student Care Centre, she was shown video footage of the famine situation in Africa. The poignant images gave Um'myra a newfound appreciation for food.
"I realised how fortunate I am not to have to worry about food. Now, I no longer waste food," said Um'myra. The video footage was shown as part of values education at the Centre, which aims to inculcate students with values like gratitude as part of their holistic development.
"In the past, I think I was quite irresponsible and always relied on others for help. And I had no integrity. The teachers here taught me to be honest, independent, responsible, and to respect my parents. Day by day, I tried to change my behaviour for the better. I think I am now more responsible and honest, and I am proud of it," she shared with a shy smile.
Um'myra's grades have also improved since joining the Centre in 2017, thanks to remedial classes at school and volunteer tutors provided by the Centre's tuition partners.
Last year, Um'myra was paired with a student volunteer from a local university who tutored her in Math once a week for 3 months. "The tutor helped me to understand the curriculum and coached me on memorising Math formulas. I went from failing Math to finally passing it," recounted Um'myra.
Um'myra also credited her improved grades to her grandparents' positive influence in her life, as well as the support of her teachers and friends at the Centre. Beyond academics, enrichment classes like music and art, as well as games are part of the all-rounded programme designed to nurture the children's social emotional competencies and life skills.
Ms Winnie Tan, one of Um'myra's mentors at the Centre, recalled how Um'myra had to be gently nudged to participate in group activities as she was quiet and reserved. Um'myra also had trust issues due to a lack of parental support growing up.
These days, she is much more cheerful and adept at making friends. Her classmates can also count on her readily for a helping hand or a listening ear.
More than a teacher, Um'myra describes Winnie as someone she trusts and can look to for advice.
"In the future, I hope to be a teacher like Ms Winnie, so I can inspire kids," said Um'myra, as she looks to Winnie, her mentor.
MWS believes that vulnerable people also have inherent strengths and abilities. In empowering our residents, we can meet their physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs more effectively and provide a higher quality of life.