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SCSOA AT A GLANCE

1. What is SCSOA ?
2. Why was the Society formed ?
3. What is the Society's Mission ?
4. Who is the Society's target audience for raising funds ?
5. Where does the Society see itself in 5 years ?

6. How has the Society helped so far ?
7. How can individuals get involved ?

 

1. What is SCSOA ?

We are a tax exempt and non-profit charitable organization, providing a centre for children and adolescents with various disabilities. Our aim is to help them maximize their full potential and achieve an independent, fulfilled life.

The Centre allows the special children access to a meaningful education and vocational training. It is run and managed by a parent-steering committee with the assistance of volunteers, teachers and a team of operational staff.

The Centre aims to provide a holistic programme and training not only for the children, but also for the parents, families and caregivers. We aim to teach the special children living skills; to stimulate their faculties; to nurture each one's ability to progress further; to advance their educational needs; to provide them with vocational training and to expose them to sports, the arts and to society.

The Centre also invites participation from the local and expatriate community to volunteer their time and resources so that these children will be able to learn to integrate with society.

Our Centre was established in June 1999 with 3 students and has now grown to 45 students, their ages ranging from three to thirty-five years. Their disabilities range from Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Global Delay, Prader Willi Syndrome, Epilepsy to slow learners. There are always more on our waiting list. We have no more space to include them and are short of teaching staff.

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2. Why was the Society formed ?

Established centres – private and government schools – could not cater to the needs of such children like Amanda, Christine Wong's daughter, who has Down syndrome. This was later found to be the common finding with other families with special children at the Centre.

Christine, founder of the Centre realised that the Government school's system was not suitable for her needs. Amanda at the age of 6 was still not toilet trained and would run away from school at every opportunity. In the mean time, Amanda received numerous therapies from different specialists at various places. It was through discussions with therapists and other mothers in similar situations that Christine and two of her friends decided to start this Centre.

These three friends had a meeting with officers from the Welfare Ministry who encouraged them with their ideas. In June 1999, SCSOA was born, and with it are the three first children – Amanda, Wei Yuen and Jun Ken.

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3. What is the Society's Mission ?

The Centre aims to provide a holistic programme and training, not only for the children, but also for their parents, families and caregivers. Through these programmes, the Centre also invites participation from the local community and public at large to volunteer their time and resources so that these children can learn to integrate into society.

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4. Who is the Society's target audience for raising funds ?

  • Corporate sponsors
  • Individual sponsors
  • Volunteers for their time and/or various resources

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5. Where does the Society see itself in 5 years ?

Our goal for the future is to be in
A PLACE OF OUR OWN,
LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE THE EVER
INCREASING NUMBER OF SPECIAL CHILDREN.

Our new home will be equipped with facilities for the disabled. Rooms will be furnished appropriately for different therapies and training - a Snoezerland, Physiotherapy, and Patterning to name a few.

The Centre is currently funded by contributions from some parents, public donations and fund raising activities. Needless to say, WE ARE IN DIRE NEED OF HELP, not only financially but in our desperate search for:

  1. a piece of land to build on   or
  2. any existing building on a sizeable plot to allow for future expansion.

Our long term goals:

To be a holistic Centre providing for the needs of these special children and adults throughout their lives.

To provide supervised workshops, e.g. sewing, bakery, laundry services, etc. to serve the community.

To provide respite for parents or family members who may have to leave special people temporarily at the Centre.

To be a centre of learning and training for “carers” of disabled persons.


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6. How has the Society helped so far ?

The Centre has opened a whole new world of opportunities for children and young adults who could not attend regular schools but need training all the same so that their potential can be maximised.

Through the Centre's early intervention programme and living skills training, amongst other therapies, the Centre inevitably creates “jobs” for volunteers and those interested in this field. For those whose lives are dedicated to service, the Centre provides an avenue for people to channel their energy positively.

In the future, the Centre will also help babies receive early intervention programmes so that their disabilities are minimised. The babies would come in for an hour a week where parents will also be trained to continue the exercises at home.

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7. How can individuals get involved ?

We always welcome volunteers. Depending on what their interests and talents are in addition to the time they have to spare, voluntary work at this Centre can be seen in the following way:

  • Those who like to work with disabled children can read, feed and change them while they are at the Centre. These volunteers can also help to ferry the children to their therapies like swimming and horseback riding for the disabled. Help is also needed during field trips such as a visit to the zoo or the science centre, making sure that the children are safe, and helping them use public facilities.

  • Those who prefer not to work with disabled children can come in a few times a week doing handicraft that the Centre will sell at festive bazaars at certain times of the year. They can also help out whenever the Centre needs extra hands, especially during festivals.

  • There are also volunteers who spend their time helping the Centre on project basis like creating awareness campaigns, fund-raising, and networking with various groups to further assist the Centre.

  • A group of volunteers have created the “Friends of the SCSOA” body, which meets regularly to discuss the present and the future needs of the Centre and the role of the Friends of the Society in this effort.

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