2019 marks Filos’s 15th years of community services and work in Kembangan Chai-Chee (KCC). From a humble beginning with just 2 staff in 2003, we are a strong 18 manpower team today. Filos continues to serve with a huge driving motivation to make a difference to those who are vulnerable in our society, to be able to inspire them to find their place in life.
In the pursuit of our mission to build resilience and empower individuals and families, we have discovered our strength and strategies and brought focus on the key growing needs of the KCC community. We have also established strategic partnerships with various community organizations and public agencies to develop and provide an extensive range of programmes and services.
As we celebrate Filos 15th anniversary, we have adopted a refreshed identity which signifies our renewed passion and commitment to inspire the community to inspire others. We are thankful for the faithful support of our donors, sponsors, corporate partners, schools, institutions as well as dedicated staff and volunteers for all their collaborations with us to serve our clients and beneficiaries. We look forward to more years of building stronger communities, together!
“Be observant and creative. Always look on the positive side.” These are the words that Mr Poh Shou Seng, 67, has to say when he talks about reaching out to the elderly. Having lived in Chai Chee for more than 10 years, Mr Poh, or “Uncle Poh” as he is often addressed, knows his neighbourhood well. He is very friendly and is easily approachable by residents.
Uncle Poh is single and currently shares his rental flat with a housemate. When one sees Uncle Poh, one would never have guessed that he had a stroke in 2010 and was hospitalised for three months. Instead they would have had the impression that he has always been an active resident going about helping in logistics as a volunteer whenever there’s a need.
To Uncle Poh, a strong recovery from the stroke proved that he had been given a second chance to live life anew and he is determined to live it out in its fullest. Besides helping out at his church and a nearby senior activity centre, Uncle Poh became involved in Filos Community Services’ Community Befriending Programme, using his ability to speak Hokkien to reach out to the elderly who are well versed in this dialect. He found that he was able to connect well not only with these elderly but also the younger generation as well.
Uncle Poh recounted his experience as a volunteer, “One must learn the virtue of patience as a befriender. Give the elderly time to speak and be mindful of your words on how it can affect their mood. It does not matter what your skills are. There is always a chance to learn and opportunities to give back.”
As the Volunteer Centre for Bedok Town, Filos has partnered with Gojek, SG Cares, community groups, and social service agencies to pilot a 5-month Medical Transport Subsidy Scheme for our residents. Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, announced the initiative at the Kembangan Chai-Chee National Day dinner event on 28 July, he said the move addresses a key problem of mobility-challenged seniors travelling regularly for medical appointments.
Gojek Singapore’s General Manager Lien Choong Luen was a grassroots volunteer before he was hired the company. Thus fates aligned, and the collaboration now encapsulates the spirit of corporate giving -- communities exploring innovative ways to leverage existing expertise and resource to serve the community.
Mdm Zainah is a survivor.
A few years ago, a stroke hit her while she was in the bathroom. She felt numbness and quickly realised it was a stroke. Calmly and determinedly, Mdm Zainah moved herself to her room to call the ambulance and clothe herself. This is a reflection of the composed nature of Mdm Zainah.
After that, Mdm Zainah was determined to get better and live life to the fullest. Her participation in group therapy for stroke patients with Filos kickstarted her recovery process. There, she met a supportive group of friends, where they shared tips on how to do chores again. Her sister, son and grandson were also pillars of strength that she could count on. With this rehabilitation, Mdm Zainah is actively gardening at home, with aloe vera and rosemary as the two favourites.
Now, Mdm Zainah is a sprightly volunteer, keeping herself busy. To prevent depression, she says. An avid documentary-watcher and reader, she remains sharp and aware of the real issues seniors face in their ageing years. Mdm Zainah is reversing her age, working with school children and enjoying the company of youths, she even has learned to create digital art of her experiences. Other times, she joins arts and crafts sessions with tea parties, and volunteers with Lion’s Befrienders, connecting with other elderly neighbours. Mdm Zainah is now an inspiration to the children, youths and seniors she meets, exemplifying that a young-at-heart spirit is the best way to age.