Although Singapore is ranked as one of the most livable cities, there remains a wide poverty gap due to rising food prices and low household income. As Singapore does not recognize an official poverty line, disparities are measured through household income thresholds. According to research in 2020 by Irene Ng, 12% of households in Singapore are unable to meet “basic consumption needs,” resulting in children being unable to obtain a comprehensive education. Due to this disparity, it is imperative that Singaporean children receive continued support from organizations that assist with educational and enrichment programs, scholarships and counseling. The following organizations helping children in Singapore provide vital resources for the country’s most vulnerable.
5 Organizations Helping Children in Singapore
- Singapore Children’s Society – Established in 1952, this organization has been operating for more than 70 years. According to a press release, they aim to “protect and nurture children and youth of all races and religions.” To accomplish this, the Singapore Children’s Society has implemented more than 10 different services that provide support for abuse victims, mental health and education. With $22 million in funds, this organization has assisted more than 20,000 people in need in 2022 alone. Through its youth programs KidzSHinE and Storm Riders, this organization provides children with educational, financial and psychological assistance. These programs build resilience in children at an early age and provide a healthy outlet for processing their emotions. Because of its widespread impact, the Singapore Children’s Society has received more than 10 different awards, highlighting its dedication to underprivileged youth through its charity, social impact and community excellence.
- MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) Fund – Established in the 1990s, this organization began to aid children with “chronic but treatable illnesses,” according to its website and has expanded over two decades to more broadly address their needs. Through its educational programs and ITE, Polytechnic and University scholarships, diligent students are afforded the opportunity to expand their education without worrying about the financial burden. These scholarships have positively aided more than 700 recipients so they can “realize their fullest potential and break out of their poverty cycle.” Along with these scholarships, MILK also provides students with monetary awards through its “MILK Community/School Bursaries” program.
- Children’s Wishing Well – Since 2002, this Singapore-based organization has aimed to provide successful futures for children from all walks of life through its education and assistance programs. This organization provides holistic education through its tailored programs for individual children’s needs. Through its Children Enrichment Programme, Children’s Wishing Well prioritizes children’s educational needs by providing academic support, tutoring, electives, counseling, weekly reading sessions and skills to navigate life effectively. According to an analysis of this program, it was found that “the social Impact of Return (sROI) was 3 times (300%) of the monetary value spent on the children.” Along with this program, Children’s Wishing Well also offers FRESH (Fresh gRoceries for Every Student’s Home), which provides children with skills in budgeting, shopping and nutritional eating.
- Beyond Social Services – Beyond Social Services is a Voluntary Welfare Organization (VWO) that operates with a community-based approach by providing programs for children that aid education and development. These programs operate within communities to strengthen the bonds between members and offer support. Its Healthy Start Child Development Centre (HSCDC) offers full-time daycare to more than 50 children and infants under the age of 6, involving both community and family members. Another community-based program called Youth United promotes safe and beneficial environments that bond community members, children and teachers. With these intentional programs, Beyond Social Services says they prioritize “building futures through friendships,” creating opportunities for youth and adults to connect and “cooperate toward a common good.”
- Club Rainbow – This charity organization uses a holistic approach to provide children with chronic illnesses support and compassion. Since 1990, this organization has aided impoverished children in Singapore by providing services, programs and funds to connect children with their families. To do this, Club Rainbow provides children with a social worker, counseling services, educational support, arts programs and opportunities to strengthen their life skills. Along with these core services, Club Rainbow also provides a Youth Programme to build the confidence of young teens through workshops and discussions. Club Rainbow also provides grants to talented youth through its Talent Development Fund, which has aided more than 500 children to continue pursuing their dreams.
While Singapore has been ranked highly in human capital development, there still remains a need to aid those who lack funding and support. These organizations provide children with resources, ambition and courage to grow. Through the 2022 Children Enrichment Programme by Children’s Wishing Well, for example, roughly 80% of children involved became highly motivated to escape the poverty cycle and curate their futures. With the continued efforts of organizations that aid impoverished children in Singapore, these children will grow academically and mentally, given the care and support that allow them to succeed.
– Kristina Gaffney