OCBC-TODAY Children’s Fund
Art Exhibition - Finding Home

True Stories
The children we help

Posed picture

Sarah's story

Sarah's name has been changed to protect her identity.

While her peers busied themselves with school work and attended their friends' birthday parties, little Sarah was fighting to stay afloat.

For years, she was physically abused by her biological father, an odd-job labourer.

When her plight was uncovered, the authorities removed her from her family and put her under the care of the Singapore Chidlren Society (SCS). She was only nine years old.

A scrawny, under-nourished child who had difficulty articulating her thoughts, she shied away from those who approached her.

She was unable to speak proper English and could not properly interact with her teachers and friends.

Posed picture

Bryan's story

Bryan's name had been changed to protect his identity.

He is only 12, but his drawings tell a sad story. A story of a world filled with gloom and sorrow.

Dark, angry faces and harsh, deeply-etched lines adorn once -pristine sheets of drawing paper – signs of a childhood stolen.

Bryan's mother passed away when he was seven and his father is in prison. His grandmother, who cared for him, fell sick and was unable to look after him. Eventually, he was put in the care of Sunbeam Place, a gazetted Place of Safety for children under SCS.

By then, he has turned into an angry child who threw violent, uncontrollable tantrums. He also developed a habit of touching people inappropriately. No one wanted to be his friend.

Lonely and afraid, Bryan sought solace in music, and was often found sitting in a corner of his room.

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Types of Distressed Families

Parents are
divorced or separated


Reconstituted families
with new family members

Children experience
physical or emotional abuse

Possible Consequences

Neglect and a low
sense of self worth

Grandparents are left with
the responsibility to raise
the children

Low social mobility in
present and future families

How do children handle stress?

Ms Christina Appadoo, Deputy Director at Singapore Children's Society Jurong Youth Centre, talks about the extreme ways children can react to stress.

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How we help
Enroll them in the right programmes

Helping Sarah

Sarah was enrolled in a speech therapy programme which involved one-to-one reading sessions aimed to build her confidence and encourage her to articulate her thoughts.

She also had to undergo character-building and mentorship programmes to improve her social skills.

As a result of regular abuse by her father, she had to be nursed back to health with treatment and supplements.

Helping Bryan

Bryan had to undergo treatment at the Institute of Mental Health to overcome his problem of touching people. He had to learn new social interaction skills with the help of his social workers.

To help Bryan overcome his anger and hostility issues, SCS placed him in anger management and character development programmes.

Seeing that Bryan had a keen interest in music, SCS enrolled him in a weekly arts programme that gave him an outlet to express what he cannot verbalise.

Continuous therapy is necessary to teach Bryan the proper values and build his sense of self-worth.

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How SCS helps these children

Nipping the problem before it gets out of hand.

Mr Chee Thow Wei Liat, Counsellor at Singapore Children’s Society Children Service Centre, shares that a huge part of the work comes from rehabilitation for families that are already facing some form of need. As we learn more we might be able to prevent such scenarios from happening.

Therapy helps to unlock feelings and identify underlying issues.

Ms Christina Apppadoo, Deputy Director at Singapore Children’s Society Jurong Youth Centre talks about how therapy in the arts help create a sense of achievement and purpose, it's a good way for them to express what they cannot express through words.

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Where the money goes
How much does it cost?

Sarah's programme

In Sarah's case, her therapy programmes would cost $145 per week or $7,600 a year.

Based on Sarah's condition, her counsellor estimates that she would require 2.5 years of therapy programmes which would amount to $19,000.

Slow response to programmes could extend her therapy sessions to as long as 5 years, costing $38,000.

Bryan's programme

Unlike Sarah, Bryan faces different challenges in his life and therefore needs other types of counselling and therapy sessions.

Bryan requires 3 different types of therapy and treatments that cost $130 per week or $6,800 per year.

A complete holistic rehabilitative programme of 2.5 years would cost $17,000. If recovery is slow, treatment may take as long as 5 years, costing as much as $34,000.

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Success stories
Children who have benefited from the programme

From school dropout to business owner

Dr Caroline Balhetchet, Director of Youth Services at SCS shares her personal experience in helping a school dropout build his self-worth over time, find his calling in life, and watching him become a successful business owner.

Making sense of the world he lived in

For Taufiq, RoundBox run by the SCS for youths from distressed families was a place where he sought solace from his parents' frequent arguments at home. It was there that he discovered that he's not alone, and that there is kindness and help for him.

Find out how things took on a different direction for Taufiq after he started going to Roundbox and how that got him to where he is today.

Read Taufiq's story here.

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Help us care for as many children as we can
Without YOUR support, many children will be left with little hope of rising above their circumstance of neglect and abuse.

Recovery is a daily struggle. For as little as $25 a day, you can help them take that first step. Help them to succeed in life.

I care, and choose to donate

For every $2 you donate, OCBC Bank will donate $1.

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