YWCA Fort Canning Gives Back
Meeting the socioemotional needs of the socially isolated
We often speak of meeting the basic, physical needs of the people we serve, and their socioemotional needs often fall aside. Many of us rightfully prioritise ensuring our beneficiaries are fed, clothed, and have a roof over their heads, but what about attending to their feelings?
Through years of serving those from disadvantaged backgrounds, we have come to realise that a significant number of them feel disconnected from the community. It may be because they are non-ambulatory, from a low socioeconomic household, or simply being isolated, but people are social creatures and research has shown that not being a part of a community can be damaging to us.
Here at the YWCA of Singapore, we try our best to go above and beyond meeting the basic needs of those we serve, challenging ourselves instead to do better. While we used to organise outings for the YWCA Meals-on-Wheels recipients, the Covid-19 situation meant having to innovate and come up with other ways to engage the socially-isolated.
It was a sunny Wednesday morning, and three YWCA Fort Canning staff were standing by the YWCA Meals-on-Wheels vans, taking selfies in excitement. For Housekeeping Executive Jeannie and Front Office Manager Ginny, it was the first time they were going to experience YWCA’s Community Service Programmes for themselves. As all net proceeds from our hospitality division of YWCA Fort Canning go towards funding these Programmes, we encourage our staff to volunteer so they understand the impact their work has on the lives of those in-need. F&B Manager Kelvin had previously gone on Meals-on-Wheels rounds and it was something he looked forward to.
Piling into two separate vans as part of the Covid-19 Safe Management Measures, Kelvin, Ginny, and Jeannie went on our YWCA Meals-on-Wheels delivery routes to personally gift mooncakes to our beneficiaries. These snowskin mooncakes were made in-house at YWCA Fort Canning’s Café Lodge.
While most of us would not think too much of these little treats, for these recipients, it is a luxury they can ill-afford. This small gesture goes a long way in making sure they feel included in a traditional community celebration most of us grew up with.
Ginny said, “This mooncake distribution was my first experience with the beneficiaries and while it may seem like a small thing, I was happy because their smiles and delighted faces made me joyful.”
Covering areas like Jalan Kukoh, Bukit Merah View, York Hill, and Chinatown, the Staff brought joy to these elderly beneficiaries with their cheerful well-wishes. They also took the time to chat to everyone who opened their door. For many of these beneficiaries who do not have family, our YWCA Meals-on-Wheels deliveries may be the only human interaction they have in a day.
“Their smiles and heartfelt appreciation touched me and I hope we can do more in future. I’ve no regrets taking a break from my hectic work schedule to hand-deliver our little gifts and to send our wishes to these lonely elders for Mid-Autumn Festival,” said Jeannie, “Their smiles and heartfelt appreciation touched me and I hope we can do more in future.”
We are truly blessed with the most amazing staff, who despite their busy work schedules, make the time to give back to the community.