Covid-19: Responding with a Heart
In the past few months, we have seen PPIS taking on additional responsibilities as part of the pandemic response in addition to our regular portfolios. Looking back, these are my reflections on our initiatives and collaboration with other organisations and government bodies as part of PPIS’s support to strengthen resilience within the wider community.
First, faced with a pandemic, new solutions are born. Indeed, necessity can be the mother of transformation. We initiated the PPIS WIN Fund to support women who lost their jobs during the crisis or those who had to leave the workforce to care for the elderly in their families.
Secondly, partnership matters in times of crisis. PPIS took that strike by collaborating with Dewi-SMCCI to support our women home-based business through PPIS WIN Fund when they have to cease their operations from home. We worked with SuChi Success and HAO mart as a way to raise funds to support our initiatives in assisting the vulnerable families.
Thirdly, the efforts to overcome any crisis depends on collective action. Under the SGTeguhBersatu taskforce, PPIS conceptualised a psycho-social resilience framework, led by our team of principal social workers and principal therapist. Our centre managers and social workers volunteered with the National CARE Hotline to offer emotional support to anyone who needs it. All these are efforts to strengthen psycho-social resilience of the community and emerge stronger during crisis time.
Indeed, PPIS involvement with several ground-up initiatives engaged in the Covid-19 is a response from the heart. None of these changes come easy: each one is the product of many late nights and robust discussions. Although they do not take place on the frontlines, I am grateful to have seen board and management working together to exercise more creative and courage to maintain our services for the community. Indeed, mutual trust and openness can be catalysed by a crisis. These are qualities which, I trust, will not fade when normalcy returns.
– Mdm Rahayu Mohamad, PPIS President
– Mdm Tuminah Sapawi, PPIS CEO
Most parents are already familiar with Home-Based Learning (HBL) for Primary School and Secondary School-going children. Not many know that pre-schoolers can have HBL too! In fact, HBL for young children often require more guidance as we cannot simply give them assessment books or get them to ‘study’. They need to be engaged through the stimulation of their five senses.
In PPIS ECE, we believe that it is essential to keep young children engaged even as they are staying at home. As such, we created our very own Home Learning Pack (HLP) and our daily Online Learning Experience (OLE) for our children! The activities in our HLP and OLE have been specially crafted with a careful focus to ensure that it is developmentally appropriate for the different age groups.
More than academics, OLE is about connection, relationships, and a sense of security. We wanted the children to stay in touch, even digitally, with their teachers and classmates. OLE is active and interactive. We knew that these were important aspects to incorporate in OLE and the HBL experience given the (short!) attention span that children have! We understand the struggle that both our teachers and parents may face sometimes in keeping children engaged.
As part of the OLE, teachers conduct activities that are highly active and interactive. On top of that, they also change activities every 10 minutes to cater to the children’s attention span and to keep them continually engaged. These activities can range from singing songs together to forms of active play such as Treasure Hunts, doing yoga poses and conducting arts and craft lessons!
With a plethora of online (live classroom) and offline lessons which covers areas such as music, arts, languages and science, PPIS ECE strives to provide a holistic learning experience for every child even from the comfort of their own homes. We believe that there is something for every child and we hope to unleash their potential through our curriculum!
“You can never go wrong with chocolate. Whipped up some steam chocolate cheesecake with my brother. He said he’ll find new recipes for us to bake together during this circuit breaker period. Oh dear, I don’t remember subscribing to this partnership. I need an unsubscribe button but oh well, here’s to growth – horizontally.”
“During the circuit breaker, I attempted to make Roti Kirai (or Roti Jala, as known to Malaysians) for the first time – with the help of some tutorials on Youtube! Did you know that there are actually two circulation techniques to spread the batter in order to get that perfect Roti Kirai shape? I was so nervous when I began spreading the batter on the heated pan but they turned out great!
Here is an easy-to-do recipe and technique for anyone who’s interested! Have fun making it with your family!
“My standard comfort food is a packet of Myojo Dey Mee Poh noodles with a simple fried egg. Of course, just for this rainy season, I ‘classed’ it up with hot coffee and cinnamon buns my sister made! Original, oreo, and red velvet!”
“As I ushered in Hari Raya a little differently this circuit breaker, I was reminded of the good old days celebrating Hari Raya in my kampung. The lively and vibrant atmosphere is something that I can never forget. In those days, all the ladies in the house would gather to make kueh, sew curtains, cleaned the house and of course, cooked the traditional Hari Raya dishes – ketupat, lodeh and sambal goreng.
Reminiscing the old days led me to make these special pineapple tarts that I modified from my grandmother’s recipe. I present to you my very own fusion pineapple tarts!“
PPIS has 16 centres island-wide but only 6 were open and operating with minimal manpower during Circuit Breaker. That was the reality that all of us at PPIS went through for those two months. Almost three quarter of us hunkered down behind screens from home, juggling between work, home, children and parents. For some, the lines between those segments of life grew ever so blur.
Today, we are again in another mode of operations post Circuit Breaker, though slightly more familiar. While our Child Development Centres and Student Care Centres are fully operational, the rest of us are back in split teams operation with some of us still in WFH mode post Circuit Breaker. As most of our doors re-opened on 2nd June, it was not back to business as usual. With the nation moving into Phase 1 of re-opening our economy, our centres have had to implement much more checks at all centres. These are known to us today as Safe Measures.
With the implementation of Safe Measures, for any business to be operational as mandated by our government, our centres have had to implement processors such as Safe Entry and daily health checks for all staff and visitors among a slew of other measures. Children under our care are also made to step up their hygiene practises as it is our responsibility to keep them and their families safe. Our Social Services can now only receive clients by appointment only, strictly no walk-ins and to minimise the number of appointments at centres due to Safe Distancing measures. And if you had noticed, common areas such as meeting rooms have seats which are crossed out. The importance of Safe Distancing is also one of the reasons almost half of our staff are again on split teams. To ensure that these measures are implemented and maintained, some of us have been appointed as Safe Measurement Officers for our centres. We urge you to co-operate with them on maintaining the necessary Safe Measures and to remind you that masks must be worn in our centres at all times. We are all in this to stay safe and healthy.
Restrictions that are in place within Phases 1 to 3 also has other effects on us as an organisation. Some of our centres regularly run public programmes or yearly events that now have been either postponed till further developments of phases or have had to be cancelled. There have been some programmes however that have been transformed digitally through videoconferencing. Similar to how all of us are now familiar with Microsoft Teams for our everyday work discussions and meets, Circuit Breaker had fast forwarded the organisation’s use of digital systems. PPIS is now on another digital transformation as we embrace the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to streamline and optimise our financial administration and resources. Soon, the organisation will also introduce another digital system which will empower our staff with regards to their professional development as well as transform HR into a more strategic department that will benefit everyone.
From the team at Human Resource & Organisational Development, stay safe, stay healthy!
As part of the community’s effort led by Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs, Minister Masagos Zulkifli, to overcome the challenges of COVID-19, a collaboration between M³ (MUIS, MENDAKI, MESRA) and other Malay/Muslim organisations, including PPIS, was forged under the SGTeguhBersatu Taskforce. Read about it here!
PPIS, represented by our President, Madam Rahayu Mohamad is part of SGTeguhBersatu. Internally, a PPIS taskforce was set up comprising President, VP Hazlina and Board Member Salina together with CEO. The taskforce is supported by the three PSWs – Zahara, Nasriah and Sarinah, together with PT Maimunah.
Arising from the many discussions, the taskforce has conceptualised a psycho-social resilience framework, comprising the 3Cs which include:
For more details on the Psycho-social Resilience Framework, you may refer to the media release here.
As part of our efforts in support of SGTeguhBersatu, our SSAs have also spearheaded other initiatives, which include:
The relevant information can be found on our PPIS website and social media.
Besides our SGTeguhBersatu efforts which aim to strengthen resilience and help the community during this Covid-19 situation, PPIS Family Therapy Institute (FTI) also launched their Workspace Wednesday initiative. WorkSpace Wednesday aims to reach out to individuals whose livelihoods have been affected as a result of the Covid-19 situation. Every Wednesday, FTI conducts a live stream on Facebook and Instagram, where our family therapists will cover different topics and discuss them with guest speakers.
At PPIS, we strive to reach out to those in need to ensure that no one gets left behind. Together, let’s join hands to create a #OnePPIS that seeks to serve the community with compassion.
Family caregivers bear the brunt of responsibilities within their households. In light of the Covid-19 situation, however, these female caregivers shoulder a heavier care burden. This was the outcome of a survey carried out in May by the Singapore Alliance for Women in Ageing (SAWA), which comprises four organisations: AWARE, Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS), Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) and the Tsao Foundation. Read more about the gendered nature of eldercare through the survey findings here.
As a social service organisation, serving the community and those in need lies at the heart of what we do. To help women whose lives have been significantly affected by the Covid-19 situation, PPIS established the Women in Need (WIN) Fund. The fund hopes to reach out to women who have not only lost their jobs, but also had to give up working to care for their elderly parents and young children. Women who need enhanced financial or training support during this time can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In celebration of Mother’s Day and her birthday this year, Ms Salbiah Abdullah wanted to do something unique and special. With that, she organised a live telecast of Salsation fitness exercises to raise funds for the PPIS WIN Fund at a cost of $10.00 for every sign up. All proceeds have been donated to the PPIS WIN Fund. We are deeply grateful for the support of individuals like Ms Salbiah!
These days, you can’t leave the house without a hand sanitiser! To meet the community’s surge in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PPIS and SuChi Success launched the Fund-a-Hand Sanitiser campaign. With every bottle of hand sanitiser sold by Suchi Success, 25 per cent of sale proceeds will go towards funding quality enrichment programmes and activities for our students from PPIS Student Care Centres. You may purchase these hand sanitisers at www.suchihalalavenue.com!
With the launch of our Rice of Hope fundraising campaign with HAO mart, members of the public can now enjoy delicious, nutritious rice and do a good deed at the same time! HAO mart will be selling packets of rice at $12.90 online at http://www.haomart.com.sg/product/chaao-thai-fragrant-rice-5kg/ and at nearly 50 of their outlets islandwide. With every packet of rice sold, $2.00 will be donated to PPIS beneficiaries. Simply by purchasing the rice, you too can make convenient contributions to PPIS that go a long way in helping the community!
PPIS recognises the importance of celebrating compassion especially in times of difficulty. As we brave against a global pandemic as a nation, we also hope to do our part in giving back to the community. As part of our Raikan Ihsan initiative, PPIS distributed care packages to our beneficiaries. The packages contain items such as dried fruits, hand sanitisers, a bottle of premium jam, dates and a Sheng Siong voucher. We hope that, through PPIS Raikan Ihsan, our organisation is able to lend a helping hand to our beneficiaries.
With the implementation of circuit breaker, Muslim families in Singapore celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri a little differently this year. In light of this, PPIS organised a #OnePPISCares community initiative, PPIS Baju Kurung-for-All. As part of the PPIS Baju Kurung-for-All initiative, PPIS distributed 372 sets of baju kurung for men and women, as well as cookies, to 119 families from our various social service centres. In doing so, we hope to have lifted the spirits of our beneficiaries even as they celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri during such trying times.
Family violence has been on the rise since the circuit breaker kicked in. Ms Nasriah Nasir, Principal Social Worker from PPIS Family Service Centre (West) shared how our social workers continue to stay in touch with their clients even as physical contact is minimised. Read more here!
At PPIS, we are proud of staff who go above and beyond in giving back to the community. Ms Noor Aaqilah Abdul Latiff, Centre Manager of Oasis Centre for Fostering, volunteers for the National Care Hotline which was set up to provide psychological and emotional support amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Read about her experience here!
In this day and age, technology can be used to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. In this article penned by Principal Family Therapist of PPIS Family Therapy Institute (FTI), Ms Maimunah Mosli, she shares how FTI utilises technology to help those in need.
Malay-Muslim community leaders and organisations (MMOs) must do their part to help members of the community. In this article, PPIS was mentioned for its SGTeguh Bersatu efforts and in relation to the possibility of teaming up with other MMOs to teach workforce skills to mothers. Through collaborations such as these, we hope to uplift the Malay-Muslim community.
PPIS was featured in The Straits Times for its initiative by our Student Care Centres which provides complimentary student care services to families who have been significantly affected by the Covid-19 situation. Through this initiative, we hope to uphold our vision of being a compassionate organisation. Read about it here!
Meet the budding artist behind the drawing of a barn owl that was featured in this year’s Hari Raya cards by the Istana! 7-year-old Aidan Lutfi Mohamed Aidil is a student from PPIS Student Care Centre (Jurong) who loves to draw and colour in his free time! Read about it here!
PPIS Child Development Centre in Bukit Batok (BBC) distributed care cards and hampers to welcome their new neighbours! They are the migrant workers who recently moved into their alternative, temporary accommodation next to the centre. Read about it here!
President of PPIS, Mdm Rahayu Mohamad, wrote for BERITA Mediacorp on the significant role of mothers in looking after the mental health of family members amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Read her commentary here.