On 20th Sept, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam, announced the Government’s decision to work with Singaporeans to undertake a comprehensive review of issues that affect women at home, in school, the workplace and in the community in a bid to address gender inequality.
As a non-profit organisation dedicated to working with women of all ages, PPIS recognises that the fight for gender equality is one that requires the support and co-operation of everyone as we address women-related issues that Singaporeans are concerned with. Through this, let us aim to chart a road map for progress and a pathway towards greater gender equality for Singapore’s women.
Singapore has taken great strides to level the playing field for women. However, gender equality remains a work in progress as we navigate the cultural, social, and structural hurdles that perpetuate the traditional gender roles that are also very harmful stereotypes. Hence, the need to imbibe the value of gender equality from a very early age – that boys and girls are to be treated equally, and very importantly, with respect. It has to be a deep mindset change.
At PPIS, we see this as a call for change with more women in this day and age being emboldened to chart their own paths to success. Hence, at our various events and engagements such as Multi-Faith Hari Raya, Advocacy Workshop with Aware, IWWA’s First Webinar Series for Women by Women, Closed-door SAWA Dialogue with Women Members of Parliament, we amplify our efforts as the voice of Muslim women by leading contemporary discussions addressing the cultural and mindset change on caregiving responsibilities, retirement adequacy and strategies to support women’s aspirations.
PPIS recognises the success of this very meaningful cause relies on the participation from everyone, especially men. The community needs to recognise the value of women and to move away from the old patriarchal setup to an eco-system that is conducive for women to progress. The society needs to be more understanding, evolve and continue to emphasise the sharing of care roles between men and women. And of course, women must also have the confidence to step forth and step up, to take on the challenge and forge new frontiers.
– Mdm Rahayu Mohamad, PPIS President
My favourite author Robin Sharma whose book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, I read with great intensity wrote – “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” That wraps up how the last six months have been for PPIS.
Change was hard when we entered Phase 1 of the Circuit Breaker, and messy as we navigated through the changes with anxiety setting in. At some points, we were even unsure of how to move forward.
It has been more than six months and I can safely say the organisation has adjusted to these changes. Change is as gorgeous as the colourful masks we don every day today. Who would have thought that the masks would be part of our daily attire as we leave the house and go about our duties outside of the comfort of our home.
Singapore will probably not return to a pre-Covid-19 world. We must chart a new path. At PPIS, our new path includes turning physical events into webinars. In the last three months, we had our Fostering Webinar as well as our belated International Women’s Day movie screening online. The soft launch of SYM Academy was virtual as well. Children from our centres entertained us during our virtual National Day Observance.
This is something we must be prepared for in the long haul, gearing up for technological advancements so as to not be left behind. We need to strengthen our digital capabilities with the rise of a Smart Nation.
Still there is one thing we will not change – staying true to our vision of being a compassionate organisation connecting communities and mission of inspiring women and strengthening families. We understand there are families out there who needed extra help because of the pandemic.
Our frontline staff at all the centres are cognizant of this and had rendered help. Our Student Care Centres even offer 3-month complimentary care for students whose parents are affected by loss of job or income. Our principals at the various preschools render help to parents by providing transport assistance and fee subsidies.
Gorgeous may not be an apt word, but if we paint all the work that our 250-strong staff have done, it would definitely be a gorgeous piece of art as PPIS strives to find opportunities amidst the current challenges.
– Mdm Tuminah Sapawi, PPIS CEO
On Sunday, 16 August 2020, PPIS Research and Engagement Department (RED) held its inaugural film review cum e-panel discussion in a belated commemoration of International Women’s Day where guest-of-honour was Ms Nadia Samdin, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC. The award-winning documentary, ‘The Judge’, featured Kholoud Al-Faqih, the first woman to be appointed a judge in a Shari’a court in the Middle East. Dr Suzaina Kadir and Ms Malathi Das, in the discussion moderated by Ms Khadijah Madihi, highlighted the importance of an ecosystem of support and women’s self-drive in taking up opportunities to propel them forward. The session was abuzz with questions from PPIS and fellow women leaders on the topics of education, advocacy and strategies to help women break through.
To find out more about RED’s engagements, follow their recently launched social media pages on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ppisred.sg) and Instagram! (@ppisred). They will also be sharing posts on women-related matters such as women leadership, unpaid work and violence against women. Show your support by following them today!
On Friday, 14 Aug 2020, SYM Academy (SYM) was launched online live on both Facebook and Instagram. We were happy to have the PPIS Board members, friends and members of the public join us during our live show online.
The lively 45-minute event featured our very own therapists, who spoke about the merger between the former PPIS Family Therapy Institute (FTI) and PPIS Training & Consultancy and our area of focus for clients at the Academy. SYM Academy also had the pleasure of PPIS President, Mdm Rahayu Mohamad, deliver her congratulatory note and well wishes. We also gave away gifts to audience who participated in our live quizzes. The prizes were kindly contributed by our generous sponsors, Inara Organics, Wali Fragrances and Honey El-Iman.
SYM, which means mutual in Greek, is a practice academy specialising in therapeutic family-related work which offers a holding space for intimate conversations between individuals, couples, families and allows for deeper practice conversations for professional growth.
As a practice academy, SYM also collaborates with international institutions to further enhance our services. For families and individuals seeking connection, SYM offers individual/couple therapy, workshops and retreats. We also offer WorkSpace HR+, a workplace programme to complement and support both employers and employees find common ground.
Over the next few months, SYM will be launching more exciting workshops and programmes such as the inaugural ‘Making your work with families, work’ – a joint certificate programme awarded by The Tavistock and Portman NHS (UK); the 3rd run of the signature Relationship Learning Circle in October; a couples’ workshop in November; an exclusive workshop just for men and many more. For updates, follow us on on Instagram (@sym.academy) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/SYMAcademy1)!
Our Research and Engagement Department (RED) organised its second #REDGirlsForGood session on 11 September with PERTAPIS Centre for Women and Girls (PCWG). #REDGirlsForGood is a series of community engagement programmes in collaboration with other like-minded organisations to improve the lives of girls and women through activities such as music and art therapy, heart to heart sharing sessions as well as workshops among others.
You might have seen pictures and videos of the inaugural session (13 May) on our social media pages, where the girls got to hear from Radio DJ, Fiza O and learnt brush lettering skills from Ms Shikin Rahmat of Letteritsueet. Since it was Ramadhan, they were also treated to food by Hajjah Mariam Cafe for iftar!
Women in Singapore can now look forward to a new, live webinar series in town. Curated specially for women, the recently-launched International Women for Women’s Association (IWWA) held its inaugural webinar on 13 Aug 2020, where PPIS President, Mdm Rahayu Mohamad, was invited to be part of the panel discussion with over 30 women participants from all walks of life. Dr Rosemary Morgan, Assistant Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School’s Department of International was the other esteemed panellist.
IWWA started this webinar series to embrace the new norm of bringing women together through virtual platforms to discuss prevailing gender issues in Singapore. The 1.5-hour session was a robust discourse on how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women by exacerbating prevalent issues on gender inequality, and how the nation has responded to the global crisis from a gendered perspective. Both panellists brought valuable inputs to the table – both on the international and national scale.
For the first time, PPIS is proud to be the official programme partner for Bulan Bahasa 2020 (or Malay Language Month 2020)! In celebration of Bulan Bahasa 2020, PPIS Student Care Centre (Bedok) organised a Malay writing workshop for students on 9 September. Titled “Selamatkan Bumi Kita!” (or “Save the Earth!”), it was conducted by Ms Shahida Sarhid, a correspondent from Berita Harian.
As part of the workshop, 23 students from the ages of 7 to 12 participated in activities that not only educated them about climate change, but also honed their Malay oral and writing skills. They shared their opinions about climate change with Ms Shahida in Malay, as well as watched insightful videos on the various aspects of climate change. These videos covered a spectrum of issues such as the greenhouse effect, waste disposal and recycling efforts around the world.
Students were then tasked to write the ways in which they will help to save the Earth and how they can go about recycling in Singapore. They were also tasked to write about the importance of recycling and exercise their creativity by explaining how certain items can be reused and recycled to produce other items. After which, they presented what they had written to the rest of their friends. The event then concluded with a hands-on activity, where the students created reusable bags out of newspapers!
We hope that our students enjoyed the workshop and not only honed their oral and writing skills in the Malay language, but also learnt more about climate change. Let’s do our part to save the Earth!
This year, Singapore celebrate 55 years of independence on the 9th of August. In celebration of National Day, PPIS organises the National Day Observance – a yearly affair that we all look forward to as we mingle with our fellow colleagues from the various centres. However, unlike previous years, this year we held our very first virtual National Day Observance ceremony! The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many changes as we adapt to the new normal during these unprecedented times. Even though we were not able to hold a physical event for the ceremony, as the saying goes, “The show must go on.” With that, we organised a very special virtual National Day Observance, packed with exciting performances that we can all view from the comfort of our own homes!
To kickstart the event, PPIS President Mdm Rahayu Mohamad gave her Opening Speech, followed by our CEO, Mdm Tuminah Sapawi. After which, we watched a very special video by our staff from Head Office, where they passed the Singapore flag to one another as a symbol of unity and national pride! We were then treated to performances by our students from our Child Development Centres as they sang along to classic National Day songs like “Home”. Last but not least, a National Day celebration would not be complete without the singing of the national anthem and pledge-taking ceremony, which was led by children from our student care centres.
The National Day Observance ceremony this year may been slightly different but one thing remains true – our love for our nation. In line with this year’s National Day theme of “Together, A Stronger Singapore”, it is also our hope that we emerge out of this pandemic as a stronger nation, and as a #OnePPIS family.
PPIS was mentioned by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, as one of the Malay-Muslim organisations that provide help to members of the community for mental health concerns that they may be facing. Read about it here!
PPIS Oasis organised their inaugural webinar for couples to learn about fostering in Islam and clarify concerns that they might have. Participants heard from religious experts, veteran foster parents and social workers during the three-hour virtual event. Read about it on Straits Times, Berita Harian and BERITA MediaCorp!
Supervisor of PPIS Student Care Centre (Jurong) (SCCJ), Mdm Kalthom Kassim, was featured in Berita Harian’s #NoTapis podcast to share about our student care services, along with Mdm Jannatunaim, a single mother whose children are also enrolled in SCCJ. Read about it here!
The Research and Engagement Department (RED) of PPIS hosted this IWD commemoration, which is also the organisation’s inaugural film review cum panel discussion. Through this, PPIS and fellow women leaders voiced their hope for a gender-equal world while celebrating the achievements of women. Read more 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.
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!