Salvation Army Celebrates 88 years of Serving the Needy
- UBS Optimus Foundation and their donors partner with The Salvation Army (TSA) on a USD1.8 million programme to provide continuous support for vulnerable families
- Philanthropic Circle of Care launched to help those who fall between the cracks in the community
21 Jul 2023 – As part of celebrating 88 years of serving the vulnerable, TSA will launch the Philanthropic Circle of Care to enable more strategic and impactful giving. Whether this involves mobilizing community stakeholders or being a catalyst of change from the ground up, this Philanthropic Circle of Care brings together individuals and organisations dedicated to uplifting and transforming the lives of the vulnerable in Singapore.
UBS Optimus Foundation has partnered with TSA to embrace new innovative approaches as one of the first participants of the Philanthropic Circle of Care. While the mission of serving the vulnerable has not changed, Salvation Army leaders and other philanthropists have moved on from pre-war days with mass approaches of helping orphans, prisoners, elderly, destitute women to more customized, impactful ways of helping through community-based partnerships that bridge gaps.
In the past, vulnerable children would be housed away from their families for extended periods of time.
There are typically many stresses and adjustments as a child reunifies with his family after being away from families. Many of the parents from vulnerable families love their children and want them home with them. ‘’Often the children and youth come to us at very difficult times in their lives and it really does take a village to help them rise up and overcome their challenges. We believe that children grow best in families. We hope to make healing and transformation possible for every child and their family. This strengthening of our approach through the creation of ‘villages’ can bring much help to these families.’’ Ms Audrie Siew, Executive Director, Children and Youth Group, The Salvation Army.
The Philanthropic Circle of Care allows such strategic engagement of communities through strengthening of these villages for the underserved children. With the help of UBS Optimus Foundation, the Salvation Army has co-developed and started the Befrienders for Families (BFF) Programme in partnership with Home for Good, Singapore. This programme is child-centric, volunteer-led and community-based and supports children and youth when they are reunifying to their families. Befrienders can help in 2 ways – (i) they can build relationships and provide social support to these families and children; and/or (ii) provide timely practical help such as donating home furniture (such as a child’s bed when the child is returning home) or helping a parent to search for jobs. Social workers will provide support to both the befrienders and the families and children. Through this, BFF will provide training for volunteers and aims to support families who have children reunifying to them from children’s homes or foster care and improve the outcomes for children and youth. “Reunification after a period in residential or foster care can be a very sensitive period for the child and his family. More support in this period can really make a difference. While professionals play a very important role in helping such families and children, families may find befrienders less intimidating and may find it more natural to share with them on their day-to-day struggles. Befrienders can work hand in hand with professionals to enable reunification to be stable and for children to thrive and reach their potential,” Ms Siew shared.
Dickson Lim, UBS Head of Philanthropy & Community Impact, Singapore said, “Protecting and supporting vulnerable children is a priority for the UBS Optimus Foundation and many of our clients. We know solutions that work exist but they need to be brought to scale. That’s why we are working with The Salvation Army and are one of the first organisations to join the Philanthropic Circle of Care. Through our new partnership, we hope to improve child protection in Singapore and build on our global track record of supporting millions of children since our inception almost 25 years ago.”
Ms Wong Kuan Ying, Executive Director, Home for Good, Singapore added, “We are glad to collaborate with The Salvation Army and UBS to grow family-based support in Singapore. We have seen how the support can benefit the children and their families when the child is reunited with his natural parents after being in our foster families.”
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has been touching lives in Singapore since 1935 and we remain committed in serving the underprivileged in the community without discrimination. To us, every life is precious and we actively help those in need regardless of age, race or religion.
Throughout the years, we have established a comprehensive network of social services to meet a wide range of needs in our community. Our diverse programmes reach out to vulnerable children and youth, frail elderly, struggling families, isolated migrant workers and other needy segments in our society.
About Children and Youth Group
TSA has provided services for vulnerable children for many decades. Children and Youth Group (CYG) set up on 1 April 2022 as TSA’s efforts to take a more integrated approach to serving vulnerable children and youth in Singapore. CYG’s services span from preventive work in the community, care of children who require safe shelter and therapeutic support due to a history of abuse and neglect to reunification support for children who return home to their families. CYG serves more than 500 children and youth annually. In CYG, we believe that each child is precious and unique and in the potential of children and their families to heal and transform.
About UBS Optimus Foundation
UBS Optimus Foundation is an independent philanthropy associated with a global wealth manager, pioneering innovative ways to tackle some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. It is a leader in social finance, testing and proving new tools in support of education, health, the environment, and child protection. It applies an investment-based philosophy and specializes in scalable, evidence-based approaches like outcomes-based finance and blended finance. UBS Optimus Foundation operates in a worldwide network of partners and philanthropists who seek to drive systemic change on a global scale.
About Home for Good
Home for Good, Singapore (HFG-SG) is a network of foster parents, adoptive parents and volunteers who are passionate about helping vulnerable children.