Sunday, July 03, 2005

Plight Of The NGO: "Sometimes I feel like the maid!"

Me, my sweet WMD volunteer Yvonne and about 8 other women volunteers from UNIFEM Singapore spent Saturday afternoon (yesterday) packing hundreds of pink T-shirts for selling.

I very tired.

If we succeed in selling all 900 T-shirts we will raise something like $25,000.
I am trying not to think that this will only fund ONE shelter for HALF a year.
Sighhh.

BUT this needs to get done. One shelter for half a year still means we will help 30+ women/children to have a chance to be physically, emotionally restored, and hopefully trained for an alternative career to prostitution.

Today I also had the extreme privilege of meeting Mr Brown (more on that tomorrow) in person and having a long talk about why our country doesn't do enough for special needs. His beautiful daughter Faith has autism (his son Isaac is so cute I nearly packed him in my haversack and brought him home. Somemore can feed him luncheon meat!)

Sometimes, I look around me and feel really jia lat. There are so many things that need to be fixed. Here is an abridged list:

1. A governmental special needs body. It is not a problem of the NGOs that 1 in 250 children in Singapore have autism. Something is not right. As a country trying to be a bio-medical centre of excellence, we should be the country that finds the cause and cure for autism, which is affecting children around the world at a really alarming rate. Someone told me last week if things continue like this without active measures to stem the root cause, one in every 125 children will have autism within 10 years. It will affect MOE. It will cause brain drains as the more affluent parents of autistic children move to the US or Australia to seek medical help because it's insufficient here. Poor families with autistic children will leave them at home because care will escalate in price if left to private bodies, as the cheap, good ones are already OVERFLOWING and UNDERSTAFFED today!

Okay okay, I need to breathe.

I meet the parents of special needs children in Singapore quite often. I am constantly saddened by the same complaints that come up week after week: it's nearly impossible to get these children into normal schools, medication is so expensive, good teachers in places like Rainbow Centre get totally burned out and quit and it's hard to find replacements ...

Something needs to be done.

2. The upcoming IRs will cause a lot of social problems in Singapore. Is it really worth it for 35,000 jobs in the first year (probably halved by the 2nd or 3rd year as the more pathetic IR discovers it's not worth competing and pulls out of Singapore, causing a wave of unemployment -- wait, haven't we been through this with MediaWorks and MediaCorp)? Meanwhile, every accident-hounding 4D, Toto, mahjong addict will be permanent fixtures at the IR (so the IRs will just collect a hefty entrance fee from Singaporeans -- if $11 for a pack of Marlboros won't stop people from smoking, what's a fee to go and gamble?), families will be neglected, life savings will be lost, increase in suicide attempts, depression, drinking problems, divorces, juvenile delinquency ... all costing the government a LOT of taxpayers' money to fix, overworking the family courts and social workers/counsellors as if they are sitting around twiddling thumbs right now. It's like ngeh ngeh inviting trouble then spending a lot of time and energy and money trying to contain trouble -- your standard horror movie script.

I don't know whether to stay and fight or not. honestly it's things like this that make me want to move to Perth and fish for marron. Sheer stupidity. I got time to plan this escape.

But if I stay then I must fix this somehow, with the help of hopefully a few hundred thousand people. Any ideas are welcome.

PS If you say "Shut down STB and fire all the staff and use the money to hire counsellors and set up counselling centres since STB has failed so miserably to do its job", sorry that idea has already been taken. But if you have an idea on HOW to fire all the staff of STB then please post it.

3. We need to stop our men from going to Batam and Thailand and other poor countries for virgin or underaged sex. It's disgusting, they'll come back with diseases which WILL spread, and they are destroying the lives of children in another country. I definitely welcome ideas for this!

PS Potong is not possible. I heard all the junior guillotines are sold out, bought up by desperate housewives who suspect their husbands of having China mistresses.

There are many more problems around us that need fixing. We can choose to stay and fight, or we can pack and go.

By myself I know I do not have an ice-cube's chance in hell. But with God, nothing is impossible. Maybe with Mr Brown's influence we can rally for gahmen to do something concrete for those who need their help the most: the ones who cannot look after themselves, the handicapped, the sick.

2 Comments:

Blogger lancerlord said...

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8:54 AM

 
Blogger lancerlord said...

In today's Digital Life

8:54 AM

 

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