Volunteers acknowledged in Day of Appreciation

Volunteers make all the difference

The Programme

This Teenage Centre (known as TC) offers Family Centred Programmes for Teenage Girls and their Families where they can be empowered to realize their potential and take responsibility for their own lives.

In response to the situation faced by teenage girls-at-risk, the Sisters began a residential programme in 1960.  Now, over 50 years later, its focus continues to be girls facing various crises which make it difficult for them to be functional and productive in society.  It targets girls aged 13 – 18 years, who are experiencing conflict in relationships, abuse and/or neglect.  A further target group is families with low functional capacity in dealing with situations of conflict.

TC provides a safe refuge and space for the girls and sometimes their families, to work on their issues so that they are better able to manage their stresses as individuals and family units.

Over the years, a few hundred teenage girls have benefitted from the programme.  

The programme is governed, managed and staffed by Good Shepherd Mission Partners (lay and sisters).

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Teenage Centre:

  • Goal 5:  Gender Equality.

  • Goal 10:  Reduced Inequalities.

Volunteers Appreciation Day

Click here to see photos of the celebration - Volunteers Appreciation Day

The Teenage Centre residents look forward to the annual Volunteers Appreciation Day.  This event gives the girls an opportunity to express their gratitude to the Volunteers, Benefactors and Friends of Good Shepherd and recognize their contribution to the lives of each resident.  Also joining in the celebration were the Good Shepherd Sisters, members of the Board of Governors, PKGS Headquarters staff, friends and families of the residents.

Volunteers Appreciation Day reflects Good Shepherd Partnership in action as the centre is overseen by 7 staff and more than 25 volunteers who conduct programmes ranging from academic support, to counselling and dance classes.  Some of the volunteers have been with the Centre for more than 10 years.

The theme

The theme of the celebration was inspired from the Teenage Centre theme of the year HOPE…DREAM…ACT.

Ritual - Lighting Candles and Traditional Dance

The celebration started with a ritual of lighting candles as a reminder to all present that God is the source of all light and we too can be a light to each and everyone around us. After the lighting of candles the residents welcomed all the guests in a form of a traditional dance. 

Welcome by the Director

The ritual was followed by a speech by Ms Willa Mowe, the Director of Teenage Centre, who warmly welcomed the volunteers, benefactors and all present. 

Tributes through poems, prose and song

After the speech the residents paid tribute to the volunteers and expressed themselves through poems, prose and a song. They composed the tributes with a personal message for each volunteer, whose generosity had impacted on the lives of the residents. Each volunteer was also presented with a personal handmade gift from the residents. The residents concluded their tributes to the volunteers with a song “Love Will Be Our Home.”

Speeches

Ambiga, an ex-resident of PKGS, TC expressed her profound gratitude to all the volunteers and benefactors for supporting her during her years in TC and some who continue to financially support her in her college studies. She thanked PKGS for the programmes provided for the residents such as counselling, baking, tuition classes, dance classes, that helped her become a better person.  

It was also very heartwarming to hear from the mother of one of the residents, Chandra, who expressed earnest appreciation for the love and kindness both the resident and mother had experienced. 

Sharing of Experiences 

The two speeches were followed by sharing of experiences by two volunteers. Ms. Jennifer shared that she enjoyed teaching Malay language to Form 3 students and she is still committed to helping the residents. She has been volunteering at TC for 6 years.   Mr. Trent shared about teaching Maths to Form 5 students.  Seeing the residents trying their best gave him joy and this encouraged him to come on a weekly basis. 

Maypole dance 

Everyone was then invited to participate in a maypole dance to symbolise a community which journeys together as one family though we come from different backgrounds, faith, cultures and ethnicities. 

Fence of Hope 

The final item in the programme was an initiation of TC’s “Fence of Hope”.  The fence in front of TC showcased two banners with advocacy messages to stop the violence against women.  The session was facilitated by Sister Kelly Ngai who invited everyone present to view the messages on the fence.  One message is STOP THE VIOLENCE and the second is STOP THE RAPE. In her welcoming speech, Ms Willa Mowe the Director had said “…….we live in a country where certain forces attempt to erode our own rights on a daily basis. We inform the girls about equality and responsibilities. We inform the girls about issues of Human Trafficking, how girls like themselves are trafficked in the region. We inform the girls about our fight against Violence on women and children.”  All were invited to support this campaign by writing a message and tying it on the fence.  We were glad and excited to see that the issues struck a chord in most of the guests.

The programme ended with a fellowship as the guests sat down to lunch with the residents and their families. 

Message of Hope

“We thank you, the volunteers, benefactors and friends of TC for helping us in this process. Many of the girls here have started their healing. There are good days and bad days but each day is a small step to an amazing future if we do this right. So today we stand here and say because of you, we and the girls dare to Dream, Hope and Act.”  (excerpt from speech of Willa Mowe)

 

Click here to see photos of the celebration -  Volunteers Appreciation Day