Reach Out

Humbled in helping others

Sep 2015    

The financial education workshop by MWS’ GOOD Programme which was held at the Kampong Kapor Family Service Centre on 4 July 2015.

It was humbling to learn of the financial challenges that the attendees face, and I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the MWS outreach effort for the GOOD Programme’s beneficiaries.

 

As part of The Methodist Church in Singapore’s 130th anniversary (MCS 130) this year, the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) launched the GOOD (Getting Out Of Debt) Programme to help the most needy of our neighbours.

 

The GOOD Programme aims to help families struggling with debt to clear an average of $2,000 of debt per household, and to equip them with basic financial management skills.

 

Forty-five Methodist churches rallied behind the programme to raise the funds needed, and to provide volunteers to act as facilitators at the various financial education workshops. I had the privilege to assist at one such workshop, and would like to share my experience.

 

On 4 July 2015, Saturday, my husband and I attended the GOOD Programme’s financial workshop, held at the Kampong Kapor Family Service Centre (KKFSC), for the programme’s beneficiaries. We were part of a team of volunteer facilitators from KKMC.

The workshop, on the ‘Basics of Money Management’, was run by an experienced trainer whom I found to be extremely informative, entertaining, and sensitive to his audience. A one-hour briefing was conducted for the facilitators prior to the workshop, and we soon found the room packed with attendees, who were split into smaller groups of four to six people for discussions and hands-on activities.

The two and a half hours seemed to go by very quickly as we ran through topics such as ‘Where did your money go?’, ‘How to start a budget’, ‘How to spend within your means’, ‘What happens if you have cash flow problems’, and learning about the CPF insurance schemes. To help the participants better understand these topics, we engaged in stimulating group discussions, and conducted practical exercises in planning household and personal expenses, distinguishing ‘needs’ from ‘wants’, and more.

My group included a grandmother whose husband is the sole breadwinner of the family, which comprises the elderly couple, their single-parent son and three grandchildren.

This grandmother shared how she has to stretch their available finances to cover daily groceries, schooling and transport needs, whilst managing a chronic medical condition. Another senior gentleman, after accounting for his basic expenses, had less than $50 a month in savings.

It was humbling to learn of the financial challenges that the attendees face, and I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the MWS outreach effort for the GOOD Programme’s beneficiaries.

The GOOD Programme, launched to commemorate MCS 130, is part of the 360-degree, multi-programme approach that MWS takes to help its low-income beneficiaries overcome poverty and improve their socio-economic positions.

 

Other aspects of the 360-degree approach include financial assistance, befriending, counselling, subsidises for their children’s educational expenses, and academic help for their children.


FIND OUT MORE – about MWS’ circle of help at www.mws.sg

GIVE – to those in need – visit give.mws.sg

Lynette Lim is a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.

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