THIS YEAR THE METHODIST WELFARE SERVICES (MWS) will award 857 bursaries to successful applicants, more than twice the number (352) given out last year. An unprecedented 1,052 applications were received compared to 574 the year before, an increase of 45 per cent.
In total $292,000 will be distributed to needy primary, secondary school and junior college students, Last year, $123,700 was disbursed. The MWS has been able to bless the students who have financial diﬃculties, helping them to focus and be encouraged to do better in their studies.
The amount of $300 (primary school children) to $600 (for JC students) to be awarded is significant for the recipients’ families who are in need of financial support as there is an increasing awareness that their children’s education is a priority. Furthermore, they are greatly encouraged by the award as it is seen as an endorsement of their children’s motivation and commitment to do better in school.
Education – a key factor to help alleviate poverty
One of the key features that contributes to a family who is unable to make ends meet is the low education and employable skills of the adults. This cycle of inadequate education is often repeated when the children in the family do not get enough support for them to stay or do well in school.
Mrs Jenny Bong, Group Executive Director of the MWS, said: “The MWS Bursary Awards aim to help needy school-going children from low-income families with basic school-related expenses such as books, uniforms and shoes. We believe that children should get all the help they need to remain in school.
“In the coming year, the MWS will be launching new initiatives to support children’s education. Some of these include engaging paid tutors for children in our student care centres and providing bursary awards on a longer term basis.”
John’s* father has just been released from prison and his mother had to care for the family as a homemaker. The $300 bursary award that John received supported his education while his father was still unemployed. Otherwise, John would have struggled to stay in school.
Ian’s* father passed away suddenly two years ago. His mother, a housewife with only lower secondary education, had two jobs but was still unable to make ends meet. She felt the heavy burden of having to care for three school-going children, with one of them possibly having learning diﬃculties. The award helped to keep Ian in school and his family through the diﬃcult times.
We are grateful to our donors and supporters who have made it possible for us to bless so many more students this year. In particular, we would like to thank Grace Methodist Church, Covenant Community Methodist Church and the General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service for their contributions.
Methodist Churches partner us to disburse the funds
As with previous years, we are partnering with Methodist Churches to present the awards to the recipients this month. They are Ang Mo Kio MC, Covenant Community MC, Grace MC, Living Hope MC, Pentecost MC, Telok Ayer Chinese MC, The Methodist Church of the Incarnation, Faith MC and Sembawang Tamil MC.
Many of the churches are organising activities associated with presenting the bursaries to reach out to the students and their families.
*These are real accounts but the names have been changed.
“ What they say”
“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody. The greatest evil is the lack of love and charity.” – Mother Teresa.
“Often the only thing a child can remember about an adult in later years, when he or she is grown, is whether or not that person was kind to him or her.” – Billy Graham.
“If a person gets his attitude towards money straightened out, then almost all other areas of his life will be straightened out.” – Billy Graham.
“We are all manufacturers: making goods, making trouble, or making excuses. He who is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin.
“Reflect on your present blessings of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes of which all man have some.” – Charles Dickens.
“Money is an article which may be used as a universal passport everywhere except heaven, and as a universal provider for everything except happiness.” – The Wall Street Journal.