To see every life changed by love.
To be a community to those who don’t have one.
The Love-Aid Project began when a group of friends got together for a project to distribute 400 mattresses to 200 families in the MacPherson area.
We were able to enter into the homes of the residents living in one- and to-room rental flats in the neighbourhood and get to know them.
We saw first-hand what poverty looks like for many in Singapore. Stirred by what we observed and the friendships we made, we decided to love and walk with them. In 2013, the Love-Aid Project was born.
We have made many friends among the young, families and elderly within the community. Many of them struggle in life. One big and common struggle they face is the breakdown of their relationship at least of the key areas of life – self, family and community. This led us to focus our efforts on supporting the emotional, social and relational needs of our community friends.
We started our youth work in 2013 in MacPherson by partnering with a high-needs neighbourhood primary school first by providing tuition services to students from low-income families.
As the partnership with the school blossomed, we were invited to operate a drop-in centre after school hours to ensure that students are positively engaged. This was because many of these students were not effectively supervised by their parents and were getting into trouble. Through this platform we engaged with the children through value-based programmes using sports, music and the arts.
As our network of partners grew in 2014, we added new homework support groups into the heart of the community at additional locations. Since then, we have seen a deepening of partnerships with schools and other community organizations and the widening of our youth to secondary school students.
As we continued to deepen our relationship with the youth we began to understand that many of the issues that they face were rooted in their families. This prompted us to engage with the families of our youth.
Our initial engagement in 2013 took the form of home visits, workshops, and family bonding event and activities.
However, in 2014 we adopted a new approach of having regular meals with families. We discovered that this was an effective and non-threatening platform to engage with families. If used correctly, it was highly effective in building strong and tight bonds with families and to model healthy interpersonal interactions. Along with periodic home visits, this format has marked our approach to engage with families ever since.
In 2013, we launched our elderly work around the MacPherson estate. We discovered that the elderly are open to receptive to love and friendship.
In 2017, we launched the “Jiale” coffee club – a weekly coffee time – where elderly residents are able to engage in conversation and games with volunteers. The name “Jiale” has various meanings in mandarin including “Add Joy” and “Happy Family” and captures our heart’s desire for our elderly friends – a renewed spirit of wholeheartedness.
Through Jiale, we have witnessed time and time again how unconditional love (demonstrated through simple gestures and acts of kindness) can make a deep and lasting impact and change lives!
As at 2018, Jiale has grown into a vibrant and joyful community with multiple new platforms (ranging from music and arts to craft and cooking) added to engage our elderly friends deeper.