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Arrival of the parents
Parent Support Group Get-Together Potluck Dinner
Dark clouds earlier seen looming above Eden Handicap Service Centre (EHSC)'s Training Hostel did not deter the more than 60 persons comprising people with various disabilities from getting together with their parents/guardians and the EHSC staff. The gloomy skies later miraculously transformed into a beautiful clear evening.
On 7 November 2007, as early as 6.00pm, cars were already arriving to "unload" pots, trays, boxes and containers all filled with food. By 7.00pm, 5 tables were spread out with food and drinks, all 60 chairs were set and the vicinity was filled with a celebrative mood. The party was about to begin.
Mr Bertie Tye, the General Manager of EHSC, broke the ice by welcoming and thanking all those present. He stressed that despite the tight financial constraints, EHSC is always committed to provide free of charge, the services and care for the disabled, not sacrificing or cutting any corners at their (the disabled)'s expense but to affirm that their needs, educational trainings and well being are well taken care of so that they can have a purpose in life for a better future.
Mr Seah, the Chairman of EDFAM and also a father of a disabled child under the care of EHSC, thanked EHSC for doing a good job but lamented that parents should not pamper their disabled children too much but to get them (the disabled children) to perform household chores each time they come home. If they have been trained and doing it at EHSC, parents should let their children do it likewise while at home. He addressed the importance of parents playing more their part rather than the care givers.
After Mr Seah's speech, the gathering was broken into smaller groups headed by each unit head of EHSC. The various groups discussed several relevant topics and there were some brain storming. Besides the fruitful discussions, there was also a Question and Answer session in each small group.
Puan Jamilah shared in her testimony how she was very touched by the care and compassion of EHSC shown to her disabled son who was wheelchair bound. She added that EHSC was willing to help them and did not look upon the color of their skin or religion. A few other parents also shared how thankful they are to EHSC for providing their disabled children a hope for the future.
Mr Bertie later presented "Thank You" mini banners to those parents who have been very supportive of EHSC's services by donating and contributing cash in kind, foodstuffs and groceries on a regular basis.
All present were then treated to a very sumptuous buffet dinner, all provided by the parents of the disabled children. There was plentiful of food, desserts, fruits and drinks of various varieties. Parents and their disabled children and EHSC staff mingled freely, chit chat and fellowshipped till 9.30pm.
It was an event to be remembered. Yes, a gathering where we shared our time, food, thoughts, opinions and plans on how EHSC as caregivers and the parents of their disabled children under EHSC care, can help and complement each other to upgrade and further improve the quality of life of the disabled. New friendships among the other parents were birthed. We anticipate that regular fellowships of this nature will further strengthen the existing good relationships between EHSC, the parents and their disabled children.
The aim of EDFAMS is to provide support and guidance to parents who have to deal with their disabled children and also to improve family relationships. Various meetings and activities are carried out from time to time to further enhance the fellowship and further strengthening the bonds and effective communications in particularly between the parents and their disabled children.
Arrival and registration of volunteers.
Mr. Seah, Chairman of EDFAM introducing the parent's committee and addressing the parents
Translating the discussion to one of the parent
Parents discussing issues
Thanking parents who has been supportive of our services
Potluck dinner - Thank you to all parents for their delicious food.