As Singapore strives to be a more inclusive society, much has been done to ensure children with intellectual disabilities are given appropriate education and early intervention. As these children become young adults, the higher-functioning ones are being identified and given proper vocational training and support for open employment. Unfortunately, very few facilities and openings are in store for the many who fall through the cracks and are unable to hold a job in the open market. Many in the latter years of their adulthood are kept at home with their aged parents as their only companions.
Mamre Oaks aims to reach out to this population which seems to be hidden and neglected. We aim to serve adults aged 18 and above with moderate intellectual disabilities and are currently not engaged in any services provided by MINDS, APSN, Metta and other existing VWOs.
Here at Agape Village, Mamre Oaks aims to be a place of nourishment, hospitality and good news to those in our service, similar to what the three strangers had received from Abraham. One such “stranger” who benefited from our service is Kelvin (pseudo name), aged 55. Kelvin came to us when he was 53 years old. Prior to this, he stayed alone with his aged mother for more than 10 years. Due to several bad experiences at his previous workplaces, he kept mostly to himself. His relatives noticed that he became withdrawn and isolated from the rest of the family members since the traumatic experiences.
One of our volunteers, who is his neighbour, noticed that he could benefit from our service and hence invited him to join us. He was first introduced to us as an extremely shy and reserved man. For the first few months, he would only smile in response to our efforts to communicate with him. We could hardly get more than a few words from him. Like a caterpillar undergoing metamorphosis, he gradually came out of his shell. He started opening up to the volunteers and staff, sharing with them interesting news he came across. The friendliness soon extended to people beyond Mamre Oaks. He formed friendships with the other “villagers” working in Agape Village, stopping for a quick chat whenever he bumps into them.
Today, when requested, he might even perform for you! His repertoire includes singing and dancing to “The Moon Represents My Heart” and Lin Jun Jie’s songs. It was perhaps God’s providence and perfect timing that he found a community in Agape Village. Early this year, his elderly mother passed away due to an illness. When Kelvin’s aunty came unannounced to the centre to pick him up early one day, Kelvin knew that the worst had happened. His mother meant the world to him and on that day, his world fell apart. Kelvin loved his mother dearly and none of us was certain that he could recover from this immense loss. What happened afterwards was a series of community effort coming together with one aim: to provide support to our friend, Kelvin. We received great support from Clarity, who readily agreed to provide counselling help if he was unable to recover from the grief of losing his mother. Kelvin’s friends from the other organizations in Agape Village and the people from Mamre Oaks flocked down to his mother’s wake to support Kelvin. Kelvin’s brother even commented, “I never knew Kelvin has so much support in Agape Village. The number of people who visited him… He has more visitors than any of us!”
As quoted from Aristotle, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” For someone like Kelvin, his light could mean the friendships he made in Agape Village. Agape Village provided a community where Kelvin feels accepted and a space he can seek solace from. It was the strong social support Kelvin received that allowed him to bounce back to his usual friendly self in a very short time. While one can never know when life would throw us a challenge but one thing for sure, Kelvin has his friends he can count on
- All adults with intellectual disabilities currently not attending special school / sheltered workshop / day activities centre / open employment.
- Aged 16 years and above.
- Independent in mobility and daily living skills, for example, in toileting, feeding and personal grooming. (Female trainees need to be able to manage their menstruation)
- No habits of leaving without permission or running away.
- No tendencies towards aggressive or destructive or injurous behavior.
- The member must be in remission if they suffer from any mental illness.
- Transport maybe provided, subject to availability and other conditions. Applicable only to non-independent travellers.
For further enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +65 6801 7475 or +65 6801 7476.
All applicant are to download the forms, duly complete, scanned and email to us. Thereafter submit the hardcopy forms during the first interview. If caregiver do not have email, please send by post to:
Mamre Oaks Ltd
7A, Lorong 8 Toa-Payoh,
#04-01, Singapore 319264