Agape Kids, established in February 2007, gathers every Saturday morning at the Riverside Basketball court, creating a space for children to engage in enjoyable activities that blend fun, games, and moral education. This initiative fosters a vibrant and meaningful interaction between the kids, our dedicated staff, and volunteers. Recognizing that childhood experiences significantly shape development, Agape Kids focuses on instilling moral values vital for the children’s growth, especially considering the challenging environments they encounter daily. The program includes counseling and guidance to navigate these environments effectively.
Beyond the enriching activities, the Food Distribution project adds another layer of impact by providing essential items like rice, canned goods, milo, chocolates, bread, and more. This project not only fills their bellies but also paints smiles on their faces, conveying gratitude that resonates profoundly. Agape Kids is not merely about immediate relief; it’s about building a sustainable impact by addressing both the immediate needs and the foundational values that contribute to a child’s holistic development. As the proverb goes, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Agape Kids embodies this principle, striving to leave an enduring and positive mark on the lives of these young ones.
The inception of Agape Ladies in August 2007 was born out of the heartfelt desire of approximately 45 mothers who were honored during Parents Day by our Agape Youth. Inspired by the meaningful connection and positive impact they witnessed, these mothers expressed a keen interest in being a part of Oikos Helping Hand’s transformative initiatives. This led to the establishment of Agape Ladies, a community that gathers for fellowship and Bible study sessions every Friday and Sunday.
The essence of Agape Ladies goes beyond regular meetings; it embodies a spirit of empowerment and solidarity among women. Through their shared experiences, faith, and commitment, the group provides a supportive environment for personal and spiritual growth. The chosen theme song, “Before the world began,” reflects the timeless bond and shared journey these women embark on together.
Agape Ladies serves as a testament to the power of community, where women find strength, inspiration, and a sense of purpose through their collective efforts. This initiative aligns with the broader mission of women empowerment, emphasizing the importance of fostering connections, nurturing spirituality, and creating a space for personal development. The story of Agape Ladies exemplifies the transformative potential that arises when individuals come together with a shared vision of positive change and empowerment.
Income Generating Livelihood
The Income Generating Livelihood Programs (IGLP), initiated in 2005, embodies Oikos Helping Hand’s commitment to breaking the cycle of poverty by imparting valuable skills and fostering self-reliance. Rather than merely providing daily sustenance, the program focuses on teaching individuals how to ‘fish for themselves,’ empowering them with career and financial management skills.
Regular skills training sessions are a key component of IGLP, offering participants the opportunity to acquire practical skills that enhance their employability or support the establishment of small businesses. The impact of this approach goes beyond individual empowerment; it extends to the broader community, creating a ripple effect of positive change.
The success stories within IGLP speak volumes about the program’s efficacy. Many participants have achieved financial independence, breaking free from the poverty cycle. What sets IGLP apart is its emphasis on not just feeding individuals for a day but equipping them with the knowledge and skills to sustain themselves and contribute to the economic upliftment of their communities. In essence, IGLP is a testament to the philosophy of teaching individuals to catch a fish, enabling them not only to feed themselves but also to nourish and support their communities.
Agape Tutorial is a transformative educational program dedicated to addressing the critical needs of youth who, for various reasons such as financial constraints, negative peer or environmental pressures, or a simple lack of interest, have not completed or attended traditional schooling. Recognizing the pivotal role education plays in shaping one’s future, Agape Tutorial offers a second chance for these individuals to acquire essential literacy skills, soft skills, psychosocial skills and make informed choices in life. Over the course of a year, our dedicated teachers guide students through foundational subjects like reading, writing, science, and mathematics, laying the groundwork for a solid educational foundation, in alignment with our commitment to youth empowerment. By emphasizing the importance of life-long learning, Agape Tutorial aims to break the cycle of inequality and provide quality education to all, recognizing that a community is only as strong as its weakest link.
The Oikos Helping Hand Learning Center (OHHLC) marked a significant milestone with its official opening on June 27, 2009, led by Rev Lim Jen Huat and Dr Tan Kok Beng. The celebratory event included dancing, and meaningful speeches. This marked a groundbreaking advancement for OHH’s Scholarship Program, solidifying its commitment to providing quality education.
With a team of trained teachers, OHHLC ensures that each child receives a stimulating childhood experience, aligning with the organization’s mission statement. The dedicated educators participated in the Essential Literacy Workshop in the Philippines from June 20 to 22, 2009, led by Mrs Koh Woon Heng and Ms Lam On Nah from Singapore. The workshop focused on mind-opening, thought-enhancing, and literacy-advancement techniques.
Oikos Helping Hand Learning Centre is a pioneering educational program that blends the best of the Singapore and Philippine curricula, offering a unique approach to early childhood education. Catering to kindergarten-aged children, our program is designed to provide a holistic learning experience that encompasses both academic excellence and holistic development. By integrating elements from both curricula, we ensure that our students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in the globalized world while also nurturing their cultural identity and values. At Oikos Helping Hand, we are committed to promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through our curriculum and activities. Through age-appropriate lessons and initiatives, we instill in our young learners a sense of responsibility towards their communities and the environment, empowering them to become agents of positive change in the world. One of the core aspects of our program is our scholarship initiative, which aims to provide access to quality education for at-risk families living below the poverty line. By offering scholarships to deserving students, we strive to break the cycle of poverty and create opportunities for a brighter future. Through this initiative, we ensure that no child is left behind and that every student has the chance to reach their full potential. Central to our curriculum is the development of Critical Core Skills, which encompass essential competencies such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. These skills are integrated into every aspect of our program, ensuring that our students not only excel academically but also possess the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century workforce. In essence, Oikos Helping Hand Learning Centre is more than just a school – it is a community dedicated to providing high-quality education, fostering holistic development, and creating a brighter future for our children and our world.
Agape Youth, inaugurated in March 2007, goes beyond spiritual and moral education by emphasizing the acquisition of crucial social skills. Operating in an environment where basic amenities are a challenge, these youths faced difficulties in maintaining hygiene due to limited access to water. To address this, Agape Youth initiated a hygiene campaign, encouraging the youths to bathe, comb their hair, trim their nails, and care for their overall well-being. The positive response to this initiative is reflected in the tangible rewards of toiletries, creating a sense of accomplishment and reinforcing the importance of self-care.
The program’s impact extends beyond personal hygiene, encompassing vital life skills and empowerment. Living in a dump site presented numerous challenges, but through initiatives like the hygiene campaign and the support of generous Singaporeans, Agape Youth received essential resources such as clothes, shoes, and food items. These contributions not only meet immediate needs but also empower the youths with a sense of dignity and belonging.
Agape Youth’s commitment to youth empowerment aligns with the cultivation of critical core skills, ensuring that these young individuals not only receive essential life lessons but also gain the tools necessary to navigate challenges and build a better future for themselves. The collaborative effort between the program and compassionate individuals from Singapore exemplifies the transformative impact that collective goodwill can have on the lives of these resilient youths.
Agape Gentlemen, a community initiative within Oikos Helping Hand, is dedicated to fostering spiritual growth, fellowship, and camaraderie among its members. The group gathers for Bible Studies on Tuesdays and Fridays, delving into meaningful discussions and reflections on faith. The fellowship extends to Thursdays with the ‘Coffee Fellowship,’ where light refreshments are shared alongside personal updates and reflections from members. This regular interaction creates a positive group dynamic, fostering encouragement, affirmation, and mutual understanding.
Beyond spiritual engagement, Agape Gentlemen embraces a holistic approach to well-being. The monthly ‘Sports Fest’ stands out as a highlight, bringing members together for organized sports activities that combine fitness with laughter. This sports event has become a favorite among participants, providing not only an opportunity to exercise physical abilities but also fostering a sense of fun and mutual esteem.
Agape Gentlemen exemplifies the concept of being the “priests of the family,” not only through spiritual pursuits but also by creating a supportive community where individuals can uplift and engage with one another in various aspects of life. Through shared experiences, fellowship, and a commitment to holistic well-being, Agape Gentlemen continues to contribute to the positive growth and enrichment of its members within the Oikos Helping Hand community.
Agape Worship, conceived on December 5, 2006, through a divine encounter where Maureen witnessed a “Team of Children Worshipers” with flags, came to fruition in March 2007. The next day, she heard about a “Conduct Children Worship” workshop and promptly approached City Mission Church’s Worship team. Responding to the call for a worship ministry, Agape Worship has flourished, and Maureen’s initial vision has manifested with delightful results.
This vibrant group, consisting of children aged 8-12 years old, has become proficient in both flag/banner presentations and tambourine accompaniments. Their worship not only showcases their artistic talents but also brings down the Spirit of God, creating a unique and spiritually enriching experience for the community. Agape Worship stands as a testament to the power of obedience and the joy that arises when children engage in heartfelt worship, becoming vessels for the divine presence.
In the early months of 2017, Maureen, driven by a deep and compassionate concern for the widows within our community, initiated a heartfelt endeavor. She directed the staff to conduct interviews with as many widows as possible who were actively participating in our Ladies Fellowship. The compassionate inquiry revealed a significant number—50 widows in need of support and connection. In response to this discovery, our organization took a bold step, and in June of that year, we inaugurated our inaugural fellowship specifically tailored for widows. The inspiration for this compassionate outreach is drawn from James 1:27a, which underscores the essence of pure and undefiled religion as visiting orphans and widows in their distress. Recognizing the special place widows hold in God’s eyes, our ministry strives to extend the same care and support to them. Thus, this marked the beginning of a new chapter in our journey—a dedicated ministry focused on uplifting and assisting widows, in alignment with our commitment to embody the true spirit of compassionate and meaningful service.
The Food Distribution program at Oikos Helping Hand (OHH) plays a vital role in addressing the needs of the needy and poor families in the community. Dependent solely on generous donors and their specific requests, this initiative ensures that essential food items reach those who require assistance the most. Donations may range from providing 1 kg of rice every week to children, a bag of groceries to specific families, or other requested items.
As a charitable organization with no independent source of income, OHH relies on the support and contributions of donors to sustain the Food Distribution program. The norm involves visitors donating funds for staple food items such as rice, biscuits, canned food, and milk. Home visits, accompanied by OHH staff and volunteers, allow for a firsthand understanding of the living conditions in the slum areas, and families are often presented with bags of groceries during these visits.
To add an element of joy to the lives of the beneficiaries, OHH occasionally organizes games and activities. The success of this well-accepted program is owed to the unsparing contributions of all donors, whose generosity ensures that OHH can continue its mission of alleviating poverty and hunger in the community, aligning with the global goals of eradicating poverty and achieving zero hunger.
Kids Living with Cancer
The Kids Living with Cancer program at Oikos Helping Hand is an initiative designed to provide comprehensive support to children battling cancer. In recognition of the unique challenges these young warriors face, our program is dedicated to fostering a nurturing environment that addresses their holistic needs. Our program places a strong emphasis on the emotional well-being of these children, incorporating counseling and psychosocial support to create a supportive community. Our initiative also includes engaging recreational activities, like outings, aimed at bringing joy and a sense of normalcy to their lives. We also actively involve families in the support process, understanding that a strong familial foundation is essential for a child’s well-being.