Focus on the Family Singapore recently commemorated its 20th anniversary with a special celebratory dinner themed “Bigger, Deeper and Stronger for Families” on Thursday, 19 May, at Hilton Orchard Singapore.
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Mr Heng Swee Keat, graced the event as the Guest of Honour.
Some 650 partners and supporters of Focus Singapore attended the event. The charity hopes to raise $1,000,000 in donations to fund its family-centric programmes and campaigns for the year.
In 2021, Focus Singapore impacted the lives of some 40,000 people with its family-building programmes and campaigns. Looking ahead, the charity organisation aims to go bigger on sexuality education by partnering parents, educators and organisations, deeper in parent-child connections to build mental resilience, and stronger on marriage narratives, preparation programmes and mentoring communities.
Bigger on sexuality education
A 2020 survey conducted by Focus Singapore found that a staggering 79% of youths and young adults believe that parents have the primary responsibility to teach them about sex and sexuality. However, only 15% cite parents as their main source of information.
Sexuality education needs to start at home as values about relationships and marriage have to come from parents themselves. With the growing awareness of the need for parental involvement in guiding youths in the area of sexuality, Focus Singapore plans to augment its current resources on its website with videos and conversation starters to equip parents with the skills to do so.
Deeper parent-child connections
Over the past two years, Focus has had to pivot its Family Life Education programmes and events from in-person to online format. To journey with parents in supporting their tweens through the transition to adolescence, Focus has redesigned its signature parent-child event, Date with Dad, into a parent-and-tween experiential programme titled The Select: Mission 1114.
240 parents and tweens attended the inaugural run of The Select in December 2021, and tried their hand at solving puzzles and cracking codes together, while deepening their relationship through letter-writing and intentional conversations.
Ms Yvonne Kong-Ho, who attended The Select with her son, said, “It was such a timely bonding experience for us as it was just after my son completed his PSLE and received his results. The most memorable part for me was when we wrote letters to each other. I also gave him a leather belt as a gift and told him, ‘This belt represents my support for you, and you’re never alone.’”
In a bid to strengthen its programme offerings aimed at nurturing stronger marriages, Focus Singapore will be organising a date night event in August 2022. Targeting younger married couples, Best Date Ever will offer couples a unique experience to reconnect and rediscover the joys or marriage, building their collective resilience to withstand the stressors of life.
Mrs Joanna Koh-Hoe, CEO of Focus Singapore, said, “It is significant that we mark our twentieth anniversary in a year that Singapore has designated as the Year of Celebrating Families. We're excited that with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, 650 friends of the Family can now join us in this celebration!”
“Today's increasingly volatile and digitally immersed world unfortunately places new and more complex challenges on everyday families. Taking an upstream approach to build on the foundation of strong family values and healthy relationships will ensure our nation continues to thrive for many generations to come.”
Partnership Dinner: Raising Family Champions
At the fundraiser, Focus on the Family Singapore also presented its annual Family Champion Awards to commend corporations, communities and individuals who have been exemplary in promoting the interests of families.
Six recipients was recognised this year — Far East Organization, People’s Association, Mr Tan Chin Hwee, Dr Stephen Riady, Noel Gifts International Ltd, and Church of our Saviour.
Dr Stephen Riady said, “OUE is pleased to support families, especially enriching the lives of family communities, stakeholders and future generations. COVID-19 has impacted not only organisations but also many individuals and their families. The family remains the basic building block of society and an anchor amidst the rapid changes we experience in today’s society.
“As a parent of three and a grandparent of nine, I hope to see more Singaporeans getting married younger and having lasting and thriving marriages and families. Families with a strong foundation of faith in God and united in prayer can weather anything together through better or worse. I hope that more families will take the time to nurture deeper relationships in marriage and between parents and their children”.
Said Alfred Wong from Noel Gifts, “Focus on The Family Singapore champions family relationships. Their cause is very much aligned to what we believe here at Noel Gifts. It has been a great pleasure to work with them and we hope to continue contributing to this conversation with meaningful initiatives that nurture the precious relationships that we have with our loved ones while fostering strong family bonds.”
Focus on the Family Singapore hopes that this recognition will raise greater awareness of the need for family-friendly policies and a culture that celebrates and champions families in Singapore.
© 2022 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
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