Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore)
At MDAS, our mission is to uplift the lives of people with Muscular Dystrophy and integrate them into society, while providing care and support for them and their families/caregivers. We are a self-funded welfare organisation with IPC (Institution of Public Character)status that relies primarily on kind-hearted donations from the public.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a rare group of genetic muscle diseases that cause progressive muscle weakening. Manifesting usually during infancy or childhood, the majority of our beneficiaries will need to rely on motorized wheelchairs when their limb muscles weaken and deteriorate over time. Persons with MD face difficulties performing everyday tasks, from raising their hands to turning a page or even feeding themselves. Later in life, the condition worsens and eventually affects the heart and lungs, resulting in the need to rely on respiratory aids.
Through our various programmes and services, we seek to help these beneficiaries overcome physical and social isolation due to their disability; equip them with everyday functional and social skills so as to be ready to participate in the community, and eventually empower them with vocational skills and job training to create income earning power. It is essential that we focus on an integrated and holistic care plan, thus enhancing their physical and psychological well-being.
Intended use of funds through the YFC 2018 programme
The funds raised will go toward supporting the various programmes that the association has currently that helps persons with Muscular Dystrophy in various aspects;
Compass – empowers children with MD between ages 7 to 18 to gain exposure through hands-on and experiential learning activities; revolving around the motto “Dare to Try”.
Bridge – nurture and build the fundamental capacity of individuals with MD, who have been isolated, through customised curriculums in areas such as communication, life skills and academic skills; so as to bridge them to be ready for society and work.
Youth Connects – enrich youths with MD within 18 to 35 years old with opportunities to discover their own potentials, seek social interaction, instil independent learning and manage emotions; so as to be ready for adulthood.
BizPower – develop and enhance the vocational skills of young adults with MD through a centre-based programme to engage them in gainful employment and reinforce a sense of self-worth and confidence; so as to secure financial independence.
Engaging and involving the YFC participants
As part of being in the MDAS volunteers family, our association emphasises on skill-based volunteering, basically tagging every individual’s personal skillsets to the volunteering aspect that fits them best. Volunteers will have a discussion with our staff so that we can understand and know each volunteer on a personal level, and appreciate each individual for who they are, what they hope to achieve as well as how they can help. It will also be a chance for our staff to brief newcomers on the dos and don’ts of interacting with persons with disabilities.
We would also love to invite volunteers over to our centre for a short tour for the first time; so that volunteers can understand on a first-hand basis the work we do here at the association and get to know our beneficiaries who come to attend our programmes.
Volunteers will also get the opportunity to take part in our daily programmes, either as personal tutors for the academic aspects, or even befrienders for our different programmes. This will let our beneficiaries to get to know the new volunteers better and vice versa. We believe in the building of relationships, and not just looking at volunteering as mere ad-hoc activities.