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Monday, 13 July 2015

MILK (Mainly I Love Kids)

Donated $150 to MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) using dividends collected in my Permanent Stocks Holdings.


Registered in June 2004, MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) Fund reaches out to disadvantaged children and youth, both in Singapore and overseas, in the hope of developing them into contributing members of society. These children and youth come from troubled or low-income families and impoverished communities, and are often caught in a downward cycle that their circumstances destine them to. MILK support them in their education, care and guidance, vocational and livelihood development, or other special needs so as to help them break out of the disadvantaged circumstances they were born into.

MILK focuses on plugging gaps in the social service sector rather than duplicating what is already in existence. In a unique partnership formed with local partners, MILK plays the role of advocacy and fund raising while the partners focus on providing direct services for the children.

These children come from troubled or impoverished communities and some are physically challenged. We support them in their education, care and guidance, vocational and livelihood development and other special needs so as to give them the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

No child capable of developing into a contributing member of society will be marginalised because of disability, illness, poverty or social circumstances.

MILK reaches out to disadvantaged children and youths who fall through the cracks by focusing on 1) advocacy and 2) fund-raising whilst 3) working with our VWO partners to implement preventative and rehabilitative programmes.

-We believe in working with committed partners to ensure that our programmes are transformational and meet needs that “fall through the cracks"
-We believe that our programmes must be responsive and compassionate
-We believe in good governance guided by transparency and integrity

Programmes (Local)

1. Healthy Start Child Development Centre (HSCDC):
Partner: Beyond Social Services

HSCDC provides children with a quality environment that nurtures their growth and developmental needs emotionally, socially, cognitively and physically.  This is done by providing quality pre-school curriculum and nurturing a positive partnership with their caregivers. The childcare facilities also prepare the children for life-long learning while enabling their parents to work on improving their financial situation.

2. LIFE (Learning is Fun & Exciting)
Partner: Beyond Social Services

LIFE is a basic literacy programme targeted at children from disadvantaged backgrounds, to help them attain their age appropriate literacy level so that they may have an opportunity to further their education.  This is done by strengthening their English, which will then enable them to develop literacy skills in other areas, and rebuild their confidence and enthusiasm for learning. LIFE works towards ensuring that children, their families and schools work collaboratively to enhance the effectiveness of the programme.

3. Juvenile Justice Programme
Partner: Beyond Social Services

The Juvenile Justice Programme in schools is targeted at at-risk students, to reduce delinquency and encourage them to stay in school. Support is provided to the schools by addressing social and familial issues that contribute to offending, truancy and other delinquency issues. Work is done in partnership with the school, home and the community to provide a holistic approach towards delinquency management.

4. ATF Supplement
Partner: Centre for enabled Living (CEL)

The ATF, implemented by Centre for Enabled Living (CEL), provides persons with disabilities with financial assistance in purchasing assistive technology devices, to pursue mainstream education or gain employment.  Applicants who qualify can receive a subsidy of a maximum of 90% of the cost of the device or S$10,000, whichever is lower.  Often, low income applicants are unable to afford their portion of the co-payment and hence run the risk of not getting the much-needed equipment at all.  MILK provides a supplement on top of the ATF subsidy for applicants who are unable to afford their share of the co-payment.

5. Learning Enhancement and Special Needs Intervention
Partner: Northlight School

Northlight School targets students who have had many unsuccessful attempts at passing their Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) examinations. The students are exposed to a vocational educational programme, customised to prepare their students for life-long learning and employability. Northlight continues to refine their programmes to be more effective.

Learning Enhancement through the Use of Technology
Many disadvantaged students in Northlight School do not have access to computers or the internet at home. To narrow the ‘digital divide’, MILK is looking into supporting each class with notebook computers to enhance learning through the use of technology.

6. Bursary for Assumption Pathway School Students
Partner: Assumption Pathway School

Assumption Pathway School (APS) caters to students who have failed their PSLE once or more, we well as students who prematurely leave secondary school. Many students come from low-income or dysfunctional families.

Due to APS’ limited resources, they are only able to provide financial assistance to a limited number of students instead of all who needs it. MILK works in partnership with APS to provide financial assistance for these remaining students.

7. Republic Polytechnic Needy Student Fund
Partner: Republic Polytechnic (RP)

The Republic Polytechnic Needy Student Fund helps needy students tide over financial difficulties brought about when there is a loss of a breadwinner, hospitalisation of a family member, retrenchment or bankruptcy. The programme helps students who do not have enough for food or transport and other daily needs, despite exhausting all other available resources.

RP Student Pocket Money Scheme (SPMS)
The SPMS assists needy students who have difficulty with their daily living expenses due to financial challenges.

RP Student Emergency Scheme (SES)
The SES provides compassionate financial assistance to students in crisis due to the death or hospitalisation of an immediate family member.

8. MILK Scholarship
Partner: Selected Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) in Singapore

The MILK Scholarship is an educational grant that enables needy students and their siblings access to a Polytechnic or University education. It reaches out to promising youth, who would otherwise have to forego the opportunity of a tertiary qualification and realising their full potential. These youth come from low income households with multiple family problems, some have special needs or siblings with special needs. To complement the financial assistance, social workers from partner organisations enhance the help with other counselling and support programmes.

9. Bursary for Pathlight Students
Partner: Pathlight School

MILK provides bursaries to 35 – 40% of students in Pathlight School from low income families.  Pathlight School is the first autism-focused school offering the Singapore mainstream curriculum with special accommodations and support to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  MILK’s bursary provides supplementary support to cover school transport, pocket money, uniforms, textbooks, stationery and enrichment programmes.

10. Compassion Fund
Partner: Compassion Fund Ltd

Compassion Fund is a crisis response fund that supports disadvantaged students in crisis. This crisis is may be brought about by death, a sudden major illness or an accident in their family. Without assistance and support, such families are at risk of declining into poverty and developing chronic family problems, with a detrimental impact on the lives of the children. Compassion Fund offers interim financial assistance and will link beneficiaries with longer-term help if necessary; it complements, and does not replace, existing assistance schemes. Compassion Fund was initiated and has been incubated by MILK since 2006, and was established as a separate entity in 2009.

11. MILK Community Foundation for Children
Partner: The Community Foundation of Singapore

Early Literacy Development Programme
The early literacy development programme, run by the Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centres, promotes early development of literacy for identified young children who require additional literacy support in addition to attending preschool. This will be achieved through intensive and individualised home-based reading curriculum, extensive experiential training to facilitate the application of non-directive language use and comprehensive centre-based activities. These activities will be customised to the literacy level of each individual child.

Short Term Family Resilience Scheme
HELP Family Service Centre initiated the Short Term Family Resilience Scheme to provide interim financial assistance for single-parent families in need as they progress toward income stability and independence. This assistance is a last resort assistance to families after they have exhausted all available means of community based resources. While the families are receiving the financial support, HELP FSC provides budget counselling, skills upgrading for parents to enhance their capability and other counselling and support programmes.

Programmes (Overseas)

MILK Philippines is our counterpart in the Philippines implementing programmes targeted at children and youth in Tala. Tala, located in the outskirts of Manila City, has a population of 38,000 who live almost as outcasts because of the unfortunate legacy of being a ‘leper’ colony.  Many children lack nutrition and education and grow up with low self-esteem. MILK Philippines reaches out to these children by offering them opportunities in vocational education and other programmes.

A. START Learning Centre:
Partner: MILK Philippines

START Learning Centre is an extension of the nursery and feeding centre run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. The preschool provides nutrition and medical attention and a warm and conducive learning environment that the children may otherwise not receive at home.

B. MILK Scholarship for Students in Tala:
Partner: MILK Philippines

MILK Philippines provides scholarships to a group of students identified by school management staff and verified by home visits conducted by a social worker.  To help the children achieve their maximum learning potential and access good employment opportunities without being marginalised due to financial difficulty, they receive yearly grants until they finish college.

MILK’s work is in regions of Thailand which has a high concentration of poor rural communities. MILK supports social enterprise pilot projects as a strategy to bring these communities out of their poverty and offer them a livelihood.
A. School Lunch Farm and Development Programme (North-Eastern Thailand):
Partner: Milk of Life

The school lunch farm programmes in Nang Rong and Nong Bua Lamphu in north-eastern Thailand helps impoverished families and their children by creating a self-sustaining economy. The farms are within the schools and the produce is used to feed the students and to generate profits to support the development of the schools. While PDA is helping with current operations, the set up of a new entity, which will gradually take on the programme, is underway.

B. Marine Fishery Programme (South Thailand):
Partner: Sustainable Development and Research Foundation

The Marine Fishery programme on Koh Yaow Island helps marginalised fishing communities in and around Koh Yaow Island, Phung Nga Province. The programme includes building a Grouper and Spiny Lobster hatchery which will act as a base for grassroots development. Technical training and marine species fry will be provided to the local fishing communities so that they can raise these marine species, thereby creating a sustainable livelihood.

As a very young nation, Timor Leste has one of the highest child and infant mortality rates in the world. MILK’s work in Timor Leste involves primary health care, maternal and child health, education and economic development programmes.

A. Fundasaun Alola Programmes:
Partner: Fundasaun Alola

Fundasaun Alola, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of women and mothers, runs Advocacy, Maternal and Child Health, Education and Literacy, and Economic Development programmes. MILK started out with supporting Fundasaun Alola’s capacity building. Going forward, MILK’s support will extend to meeting other gaps faced in their programmes.

Pakistan has been suffering from the effects of severe poverty and religious extremism for the past three decades. These have caused much chaos and high crime rates. The lack of education and low literacy rate is a major contributing factor to these problems. Due to security and political issues, very few local non-governmental organisations are willing to come forward to help address these problems.

A. Care Channels Learning Centre:
Partner: Care Channels International Ltd

The Care Channels Learning Centre was set up to provide quality preschool education to the urban poor of Lahore, Pakistan. Very few of these families are able to afford school fees, though many children are poor but deserving students. The learning centre is made up of 4 levels – Toddlers, Playgroup, Nursery and Kindergarten. An informal kindergarten will also be set up in a brick kiln area to serve the poorest of the poor where poor people are enslaved by brick kiln owners, to make education available to their children who would otherwise have no opportunities to attend school, by helping them develop early reading and writing skills. With access to education, these children have an opportunity to break out of the poverty cycle.


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