Group launched to help Malay/Muslim mothers network, get support

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling (third from left) with (from left) ISH co-founders Nafisah Mohamed Ma'mun Suheimi, Yusnizan Mohamed Taib, Titiek Rohani Mohamed Kamsah, Rahayu Ahmad Asi and Mums for Life co-founder Adriana Lim Escano. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Malay/Muslim mothers will be able to take part in more discussions and activities aimed at strengthening families, thanks to a new group called Ibu Sepanjang Hayat (Mums for Life).

Set up by non-profit organisation Centre for Fathering and the Mums for Life movement, the group supports Malay/Muslim mothers seeking ways to help their community, come up with ideas to solve and address issues they are facing, and ultimately help them to lead a family that is empowered.

At a ceremony to launch the group at the National Museum of Singapore on Sunday (May 8), which was also Mother's Day, Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling said that in the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges.

With most activities confined within the house, she said, mothers have had to juggle many roles, including adapting to remote work, and ensuring that their children adjust well to home-based learning, are meaningfully occupied and get nutritious meals.

"Ibu Sepanjang Hayat aims to empower mothers by providing a platform for Malay/Muslim mothers to connect, learn about their strengths, their influence on their family, and also tips to navigate motherhood together," said Ms Sun.

Present at the event were four of the mothers who mooted the idea late last year and then co-founded the group. They are Madam Yusnizan Mohamed Taib, Madam Titiek Rohani Mohamed Kamsah, Madam Nafisah Mohamed Ma'mun Suheimi and Madam Rahayu Ahmad Asi.

The pandemic was a catalyst for the setting up of Ibu Sepanjang Hayat, which hopes to be a support network and connect Malay/Muslim mothers through shared cultural and religious experiences. The co-founders were also inspired by sessions conducted by Mums for Life.

"We thought it was timely... As Malay/Muslim mothers, we can better understand our community and its needs," Madam Rahayu said.

"Sometimes, as mothers, we forget to take care of ourselves... but you can't pour from an empty cup," added the mother of five children, who is also a certified parenting coach.

"What we've realised is that when the mother is happy, the whole family is happy."

Said Madam Nafisah, a coach and trainer: "We came up with a mission where we believe that mothers who lead purposeful and meaningful lives with a strong inner resilience will be able to better connect with their children and eventually lead a family that is empowered."

Madam Nafisah, who has two children, is a core team member of parent volunteers group SGFamilies.

"Over the next few months, we will connect with more mothers in the community because we want mothers to feel they're not alone in this mothering journey," she added.

The group's launch was part of Mum's Day Out, a day-long celebration at the National Museum organised by Mums for Life and Families for Life.

Ms Sun, a mother of two, took part in craft activities at the celebration, alongside around 400 families who attended the event over the course of the day.

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