ST Causes Week 2019: Group aims to ensure no child is left alone at home

Mother Hen Club volunteer Amanda Lim, 35, with her son Kalen Neo, five, and daughter Kalyn Neo, seven. The initiative offers temporary care services to mothers or families in need.
Mother Hen Club volunteer Amanda Lim, 35, with her son Kalen Neo, five, and daughter Kalyn Neo, seven. The initiative offers temporary care services to mothers or families in need.ST PHOTO: MARCELLIN LOPEZ

No child should be left alone at home, so says the Mother Hen Club, whose members make up a community of caregivers offering temporary care services to mothers or families in need.

The group of eight was formed following the news of a six-year-old girl who fell to her death in June after she was left alone at home.

The Mother Hen Club is one of the key initiatives of the Do Good Asia Community (DGAC) Facebook group, a platform that connects those who wish to help with those who need help.

Since its launch in June, the main Facebook group has grown to be more than 1,000 members strong.

Those who have services to offer or ways to help others simply post on its Facebook page.

Mother Hen Club volunteer Amanda Lim, 35, has two children, aged seven and five. The senior digital executive said she is happy to be a caregiver because she understands the struggle of getting caregivers at late notice.

"We wanted to be part of a group that can create a safe space for children who might otherwise be left alone," she added.

"I am a full-time working mother. So I know how hard it is to find a nanny to care for my kids if I have to go to work at the last minute," she said.

"Sometimes I have had to take the kids to the office with me when I did not find a caregiver."

 

She added that there are measures in place to ensure the safety of children in the care service, such as having at least two unrelated caregivers at each caregiving session, or having members living in the same neighbourhood meet up and get to know one another.

Other initiatives of the informal Facebook group include a monthly project where members send birthday cards to children celebrating their birthdays at Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home.

"DGAC is a platform that allows everyone to step forward and offer help in whatever small ways they can," said Ms Lim.

Go to the DGAC's Facebook page to learn more about the group.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2019, with the headline 'Group aims to ensure no child is left alone at home'. Subscribe