Malay/Muslim alliance in tie-up with govt agencies

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim interacting with children during a visit to a My First Skool branch in Yishun this week. For a start, M³'s collaboration with the Early Childhood
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim interacting with children during a visit to a My First Skool branch in Yishun this week. For a start, M³'s collaboration with the Early Childhood Development Agency will see the Preschool Outreach scheme benefiting more children.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

M³'s collaboration will give residents easier access to govt-run community programmes

Residents will have easier access to government-run community programmes in their neighbourhoods now that M³ is collaborating with government agencies.

M³ is an alliance of three key Malay/Muslim organisations created last year to uplift the community. It comprises Mendaki, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) and the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council, Mesra.

The M³ collaboration with government agencies was announced on the same day that M³ launched its first focus area - strengthening support for marriage, parenthood and early childhood development - on Tuesday.

M³ has also carved out two other focus areas: Helping vulnerable individuals and families; and empowering and mentoring young people.

The first focus area will be helmed by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.

The effort will support Malay/ Muslim families across key life junctures: marriage, parenthood and early childhood education. It will do so with support from government agencies including the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM), as well as community and grassroots organisations.

Associate Professor Faishal said: "We are coming together to provide a continuum of care for fellow Singaporeans who are embarking on their journey of marriage, throughout their parenthood and the early childhood development of their child. We believe that when we come in early and engage people early on, it will help them have a good start in developing strong families."

  • How M³ will help in focus areas

  • 1. MARRIAGE, PARENTHOOD AND EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT 

    By laying foundations for a strong family early, through marriage preparation and support, nutrition, cognitive development and numeracy skills.

    2. VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES 

    By strengthening outreach to inmates' families and children at the point of incarceration and post-release follow-ups.

    3. EMPOWERING AND MENTORING YOUNG PEOPLE

    By connecting young people with mentors and role models in the community.

    For more information on the various programmes available, go to M³@WGS, the organisation's information and referral centre at Wisma Geylang Serai.

He added that the collaboration will let the various organisations share information to "galvanise and coordinate our efforts to benefit more people".

Government programmes will now have greater outreach with M³'s collaboration, he said. For a start, its collaboration with ECDA will see the ongoing Preschool Outreach programme, which was introduced in 2007 and which currently includes children who are at least three, reaching more people through home visits.  

With ROMM, M³ will strengthen marriage preparation by arranging for soon-to-be-married couples to have a one-to-one engagement with a naib kadi, or wedding solemniser. The initiative will complement marriage preparation courses organised by others.

 

Last month, the MSF launched the Marital First Responder Training with the support of M³. Volunteers were trained to provide basic marriage support to couples. These volunteers include religious educators and grassroots leaders.

The MSF said it works closely with the community and other government agencies to strengthen the delivery of social services and programmes.

Correction note: This article has been edited for clarity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2019, with the headline 'Malay/Muslim alliance in tie-up with govt agencies'. Print Edition | Subscribe