Gerard Ee Huck LIan's Blog (28)

Dreaming of the neighbourhood we want

When we tell our youth members that they are responsible for creating the neighbourhood that they wish to live in, it generates some excitement among them but often when it is time to do the work, not many show up. However, this week 15 youth in Ghim Moh showed up for a neighbourhood dream-building session. We were pleased and gathered that it was probably because the invitation was made by a parent who has been most concerned with their well-being the past few months. Moreover, this mother…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on January 27, 2019 at 8:32am — 2 Comments

Sharing is Learning

 A learning festival serves as a platform for the exchange of good practices.  8 mothers and 3 youth from Singapore who are in Bandung this week were surprised that their experiences and reflections were valued by participants from other parts of the world. They may not always be able to explain their efforts with a philosophical or practice framework but that did not prevent them from inspiring others.

Khidir, a youth leader was listening to a sharing about the role of a local…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on November 16, 2018 at 7:49am — 1 Comment

Healing yourself is connected with healing others

"Forum Komunikasi Peduli Anak" is community initiative in Bandung that positions itself as a welcoming resource for children-at-risk. On 31 March 2015, 15 neighbours who were concerned about prostitution among the young decided to do something. They were parents themselves and felt a sense of duty to extend themselves to other children in their midst who lacked a sense of stability and were making poor choices. They held the belief that once someone becomes aware of a problem, not doing…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on November 5, 2018 at 6:53pm — 3 Comments

Celebrating the Local Response as an Important Resource for the Community

Celebrating the Local Response as an Important Resource for the Community

– a SALT approach for the transfer of local response

Beyond Social Services, Singapore

December 2016

Our Reflection

Everything has a life span. All groups and their endeavours who wish to remain relevant would do well to picture themselves within a life cycle from inception to closing. Stages in between would be development, maturity and redefining relevance.  We…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on February 23, 2017 at 7:22am — 2 Comments

Appreciating the Nature of Community

Our Reflection for 2015

Communities are messy. They have to be otherwise they would be organisations. An organisation is a member of a community; either defined by place, association or other kinds of identity.  Yet many organisations are established to organise a community; to serve it or to change it in some way.  Hence, a part sets the agenda for the larger whole. In a community there are usually several such…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on February 27, 2016 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Creating a restorative clmate -Part 5


The staycation has since become an important milestone/reference point for this neighbourhood who now has a group of residents who regard themselves as the Caring Community who looks after the children in their neighbourhood. The Caring Community tell us that their neighbourhood has changed as the children have responded their guidance. They observed that the children greet the adults and…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on July 23, 2015 at 4:47pm — No Comments

Creation a restorative climate - Part 4

  1. Describe a desired outcome from your intervention and how you would go about trying to reach it.

Our desired outcome is a restorative climate in the neighbourhood and we adopt the following position overview: 

To nurture neighbourhoods that adopt a restorative problem-solving approach toward young offenders and families with multiple…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on July 23, 2015 at 4:46pm — No Comments

Creating a restorative climate - Part 3

In the spirt of the strengths approach, we also borrow from the Appreciative Inquiry, Solution Focus  and Positive Deviance Schools.  Below are short notes about these schools compiled by David Shaked in his book Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma – Building positive and engaging business improvement that is published by Kogan Page Limited 2014.  Parts have been paraphrased in our own language.



Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on July 23, 2015 at 4:41pm — No Comments

Creating a restorative climate - Part 2


 Despite their seemingly negative view of the situation 12 mothers showed up at a meeting to explore how they may assist these children. We were pleased with the turnout and began by reiterating the purpose of the meeting. However, despite everyone nodding in understanding, it did not take long for the group to start complaining about the children in the manner they…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on July 23, 2015 at 4:36pm — 1 Comment

Creating a restorative climate Part 1

Just sharing an exercise we prepared for some social work students.  The first part is the challenge and the second , our suggestions and "answers." Thought you may find some of the concepts we took from a Six-Sigma Lean Management book useful.

Restorative Neighbourhood Project – Beyond Social Services, Singapore


Beyond Social Services…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on July 23, 2015 at 4:32pm — 1 Comment

Integration is better rehabilitation than isolation

A 15 year old girl, whom we will call Nancy, came by to our office in her school uniform this afternoon looking rather cheerful.   It was her way of saying thank you and letting us know that all is well with her.  Last December, she was ordered to spend 2 weeks confined at the Singapore Girls Home as a slap on the wrist for breaching her supervision order.  The judge told her that it could have been 18 months if not for her voluntary work which we described in our…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on February 6, 2015 at 6:42am — No Comments

The significance of our small moments of success

We were heartened that 35 parents responded to our call to be part of a team tasked with the challenge of addressing a concern or problem in their neighbourhood. With the help of Kiran Kandade a volunteer facilitator, we introduced the Appreciative Inquiry framework as a way of building a team around what works rather than trying to fix what does not.…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on December 3, 2014 at 5:25pm — 1 Comment

A conference about community must involve the community

My colleagues and I  had the privilege of contributing towards a breakout session at the Social Mission Conference organised by Caritas Singapore last Saturday. Together with Hope House who provides a…

Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on August 30, 2014 at 10:40pm — 4 Comments

Exploring Community Life Competence in SIngapore 22-24 Aug 2013

From 22 to 24 August 2013, 55 persons were learning together and exploring CLCP in Singapore. Leading the group were JL and Sanghamitra.  5 were residents from neighbourhoods practicing SALT, 9 from Singapore community organisations, 11 community facilitators from India, Indonesia and Belgium and   30 community workers & volunteers from Beyond Social Services.  Below is a snapshot of the SALT Visits that happened.


The opportunity to journey with others as they deal with…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on September 4, 2013 at 8:46am — 5 Comments

Community in our midst

A colleague was relating to me his experience of accompanying a 10 year boy to visit his father at Changi Prison.  He was the chaperon but when he got to the prison, it was the boy who was showing him the ins and outs of the visitation process.  It was the first time for our colleague but this child had been there previously.  Our colleague shared that it was discomforting to see so many families in the waiting area. Many were with infants in arm and children in tow. It was also humbling to…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on January 25, 2013 at 7:35pm — 1 Comment

Community needs leaders worth their salt

Communities need leaders worth their salt

In a week or so, I would have spent 30 years as a paid staff in the social services with the same organisation.  Before that, I had a 6 month stint in a non-profit where I was organising community service activities in neighbourhoods for 2 days a week.  Of course it has not been the same job and I grew with an organisation that had 4 paid staff including myself when I joined to one with 102 today that I lead.  I have been in this…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on October 10, 2012 at 1:30pm — 7 Comments

Loose Ties, Strong Bonds

The grand-uncle of   2 children aged 11 and 9 years old immediately took them into his home when he realised that their mother had much difficulty caring for them.  “I will definitely have strong words for her when we meet the next time  but for now, the children’s well-being come first”  he told us.  Mother spends most of her time with 3 younger children and these 2 children often have too much time on their own.  The tough talking aside, this grand uncle shared that he has no hesitation…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on March 2, 2012 at 4:20pm — 3 Comments

A social worker's problem

“My problem is that as a social worker, I sometimes think that I am a better human being than those I serve.” A colleague humbly admitted her shortcoming in the presence of 50 other teammates as we grappled with what it meant to be a member of a community. Her sharing reminded me of an important lesson I learnt when I was training as a counsellor. My teacher stressed to me that this work is about “who” we can be for people rather that “what” we can do. Doing something for…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on February 24, 2012 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

The good that comes with being human

25 persons aged from 13 to 70  turned up when we announced that there will be a meeting for those interested in volunteering.  Several of them also brought along the children who were under their care. The children entertained themselves as they left their care-givers to deal with adult matters. Although everyone was living in the same neighbourhood it was the first time several who turned up would be speaking to each other. So we broke the ice with the children’s game “Blow Wind Blow.” …


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on January 27, 2012 at 5:30pm — No Comments

With understanding comes peace

A 12 year old boy who had recently been discharged from a children’s home continued to receive support from the institution.  He was invited to attend activities during the weekends. Unfortunately on one weekend, he was told by some children there that his 11 year old girlfriend who was still residing in the Home was bad mouthing his family.  The boy was livid but he could not find an opportunity to confront or clarify the matter with his girlfriend. The information ate into him and the…


Added by Gerard Ee Huck LIan on January 20, 2012 at 5:30pm — No Comments


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