Singapore, 22 December 2018
- About 400 school-going children of offenders will each receive ‘Back to School’ packs worth $50, as part of a new Yellow Ribbon Community Project (YRCP) initiative launched today.
- Guest-of-Honour Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health, unveiled the new initiative and distributed the packs to beneficiaries present at the event held at Heartbeat Bedok today. Following the event launch, grassroots volunteers will begin distributing these packs to families of the offenders in their respective constituencies.
- To prepare them for the upcoming school year, each ‘Back to School’ pack comprising a school bag, vouchers and stationery will be distributed to the offenders’ children, aged between six to 12. A personalised letter written by the incarcerated parent will also be included in the pack to provide words of encouragement and to foster stronger parent-child bonds. The school bags are sponsored by the Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF).
- “The children of offenders are often the unintended victims of incarceration. With the sudden absence of a family member, these children may develop social and emotional issues which need to be addressed. We hope this small gift can serve to remind the offenders’ families and children that the community is there to support them where necessary,” said Superintendent of Prisons Valerie Chiang, Senior Assistant Director of the Community & Family Policy Branch, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division, Singapore Prison Service.
- This new initiative will act as an added touchpoint for YRCP volunteers to engage and connect with the children. YRCP volunteers are trained to assist families by identifying and addressing their needs through referrals to the relevant community resources and social support networks.
- “I would like to thank the volunteers for supporting my family. I am grateful to know that my family is not alone, and that there is somebody in the community to help”, said ‘Joe’ (pseudonym), an inmate currently serving his sentence, whose family is under the YRCP programme. “I hope that the words I have penned in my letter will encourage them in their studies. For me, education is important for my children’s future,” ‘Joe’ added.
About the Yellow Ribbon Community Project (YRCP)
The YRCP is a grassroots-led initiative that aims to provide proactive support and assistance to the families of offenders. Trained grassroots volunteers make visits to the families of newly-admitted offenders to render assistance, such as linking them to relevant social support networks. This benefits and stabilises the families who are affected by the offenders’ incarceration. With this assurance, offenders can focus on their own rehabilitation journey.