Sunbeam Children Stories
Daddy I Love You
He did not know what is fatherly love, home to him is a very cold place…
Ray, age 8 years old was admitted to Sunbeam Place (SBP) in 2012 due to physical abuse by his natural father. His mother was also a victim of domestic violence. The hash and violent family background created a defensive, reclusive and antagonistic Ray.
Lacking proper English foundation, Ray had difficulties communicating with other Sunbeam children initially and, the isolation leads to frequent conflicts. In school, he was also a thorn.
A buddy in the same dorm was assigned to Ray to help him settle down. With cares and encouragements from the SBP family, Ray’s English improved; he was able to speak in complete sentences and carry conversations with others. The improvement in communication skill also built confidence, fostered friendships and, improved learning attitude in school.
Since admission, Raywas monitored closely by the NUH speech therapist. Although he has made positive progress in his English language, he will still require regular therapy to catch up with his peers.
Ray is also enrolled into ICARE, a one-to-one reading programme to work on the child’s literacy skills. He receives tuition for Mathematics and Chinese language.Workshopswere conducted by a volunteer counsellor to improve children’s social skills.
"While we spend time with our own children, we think of those that are less fortunate and share a fraction of our care with them."
A Paranoia Mother
Cherry was admitted in year of 2011 when she was 11 years old. When she first joined Sunbeam Place, she appeared to be unkempt, often looked tired and disinterested. School reported that her peers shunned her due to her body odour. Cherry will often stay away in the library during recess where she will read and not bother about having no friends.
Her parents are divorced, leaving her to be under the custody of her mother. Cherry maintains limited contact with her father as any contact will trigger her mother’s paranoia schizophrenia condition. Due to mother’s paranoia behaviour, Cherry was not allowed to be at home while mother was out at work collecting cups and plates at a coffeeshop. Cherry will often reach home late at night thus resulting in her falling asleep without bathing. Due to mother’s limited capacity in providing consistent care, Cherry was placed in Sunbeam Place for care and protection.
In Sunbeam Place, Cherry impressed as a pleasant child who is academically driven and takes on responsibilities in her daily hygiene and living. With the Home’s structured living environment and therapeutic programmes such as Storm Riders, LEAP and Yoga-based tools for at-risk-girls, Cherry has learnt to better cope with her negative emotions and has develop healthy social skills. Cherry continues to develop healthy friendship in school and has a few close friends in the Home. In year 2012, Cherry attained an A and 3 Bs for her PSLE. In 2016, Cherry is determined to do well for her “O” levels and has already obtained an A grade for her Chinese.
The "Little" Girl
We always thought that this can only happen in third world countries...
In May 2008, a 7 years old Chinese girl was admitted into the children’s emergency ward at KKH due to upper respiratory tract infection. She alarmed the staff there by being notably smaller for her age. She was 7 years old yet had the body weight of a 2 years old child. Child Protection officer was alerted to step in and find out why she looked so pale, weak and malnourished.
May grew up with her parents and was always moving from one home to another due to Father’s inability to provide a stable home for them. At times, she would stay at her Father’s friends’ homes, hotels and even void decks. Her safety was compromised. Mother was unemployed and relied solely on Father’s rag and bone assignments for living expenses. Father would deliver food for May and Mother quite irregularly, often only providing one meal a day for them late at night. May was not enrolled in any preschool education.
May had to be admitted into Sunbeam Place in 2009 for her failure to thrive in her parents’ care. Initially, academically she was unable to name most of the colours, identify and name shapes. She could recognize her name but could not read any of the words presented to her. May was immediately enrolled into kindergarten.
She adjusted well to kindergarten and she was always excited about daily learning. In Sunbeam Place, every week she would take part actively in the reading program which was tailored to help her with basic phonics and recognizing of alphabets. She was also put through educational therapy which focused on helping her to increase literacy skills and improve social & interpersonal skills.
Today May is a 15 years old teenage girl studying in a mainstream Secondary School. In her recent test, May scored relatively well with her highest score at 92% in Computer Application. She continues to be a shy girl who will smile sweetly when interacting with others. Her school teacher gave feedback that May was intelligent and observant. Her enthusiasm towards learning was the determining factor in helping her cope in school and her positive attitude enabled her to make the most out of her situation.
"We are blessed with a stable job to lavish our children with quality food and amenities."
We shall let our children know that there is a group of less fortunate kids yarning for what they take for granted. They shall share a portion of what they have with the less privilege.
Every Child Deserves Encouragement, Love and Care
The Goh brothers were admitted into then the Convalescent Home when Paul was 3 years old in 2002 and Kenny admitted 2 years later in 2004 when he was about 3 years old too. Their mother was slow in functioning and unemployed. The family relied solely on Father’s rag and bone assignments for living expenses and was living from place to place as Father was unable to provide them with a stable housing.
Despite the rough patches growing up without staying with the parents and not having many material things that most average Singaporean children have, both children grew up appreciating what was provided for them, especially in education.
In year 2016, Paul scored an aggregate score of 17 points for his O’ level and Kenny emerged as one of the top N’ level students in his school, both qualifying for entry into Polytechnic.
Paul was awarded the Edusave Merit Bursary and Certificate of Academic Achievement and Kenny was awarded Edusave Scholarship in 2016.
We have attached the testimonials from the 2 brothers to show you how your generous donations were translated into encouragement, love and care by the Sunbeam Staff.
Testimonials from the Goh Brothers
Your generous donations were translated into actions to help the Sunbeam children. These testimonies from the brothers brings out the efforts and cares (of Sunbeam staff) behind the scene …
Paul Goh, 18 years old, currently in Polytechnic
During my primary school days, I was very short-tempered, loud and disliked girls. I was not good in studying and I hated it too. Thanks to the constant care and discipline of the staffs in Sunbeam Place and your donation, I could control myself better. I mellowed down and eventually overcame my hatred for girls. My attitude towards studies shifted a little though I have yet see the value of education then. I give my greatest gratitude to the staffs and house parents that helped me changed to be a better person and guiding me from 2006 to 2011.
My secondary school life was rather rough but meaningful. I still remembered on my very first day in a Secondary school, I cried. I was grateful to have had someone, my Case Worker, Ms Delphanie to encourage and help me through my most important days in Sec 1.
I got involved in many fights in school and it continued until Secondary 2. Sec 1 and 2 are mostly unpleasant memories due to the fights in school. The fighting settled down in Sec 3 after the efforts of teachers in my school as well as the help of my caseworker. In Secondary 3, I began to fully understand how important education was. I started working hard to improve in my studies. Sec 3 was the year I learnt how to socialize better with people. Sec 4 was a stressful year as I started to set my priorities right. I studied very hard for my N’ Levels and was hoping to get into the Poly Foundation Programme. However, I didn’t make it into the programme as I was short of 2 points and I got really upset.
I decided to continue Sec 5 hoping to make it to Poly. Sec 5 was the hardest year of my life. I needed to make it to poly or I would have wasted a year. The syllabus between O’ Levels and N’ Levels was wide and I struggled during the first 2 terms.
There were many days I felt like giving up. Thanks to the constant encouragement from the staffs and residents of Sunbeam Place, I persevered hoping to do my best. I was happy to have done well for my O’ levels, being able to get into a polytechnic. If not for the help of my teachers in school as well as the people of Sunbeam Place, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through. Year 2016 in Sec 5, was a life changing year for me. I went through many personal changes and got a better grasp on how I could build my future.
Through all these years to now, I really hold my upmost gratitude to Singapore Children’s Society, for making this possible. I would also like to thank those who have taken great care of me through my growing up years. Without Sunbeam Place, I wouldn’t have been who I am today.
Kenny Goh, 17 years old, currently in Polytechnic
I was admitted into then Convalescent home (Now Sunbeam Place) in year 2004. Over the years, I also got close to the residents and was familiar with the staffs. They were my source of happiness when times were rough and I know there is always someone to talk to. Even when I scored badly for my exams, the staff encouraged me to do my best. With such motivation and moral support, there was something to look forward to in school and a goal to do better in school.
After my primary school education, I moved into a good secondary school with many good teachers and friends. Being an active person, I constantly stayed back in school to play football with my friends and did not really do so well for my exams. Moving on to upper secondary, it was a wakeup call for me to study hard for my future and my family. I started to study hard in school and in Sunbeam Place. I strive to achieve the results I wanted.
Though there were distractions along the way which put me off track on my studies. I was thankful that there are people like my friends and SBP staff who continue to encourage me.
I am thankful that I did well for my exams, emerging as one of the top N’level students in school and managed to qualify for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme. I would also like to thank all the staff in Sunbeam Place that have stood by me all these years and supporting me every step of the way especially the staff and family at Sunbeam Place whom had helped to raise me from a child to a youth. I would not be who I am today if not for all these people.
(*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality of the brothers)