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“Indy’s Dairy” tells the story of 6-year-old with a rare genetic disorder

Indy's Dairy - an inspiring children's book on resilience

Indy’s Diary journals the first six years of an undeterred young girl, India “Indy” Rose Eaton who has endured many surgeries to correct her leg bone which was affected by a genetic disorder - Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1).

 

First published by EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) in 2021 as an e-book, it was later printed as a physical book and has since been featured in The Straits Times here.

 

Says author Josephyne Ho who worked with Indy to create this book, "I wanted to lend Indy a voice to tell her story to the world about her diagnosis, her life experiences and her struggles. Most importantly,  I wanted to show the world how brave and resilient Indy is in embracing life as she knows it. To me, Indy is the true epitome of the proverbial phrase - If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade."

 

Over the years, ECF has published several children’s books to help children understand and reflect on complex issues. One of these books includes Tourette Syndrome and Me, a book with Zachary Pattinson, a boy who was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. The book was written to help him reconcile with his condition (tics) and his emotional struggles in coping with the (perceived) reactions of his current and future friends.

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Charity Art Exhibition 2021

ECF Charity Art Exhibition to commemorate the year of ‘Celebrating SG Women’

The EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) organised a charity art exhibition to mark the year of ‘Celebrating SG Women’, an initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development has dedicated 2021 as the Year of Celebrating SG Women. This exhibition with all proceeds going to charity was officially inaugurated on 9 December 2021 by Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State at the Ministry of Social and Family Development and Ministry of Education.

This unique art exhibition featured children’s unique perspectives and interpretations of what it means to celebrate women.

 

Children from 3 months to 18 years of age from diverse backgrounds and nationalities across more than forty pre-schools and international schools across the island have put together the multi-media exhibition to commemorate this meaningful celebration.

 

Through an auction of the artwork, ECF has raised over S$360,000 for initiatives to benefit more than 1,000 children and families in Singapore.

 

This initiative was also supported by Tote Board's dollar-for-dollar matching Enhanced Fund-Raising programme, effectively maximising the impact of funds raised.

 

Click here to read remarks by Minister of State Sun Xueling at our Charity Art Exhibition’s Opening on 9 December 2021.

 

Watch the CNA event coverage here.

 

Watch the Channel 8 news coverage here.

 

Access the press release here.

Event details

Event:

ECF Charity Art Exhibition & Auction 2021

Date:

9 - 23 December 2021

Venue:

223 Mountbatten Road, #01-28 Singapore 398008

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Book on Tourette Syndrome now an educational resource in schools

Book on Tourette Syndrome by a pre-school child advocating for inclusion is now an educational resource in schools across Singapore.

Tourette Syndrome and Me by six-year-old Zachary with Tourette syndrome and published by the EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF), is based on a heart-to-heart talk between Zachary and his principal, Ms. Josephyne Ho from EtonHouse Pre-School. The interactive read-along book comes with augmented reality (AR) features and will be distributed to 800 primary schools, kindergartens, and pre-schools around Singapore. It will also be available at public libraries and Molly, the Mobile Library operated by National Library Board to serve special needs students.

 

Tourette Syndrome and Me was first published digitally on social media in October 2020. It quickly caught attention from parents, teachers, and education leaders, expressing how meaningful the book was for children.

 

Very soon, ECF started receiving requests for this book to be shared with their school communities. To further its cause and enable more children to access this book, ECF raised funds to produce it in an interactive, physical format as an educational resource for pre-school and primary schools.

 

This book gives an authentic glimpse into Zachary’s fears and anxieties. “I didn’t want to go to school because I didn’t want my friends to see my twitching. I was worried that my friends would laugh at me.” When he realised that his friends’ reactions were because they did not understand Tourette Syndrome, he set out to create awareness amongst them about it. Encouraged by his principal and supported by ECF, he co-created this book, a process that has made him more confident and less fearful of the reactions from his peers. Through this book, he wanted to help others understand that there is nothing wrong with being different.

Click here to read more on Straits Times.

This book aims to:

Help children develop empathy to build warm, kind, and respectful connections with others

Raise awareness about different abilities and celebrate diversity

Create opportunities for adults to have sensitive and healing conversations with children

Empower children to inspire others

Ms. Josehyne Ho, Senior Principal of EtonHouse Pre-School 223 Mountbatten, who initiated this book, says, “I hope that more people can understand the potentially difficult social struggles and stigma, real or imagined, that children with Tourette Syndrome have to endure. I also wish for this book to offer parents with children who are in similar situations a platform to start conversations about how they can overcome their fears and talk about them with confidence.”

 

The book is being retailed at S$25 per copy for fundraising. All proceeds from the sales of the book will go to activities for underprivileged children. Get your copy here.

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ECF launches Teacher Everywhere™

ECF has launched Teacher Everywhere™, the first teacher training volunteer programme in Singapore to support disadvantaged children.

The EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) has launched Teacher Everywhere™, an innovative programme to train ‘Volunteer Teachers’ for free to enable them to work with and teach children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Recruitment of volunteers started in October 2020, and within three weeks, ECF received an overwhelming response from more than 200 volunteers stepping forward to express interest to be a part of Teacher Everywhere™. They come from diverse backgrounds, nationalities and professions, from homemakers, scientists to doctors. Many of them are parents, while some secondary and high school students have also signed up to volunteer.


EtonHouse educators and trainers have been hired to train the volunteers.

The key highlights of the programme are

The course will be delivered over 6 sessions and includes 2 practicums.

Volunteers are not required to have a prior background or experience in teaching.

The course content will include child development, classroom management, communication with children, managing challenging behavior, positive guidance, strategies for leading effective story-telling and learning experiences.

The course including all materials are free of charge and will be delivered by highly experienced and trained early childhood leaders and facilitators from EtonHouse.

On the successful completion of the course, the volunteers will be certified to facilitate Joyful Learning, an exclusive programme created for children 4-6 years old. Based on 40 classic storybooks, the year-long programme delivered every week to children from disadvantaged families will cover literacy, numeracy, creative expression and fine motor skills. Volunteers will also engage parents during these sessions, supporting them with practical tips to extend their children’s learning at home.

No child should be left behind. Through Teacher Everywhere and our Joyful Learning programme, ECF hopes to increase our outreach and improve the lives of underprivileged children by equipping them with skills and knowledge to be successful in school and beyond.

Mrs. Ng Gim Choo, Founder and Director of EtonHouse Community Fund

The programme was inspired by a ground-up initiative in 2019 which saw EtonHouse teachers providing weekly English enrichment classes to 3-4-year-old children at Henderson WeLL Centre. Says Ms. Josephyne Ho, Principal of EtonHouse at Mountbatten who led her team on the year-long volunteering journey and has now joined as a Teacher Everywhere™ mentor, “As many of my teammates are teachers with young families, it took a lot to give up their family time during weekends.

I am extremely grateful to have a team of like-minded teachers who understand the value of literacy skills especially for children who are at risk. The children picked up literacy skills and experienced the joy of learning and reading. To see them attend the sessions with enthusiasm and learn to read was extremely rewarding.”

Mrs. Ng Gim Choo, Founder of the EtonHouse International Group and EtonHouse Community Fund, who initiated the thinking behind Teacher Everywhere™ says “No child should be left behind. Through Teacher Everywhere™ and our Joyful Learning programme, ECF hopes to increase our outreach and improve the lives of vulnerable children by equipping them with skills and knowledge to be successful in school and beyond.”

Upon completion of training, Teacher Everywhere™ volunteers will partner with various community groups to work directly with children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds. To sign up as a volunteer or partner, connect with ECF at enquiry@ehcommunityfund.org.sg

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Launch of CDA Top-Up programme featured by CNA

About 1,300 pre-school children from low income families to receive more financial aid.
We have partnered with the Ministry of Education, Singapore and the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) on a Child Development Account (CDA) top-up programme to benefit about 1,300 pre-schoolers from 57 pre-schools.

ECF and CFS will contribute nearly S$1 million to top-up CDA accounts of eligible children over the next three years, and the Government will provide dollar-for-dollar matching contributions for the top-ups.

Dr. Maliki Osman, Second Minister for Ministry of Education, Singapore and Chairman of UPLIFT, Ms. Catherine Loh, CEO of Community Foundation of Singapore and our Founder Mrs. Ng Gim Choo visited E-Bridge Pre-School Punggol Large Child Care Centre to mark the launch of the CDA Top-Up Programme.​

I am hopeful that the CDA top-up programme will encourage more lower-income families to send their children to pre-school. We welcome the partnership with ECF and CFS, who have stepped forward to contribute to this initiative, especially during this trying period of economic uncertainty and job losses which have impacted many families.

Dr. Maliki Osman, Second Minister for MOE, Singapore and Chariman of UPLIFT

 

Access the full CNA news report here.

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Three free Covid-19 e-books developed by ECF

Our three Covid-19 children’s books earned a mention in a report about books inspired by the pandemic by the Straits Times.

EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) has developed three free e-books and was mentioned in the Straits Times. The first book, A New Virus Has Arrived, was first released in January and has since been translated into 10 languages, including Chinese, Malay, Tamil and Hindi. The next two books talk about the acts of kindness and Singapore's contact-tracing team.

 

The key features of A New Virus Has Arrived are:

A very special book for children of all ages, even parents and grandparents

Beautiful illustrations that explain the facts about the virus, how it affects you, and how you can protect yourself

Printable activity sheets

Also available in Spanish, Greek, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese and Vietnamese

They were all written and illustrated by EtonHouse creative an operations manager Amanda Cho, 35, who used rhyme schemes and drawings of familiar places like Housing Board playgrounds and neighbourhood supermarkets. All three E-books were written to explain the Novel Coronavarius 2019 (COVID-19) in a sensitive and meaningful way. In hope that these books open up opportunities for dialogue and learning, for both children and adults and build an understanding of the virus and its implications in our community.

 

Get A New Virus Has Arrived e-book by filling up the form here.

 

Access the full ST news article here.

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Home learning kits and books for Covid-19 make local news

The Straits Times reported on efforts by pre-schools and ECF to encourage learning from home during the pandemic.

EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) developed Home learning kits to serve a great purpose during this period. It is fundamental in bridging the learning gap between school and home. The Straits Times has shared an article on how attendance across pre-schools has been affected by the virus with self-imposed quarantines and leave of absence. As such, ECF has developed at-home kits for children across our E-Bridge pre-schools, EtonHouse schools and even NTUC First Campus’ pre-schools.

 

These sets that were delivered to the children’s homes included materials that provide integrated learning experiences in literacy, arts, numeracy etc. We are glad that ECF is able to give these children a meaningful learning experience to continue their learning at home.

 

ECF was also featured in Channel News Asia 'Stronger-The Battle Against Covid-19' which captures the story of how we are fighting the virus with resilience and kindness.

 

Watch the CNA documentary film here.

 

Access the full ST news article here.

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ECF partners with MSF to sponsor Fostering Family Day

ECF is one of the 11 partners recognised for contributions to the fostering community.

Eleven corporate and community partners were recognised for their support and contributions at the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) Foster Family Day 2019. This annual event is held to appreciate foster parents and to celebrate the achievements of foster children. Over 270 foster children and their foster families were part of MSF Foster Family Day 2019 held at The Chevrons.

This year, for the first time, valued community partners who have contributed towards supporting foster children and their development joined the celebration, and were acknowledged for their contributions. EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF), one of the 11 partners, has shown its support through the years by providing resources for children and families under the KidSTART programme. More recently, ECF provided internships and mindfulness programmes for youths and individuals under the care of MSF. ECF also generously sponsored the awards and gifts for the foster families at Foster Family Day 2019.

Event details

Event:

Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) Foster Family Day 2019

Venue:

The Chevrons

Thanks to partners:

MSF

Participating beneficiaries:
  • MSF Foster families

The Foster Family Day is an incredibly meaningful event to appreciate foster parents, as well as to celebrate the achievements of foster children. We strongly believe that a good foundation in children can make a difference in their future. Through the right support, the EtonHouse Community Fund hopes to reach more families and benefit them in meaningful ways.

Mrs. Ng Gim Choo, Founder and Director of EtonHouse Community Fund

 

Similarly, other corporate and community partners have stepped forward to support in their own unique ways. Some have been journeying alongside foster children, to enrich their learning and provide socio-emotional learning support. Others have been providing opportunities for foster children to enjoy arts events and programmes. To promote family bonding, partners have also invited foster children, together with their foster families, to enjoy some family time at carnivals and parties organised by them.

 

These partners have contributed in many different ways, helping our foster children bond with our foster families, build their capabilities and explore new opportunities to develop their interests. My colleagues and I are thankful to them for making a positive impact on our foster children.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development

Foster Family Day 2019 also included an awards ceremony where 20 foster children were presented with Commendation Awards for their achievements in the areas of academics, sports, arts and character development. An Outstanding Achievement Award was also presented to a foster youth who has excelled academically and displayed strong leadership qualities. She led her school’s dance team to clinch a Certificate of Distinction in the Singapore Youth Festival 2019.

 

From 30 Oct to 14 Dec 2019, MSF and its five Fostering Agencies will organise a series of roadshows and outreach events to raise awareness of fostering and to encourage families to be part of the fostering movement in Singapore. Please visit www.msf.gov.sg/fostering to find out more.

 

Access the full ST news article here

 

Access the full BH news article here.

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ECF starts outreach to help youth manage their emotions news report

The Straits Times reported on the launch of our Mindfulness programme and its first run at Singapore Girls’ Home.

Organised by the Etonhouse Community Fund (ECF), this Mindfulness program helps students realign their thoughts and improve their emotional well-being through movement. The sessions held at the Girls’ Home was inspired by our executive director Ng Yi-Xian and we aim to reach out to other children’s homes in Singapore.

 

Access the full ST news article here.

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Launch of Play Library media coverage

We’re honored to have Ms. Tin Pei Ling grace this occasion. Zao Bao and Wan Bao reported on how this programme helps vulnerable children.

EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) today launched a play library and creative languages programme for vulnerable children. This play library at Circuit Road offers a wide range of educational toys for children from 18 months to 6 years of age. There will also be a creative language enrichment programme to develop the children’s English language, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking through play-based experiences. We were honored to have Ms. Tin Pei Ling 陈佩玲, MP for MacPherson SMC, grace the play library’s official launch. We hope to reach out to more children in need and benefit them in meaningful ways.

View the full ZB media coverage here:

View the full WB media coverage here: