Marymount Centre is a voluntary welfare organisation set up by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd (Good Shepherd Sisters) to reach out to marginalised women and children in Singapore. It has been registered under the Charities Act of Singapore since 9 May 1984 and has obtained Institution of Public Character status.
Our Centre provides social services which include residential care, crisis shelter and student care to help these women and children.
“Marymount Centre’s mission of “Empowering Lives, restoring rights, upholding dignity” is not just to carry out our mission for our girls and women, because I experienced it first hand for…
“I had no idea what the job as a residential care staff in Marymount Centre entailed when my friend first recommended me the job. Innocently, I went for the job interview. I started as a volunteer and everything went on very smoothly. Soon after I started work, I had a shock when I experienced the residents flaring up, shouting at me and even threatening me. I did not understand why they did that when I only had good intentions towards them. I cried on a few occasions and eventually tendered my resignation. The Residential Manager and Social Worker counselled me. They put me in the shoes of the residents and helped me to understand that their outbursts stem from their pent-up emotions and trauma.
So, I tried to understand them. I tell myself that they must have their difficulties. My turning point came when I saw a usually quick tempered woman voluntarily cut toe nails for another woman who was injured. I was very touched by her humility and realised that the residents, no matter they how they behave, have their gentle side. I am still wary of their emotional outbursts, but I have learnt that they are stressed and overwhelmed by their problems. So I just give them time and space to calm down. After one year, I was awarded the “Most Improved Staff” as I am more confident about my work and I have grown to understand and really love the residents for who they are.”
Staff P, What Staff Says Good Shepherd Centre
“Marymount Centre’s mission of “Empowering Lives, restoring rights, upholding dignity” is not just to carry out our mission for our girls and women, because I experienced it first hand for myself too. A couple of years ago, I fell very ill. The doctors did not know what was wrong with me, but I was unable to work for a while. Even when at one point, it seemed there was no cure for my sickness, there was no talk by Marymount Centre’s management of asking me to leave the organization, but just lots of care, sympathy and support for me and my family members as I struggle through my illness. The Sisters prayed for me and got the girls to pray together for me every day too. I had all the medical benefits, all the medical leave and non-paid leave given to me for my recovery. I felt very cared for and supported both physically and spiritually. I have never experienced such care in other organizations that I worked before. This experience inspired me and kept me working here. In other ways, I also felt very trusted and supported by the management. Every training opportunity is given to me, both locally and overseas – Sanctuary Model training in Singapore, Mission Enrichment Journey in KL, Mission Link Gathering in Sabah, and all the way to Angers, France for a retreat and pilgrimage. I feel like a member of a family – the Marymount Centre Family and I am very blessed to be working here.”
Kamala, What Staff Says Good Shepherd Centre
“When I first came to this shelter, I was very scared because I could not speak English and I did not know anyone. Even as I got to know the people around me, I could not trust anyone. I was always angry. I thought about why I was here, my police case and my family back in Indonesia. So I became a tortoise that went into my shell. I did not join the activities in the shelter. I stayed in my room and slept a lot. I felt safe only in my shell. But the staff did not give up on the tortoise. They kept encouraging me to come out of my shell. I felt that the staff cared for me. Slowly, I started to trust them. I told them everything I felt inside. The tortoise became brave to stick my head out. Now, I smile and laugh more. I have friends and I join many activities. I like dancing and cooking. From the shelter, I learned to bake Chinese New Year cookies, for which staff and volunteers kindly contributed some money for me to send back to my family. The tortoise is happy and I do not need to hide in my shell anymore.”
A Tortoise, A Resident’s Story Good Shepherd Centre