Liew Nyuk Yen Cecilia is familiar with the Mission of the Good Shepherd Sisters. The motto, ‘One person is of more value than the world’ resonated with her. She served many years in Malaysia, reaching out to women and children who suffer abuse and violence, before continuing the mission in Singapore. Cecilia was appointed as Chief Executive of Marymount Centre on 30 March 2015.
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF MARYMOUNT CENTRE
These women and children had to leave their homes to seek solace, peace and safety. Cecilia believes that every person deserves respect and love and no one should experience violence and abuse. Creating safe and caring spaces for those who suffer violence and abuse is her passion and she invites more people to come forward to reach out to victims of abuse – one person at a time, one step at a time.
AN UPDATE FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
In the 20 odd years that I have been in social service in Singapore and Malaysia, 2020 presented as an exceptionally challenging year. While the underlying issues of the residents under our care remain largely unchanged, the operations were subjected to many changes, numerous restrictions and we were invited to a new way of operating our services. However, our team of dedicated staff stepped up with courage and exceptional compassion for the women and children in our care. My deep appreciation to my team for the labour of love and service.
We were fortunate to expand our capacity in the crisis shelter, Good Shepherd Centre. Thanks to our close collaboration with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), and the Housing and Development Board (HDB), we managed to rent 14 units of 2-room flats to give shelter to victims of domestic and spousal violence. It proved to be a good setting for mothers and their children to manage their crisis and trauma.
At our Interim Placement and Assessment Centre (IPAC) we experienced full capacity throughout the pandemic. Indeed, Covid-19 has disrupted lives, leading to an increase in family distress and abuse. We need to reach out more to those who may still suffer in silence and fear.
Working in split teams is now the norm, and we often cannot meet in person, however deadlines for reports are diligently met. Meetings, including those for the Board of Directors are carried out virtually. In 2020, a self-evaluation on the Board’s effectiveness was done online. While there were areas for improvement, we were generally satisfied with the synergy between the Board and the executive management. In January 2021, the Board had a retreat for strategic planning. The Board was briefed on the Trauma Informed Positive Behaviour Intervention Support (TIPBIS) model of operating residential care for children with higher needs. The Board hopes that over the next 3 years Marymount Centre will successfully adopt key components of the TIPBIS model in residential care operations.
Marymount Centre has taken small steps towards digitalization. We will continue to focus on improving our digitalization infrastructure, embrace the fast-changing environment, as well as build staff capacities and capabilities.
Volunteers and donors have been our valuable partners in our mission. We are very grateful for their creativity and dedication, especially in these uncertain times. I leave you with a home-made short video that sums up Marymount Centre.