Enhancement to ComLink Befriending
I would like to echo Ms Denise Phua’s sentiment and add on.
I am very happy to know ComLink will be scaled up. I understand though that there have been implementation challenges from a shortage of volunteers to help with needs assessments in some localities. And for this, I propose that MSF tap on graduated beneficiaries of various social service organisations to bolster the befriending efforts and offer a stipend for their time and contribution.
Graduated beneficiaries can relate well to families in rental housing as they have experienced similar challenges before. They can be effective in building trust and rapport, which are critical for effective social support.
At the same time, they can provide useful and honest feedback from the bridging perspective of both the user and intervener, to help address implementation gaps which sometimes officers from the public agencies may not be cognisant of.
Receiving supplementary part-time income from this programme will also help their financial adequacy and social mobility. Paying it forward with their time and empathy to others also enhances their self-esteem and dignity. These can make them positive role models to give ComLink families the hope and encouragement they need to overcome their adversities.
Watch the speech here.