Mabel, who is 38 years old, has suffered from epileptic fits since she was an infant. Part of her left brain was not well developed and hence the right side of her body is weaker. She depends largely on her left hand to do things, and a problem with balance makes it difficult for her to move around.

Mabel’s parents had wanted a normal life for their daughter. They worked shifts so that someone would be with her at all times. Initially Mabel was doing well in a mainstream primary school despite her slower speech. However, Mabel’s journey was one fraught with challenges.

Mabel’s first hurdle surfaced when she was unable to cope with the grind of the Primary 3 streaming examination. She was then enrolled in a Special School to allow her to develop at her own pace, and so she did. As she grew, Mabel was placed in various organisations but was unable to develop to her full potential.

Mabel was eventually enrolled in the Society for the Physically Disabled’s day activity centre. Sadly, a major upheaval happened when Mabel lost a friendship with someone in the Centre a few years later. She could not cope with the loss, and ran away from the Centre, refusing to return. She then developed separation anxiety whenever her mother left the house, making the situation at home uncomfortable. This was a really difficult time for her mother, Jenny, as her husband had suffered a stroke and was unable to move without assistance. Fortunately, with the help of a psychiatrist, Mabel recovered from this episode after a few months.

Mamre Oaks also came to her assistance, and Mabel was enrolled in 2015. Although Mabel attended the first few sessions at the day activity centre with much trepidation, she has since grown to love the place and the people there. Now she looks forward to waking up early in the morning, taking the bus to Agape Village, and accomplishing her assigned chores at the Centre.

She has proven to be skilful at cross stitching, and creates pillows and bags for sale. Mabel also enjoys the cooking and singing sessions with the Mamre Oaks members. She even helps to take care of some of the other members.

Jenny is proud of her and says that Mabel has changed over the past two years with Mamre Oaks. She is now more independent, confident and happy. She is also able to bring cheer to others around her. Jenny radiates happiness knowing that Mabel is well cared for at Mamre Oaks. When asked to describe how she feels, Mabel cheerfully shared, “Proud!”

Mamre Oaks seeks to empower persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead meaningful lives with dignity through engaging activities at the day activity centre. Mamre Oaks is a member organisation of CARITAS Singapore.
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