ABOUT A MOTHER’S WISH (AMW)
WHAT IS “A MOTHER”S WISH” (AMW)?
A Mother’s Wish Pte. Ltd. (AMW) is a registered social enterprise with a social mission of forming a community that provides affordable, lifelong activities for individuals with moderate to severe autism.
Why I Started A Mother’s Wish
Choo Kah Ying with Jean-Sebastien Choo, her autistic son
My name is Choo Kah Ying. I am a homeschooling mother of Jean-Sebastien Choo (Sebastien) who is moderately autistic with significant delays in language.
Despite all the progress that Sebastien and I have made during the eight years of our homeschooling life, he is still held back in his development by social and cognitive deficits, including occasional bouts of aggression. He will unlikely achieve independent functioning in the mainstream world.
Nonetheless, Sebastien has still grown up to be a dynamic young man who can engage in independent learning and take care of the household. He is also passionate about life with his love of colours (colouring and painting), inline skating, music, sewing, and travelling.
Before I pass on, it is my dream to offer Sebastien and others like him a strong and loving community that will engage them with a well-rounded programme on a daily basis. We hope to support their families in providing them with a meaningful life of dignity.
This is why I started “A Mother’s Wish” campaign in Jan 2013…
To get a glimpse into Sebastien’s life, please check out the following clips:
THE AMW MISSION
The mission of A Mother’s Wish Pte Ltd. comprises two interwoven objectives:
- Transform the mindset of mainstream society towards individuals with moderate to severe autism.
- Build a community that provides affordable quality programmes for individuals with moderate to severe autism.
Through the aforementioned endeavours, we also seek to provide the impetus for policymakers to provide adequate support and services for individuals with moderate to severe autism and their families in a timely manner.
OUR HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES
Currently, A Mother’s Wish (AMW) is running a mini-version of the AMW community by providing holiday programmes for individuals with autism (particularly those with moderate to severe autism):
- 5-6 programmes taking place during the June and December school holidays;
- Each 3-hour programme per day comprises an activity in the following areas — academic learning, creative arts, fitness, & life skills — and public travel.
Until we have committed stakeholders and funding, AMW’s school holiday programmes play a key role in our endeavour to create a long-term community that will provide affordable quality programmes all-year-round:
- “Test-run” the AMW community on a small scale so that we can improve our delivery of the programmes;
- Educate families and interested members of the community about the vision of AMW by getting them to experience the spirit of collective caregiving.
- Build a network of committed stakeholders — families, service providers, assistants, volunteers, etc.
The journey towards the ultimate vision of an all-year-round community will not happen overnight. We hope that the people who have participated in AMW holiday programmes will feel inspired and empowered to try to make it a lifelong community!
(To learn more, please click "Our Holiday Programmes".)
What is the AMW Fund for?
For now, the AMW fund is primarily used to partially subsidise the costs of our holiday programmes conducted during the June and December school holidays). This year, it also covered the administrative costs of hiring an accounting company to set up AMW Pte. Ltd.
In the future, I hope that the fund could also be used to cover the following activities:
- Subsidising holiday programmes beyond ONE group of participants with moderate–severe autism;
- Provision of a basic training programme for assistants and volunteers;
- Organisation of fundraising events and public awareness activities;
- Administrative responsibilities: including marketing initiatives, Website updates, and networking with interested stakeholders.
How have we raised funds so far?
We have raised funds in the following ways:
- 30% of sales of Sebastien's paintings (SGD100–SGD800) (http://www.awakeningminds.sg/sebs_raw_art.html): Through his watercolour paintings, Sebastien, my autistic son, has been able to: 1) do his part to contribute to AMW; and 2) overturn people’s stereotypical conceptions.
- 100% of contributions to AMW: We received a handful of contributions from individuals, in particular MediaCorps Corporation, through our appearance in Episode 8 of “Joy Truck” in July 2013 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYOu14iLz0k).
- 90% of sales of reprints of Sebastien’s art: In Dec 2013, we created a series of customised corporate gifts — reprints of Sebastien’s art attached onto a stretched canvas — for a client.
- 70% of sales of my picture book, All Because of the Hummingbird or the Horse (SGD10 hard copy, USD6.99 soft copy): Targeted at readers aged between eight and 12, this book seeks to encourage the next generation to be more compassionate and understanding towards their peers who are “different”.
How You Can Help with Fundraising
Being a small-scale operation, we have only been able to generate interest in AMW and Sebastien’s paintings through: our appearances in the mass media, talks, and painting exhibitions organised by educational institutions, as well as word-of-mouth.
If you have any ideas on how we can raise funds and awareness, please let us know!