Our Milieu Project – Boys’ Town initiated a pilot service, Our Milieu Project (OMP), to respond to the ever-changing needs of our social environment. OMP focuses on the need to teach and support vulnerable children and youth on mental health and well-being, and to educate families and the community on these issues. To ensure strong service delivery, OMP also taps onto the interprofessional collaboration of experts in children and youth work.
Boys’ Town responded with resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic – we set up appropriate safety measures and adapted to the pandemic by finding new ways to continue our service delivery. This included our residential services adjusting to provide clients’ needs without staying on campus, shifting to provide counselling services online, ramping up digital capabilities for home-based learning, and expanding our youth outreach to the digital space.
Our Family Fiesta 2019 was graced by President Halimah Yacob, where Boys’ Town also launched our key services logos.
Boys’ Town celebrated its 70th anniversary with an open house, and invited community partners and stakeholders to this special occasion. It was also the official launch of the Boys’ Town Adventure Tower, with the support of funding from a kind donor.
Boys’ Town also appointed Roland Yeow as our first Executive Director who was a residential boy in his youth. This is a testament to the value of our social mission in supporting children and youth.
The Therapeutic Group Home (TGH) became the latest addition to the Residential Services’ myriad of programmes – Shelter, Main Group Home and Hostel. TGH provides intensive therapeutic treatment for youth who have faced significant traumas in their lives.
Sanctuary Care, a community-based fostering service, was started to provide short-term respite care and shelter to infants and young children whose families are in need of assistance.
Boys’ Town Adventure Centre (BTAC) began its service, providing adventure therapy to evoke positive behavioral change in clients, as well as climbing and outdoor programmes for schools and corporates.
Appointment as Fostering Agency
Boy’s Town was appointed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development to recruit and support foster parents. Our Fostering Service provides family-based care for vulnerable children and complements Boys’ Town’s social mission through offering a continuum of alternative care services that meets each child’s best interest.
St Gabriel’s Foundation 300th Anniversary (SGF300)
To mark the Brothers of St Gabriel’s 300th anniversary, six boys and two staff embarked on a 300km tribute walk from Malacca to Singapore over seven days.
A new building was completed three years after the groundbreaking in 2010. As Boys’ Town started to expand into other children and youth services, new facilities were needed to meet shifting needs. These included newly equipped counselling rooms to support clients, and a hostel for older boys lacking family support to learn independent living skills.
Boys’ Town was awarded the Non-Profit of the Year (Philanthropy Management) by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre for having the best practices in donor management, fundraising and financial management and accountability among the non-profit organisations in Singapore.
Launch of YouthReach
A joint project between Boys’ Town and Catholic Welfare Services with a drop-in centre at Tampines. The team helps youth in need engage in meaningful activities, provides counselling and conducts street outreach and home visits to reconnect youths with their families.
A youth training and research programme was established to build a stronger pool of youth workers and to better understand the evolving needs of young people.
The Clinical Intervention Centre was set up. It has an in-house psychologist and therapist, and aims to support children and youth with psychological interventions through assessments, counselling, psychotherapy, behavioural management, group work and other psychological services.
Boys' Town appointed its first lay Executive Director, Ms Irene Loi, marking a shift in its leadership paradigm.
An alternative schooling programme was formed to support boys with different learning needs and provide them with a home-schooling environment at Boys’ Town.
Brother Emmanuel, the longest serving Director General of Boys’ Town and supervisor of the Gabrielite schools in Singapore, stepped down after 30 years of service. In his long years of service, he was appointed the Justice of the Peace in 1989, and had been the Principal and Chairman of many schools and social service organisations' boards, including Catholic Welfare Services and Marine Parade Family Service Centre.
A social work department was established by Brother Dominic Yeo Koh to provide professional support for boys’ well beings. Drawing on evidence-based research, the department sought to help boys cope with their challenges, and provided counselling, group-work and therapy.
Programmes were set up to teach the boys leadership skills and responsibility. They were also given opportunities to operate the canteen for the residential boys and the Boys’ Town radio station, which organised Singapore’s first live inter-school Talent Time.
Boys’ Town became a source of hope for boys who were displaced by the war. They came from poor families, and were troubled and neglected. Boys’ Town became their second home, and provided personal care, education as well as vocational training in areas such as carpentry, printing and motor mechanics until the 1990s.
The founding of Boys' Town
After the war ended, Brother Vincent restarted the trade school and the orphanage, which eventually evolved into Boys’ Town. With the onslaught of the Second World War, most of the school’s equipment was lost, and the Brothers needed to restart the institution. In 1948, Brother Vincent with the help of Mr. McDermott renewed the institution, which was then named as Boys' Town.
The school and orphanage were taken over by the Japanese during World War II.
Brother Vincent, a member of the Brothers of St. Gabriel, met Mr. William Thomas McDermott, an Australian businessman and philanthropist, during the Japanese Occupation at Changi Prison. The two men discovered a common interest in helping disadvantaged youth after seeing the plight of orphans who had lost their homes and families.
The Brothers of St. Gabriel started St. Joseph Trade School and Orphanage to provide vocational training for poor and destitute boys. It began with only two buildings and an inaugural intake of 14 boys.
Arrival of Brothers of St. Gabriel in Singapore – a religious order whose mission is to establish charitable schools for needy children.
Take a look at some of the achievements Boys' Town has received over the years.
Charity Transparency Awards, 2022
Boys’ Town is honored to receive the Charity Transparency Award on 9 November 2022. As a charity, we are committed to transparency, accountability and good stewardship of our resources, to gain the trust of our donors, volunteers and clients. Our Executive Director, Dr. Roland Yeow was pleased to receive the award from Dr Gerard Ee, Chairman of the Charity Council.
Singapore HEALTH Award, 2022
Boys’ Town is honored to receive the Excellence Award for the Organisational Champion Award category in the Singapore HEALTH Award 2022, held on 11 November. Our Assistant Director of Corporate Services, Ms June Eng, was present to receive the award from Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Manpower.
This year’s theme recognizes Inclusivity in Health. As an organization, we prioritise the health of our staff and provide various health programmes and opportunities for our staff to enjoy and take part in. Some of these included a stress talk and even a resistance band training. We would like to thank everyone for making this possible and we strive to make Boys' Town a better place to work.
15th Singapore HR Awards (Talent Acquisition - Silver Standard), 2021
Boys' Town received the Talent Acquisition - Silver Standard Award at the 15th Singapore HR Awards.
This category recognizes organisations’ initiatives in concurrently sourcing for talents through identifying, attracting, assessing and selecting the right candidates that fit the role at the right time and cost. This is done by using relevant workforce planning data with proper sourcing approaches and digital tools to reach out to a diverse candidate pool.