First Hand Annual General Meeting – 21st March 2019 – Blu Kouzina

First Hand Annual General Meeting – 21st March 2019 – Blu Kouzina

Notice is hereby given of the 2019 Annual General Meeting of First Hand. The meeting will take place from 7pm on Thursday 21st March 2019 at Blu Kouzina restaurant, Courtyard, Block 10 Dempsey Road, Singapore 247700. First Hand supporters are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting where we will elect new office bearers and discuss plans for the coming year. Attendees are welcome to order their own dinner and drinks. RSVP by March 15th to...
First Hand Service Trip to Mother’s Heart and Damnok Toek November 2018

First Hand Service Trip to Mother’s Heart and Damnok Toek November 2018

Service Trip Report by Melita Gerber, First Hand Volunteer. Trip dates: 5th – 10th November 2018 Service Trip Participants: Tanaz Byramjee, Gitte Faldmo, Melita Gerber and Annette Woschek. Service trips are an important part of First Hand’s programmes as they offer the opportunity to meet our partner organizations face-to-face to get a deeper insight into their work, to check on the projects we support and to be inspired to be their advocates on our return to Singapore. This trip we visited both Mother’s Heart and Damnok Toek, our two partners in Cambodia. Firstly we met Emily Scott, who is the country director of Mother’s Heart, and her enthusiastic team of social workers at the head office in Phnom Penh. A big THANK YOU goes to all our generous supporters in Singapore for the suitcases full of baby equipment that we delivered. Mother’s Heart is the first, and currently only, crisis pregnancy centre in Cambodia. It started off with a pilot project in 2010. Currently there are two main programs offered by Mother’s Heart to women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies: Crisis Pregnancy Counseling: it enables every woman to make informed decisions about their options e.g. parenting, alternative care, legal abortion, etc. Pregnancy Support Program: offers women access to support if they want to have their baby e.g. medical care, housing services, vocational training and job placement, day care services, education classes, foster care/kinship care, etc. 20 % of pregnancies in Cambodia are a crisis pregnancy. Crisis pregnancies have many backgrounds – the most common ones are rape, domestic violence, sex work, trafficking and incest. In Cambodia being pregnant and...
First Hand Great Gatsby Party raises over $45,000!

First Hand Great Gatsby Party raises over $45,000!

On October 27th 2018,  200 supporters of First Hand attended our 10th Anniversary Great Gatsby Party, graciously hosted by the Danish Seamen’s Church of Singapore at the Golden Bell Mansion on Mount Faber. The setting was absolutely spectacular and completely in keeping with the Roaring 20s theme of Great Gatsby. Guests arrived dressed to the nines and were welcomed by a champagne tower, cocktails and live jazz music from Intan Duo and Jay Gatsby’s Jazz Band, who played throughout the night.   Group photos by Karen Lucas were available on the grand staircase and a roving magician, Yu Ji, from Meta Illusions wowed and amazed guests with a mystifying array of tricks. A sumptuous buffet, including a whole lamb on the spit, was served by Blu Kouzina while fine Italian wines from Bacco accompanied the dinner. During the dinner guests were entertained by our hilarious emcee, Scott Mitchell from The Merry Lion Comedy Club, who engaged the crowd in playing table games and bidding on items in the Live Auction. Generous sponsors gave away a huge array of items for First Hand to raise funds, ranging from – antiques, artworks and holidays to dining vouchers, jewellery  and lifestyle gifts. All the funds raised in the silent and live auctions, and the event proceeds will go directly to our beneficiaries in Cambodia – Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart. The party continued into the wee hours with more music, dancing and the crowd playing their part as though at one of Jay Gatsby’s infamous parties! First Hand is so thankful to all of our guests, sponsors and partners for your incredible support and...
First Hand Service Trip to Damnok Toek, Poipet – June 2018

First Hand Service Trip to Damnok Toek, Poipet – June 2018

On June 11th 2018, a team of four from First Hand departed for a 3-day service trip to visit our main partner Damnok Toek (DT) in Poipet, Cambodia. The purpose of the trip was to check in on DT’s local child-protection projects and see where help and funding are needed. Together, Annette, Gitte, Sandi and Tori brought along 120kg of school/sport/medical donations that we had collected from our supporters in Singapore (thank you!) Poipet is a few hours’ drive from Siem Reap and is located right on the border with Thailand. It is not a nice place to visit and is notorious for its many casinos and as a hotspot for illegal cross-border migration and many forms of exploitation. Overall DT are running six different programmes around Poipet to help vulnerable children and their families avoid exploitation at all the stages when they are at most risk. This starts with prevention at their drop in centre in the slum which offers a safe place for children to play and learn at all times of the day while their parents are absent or street children take a break from their own working day .       Many Cambodians come to Poipet with the misinformed idea that they can easily get a job, or they use Poipet as a base for working illegally across the border in Thailand – where they can earn up to triple a normal Cambodian wage. Sadly many of these workers are often exploited and end up being rounded up by the Thai authorities and dumped at the border crossing. Many of those deported are children, some have even been...
Donations-in-kind requested for Damnok Toek

Donations-in-kind requested for Damnok Toek

A small group of us from First Hand will be travelling to Poipet to visit Damnok Toek at the beginning of June. Please see below for the list of items that have been requested for us to take with us. Please contact a member of the First Hand Team or e-mail us if you have a donation to give. Thank...
First Hand Annual General Meeting – 20th March 2018 – Blu Meze

First Hand Annual General Meeting – 20th March 2018 – Blu Meze

Notice is hereby given of the 2018 Annual General Meeting of First Hand. The meeting will take place from 7pm on Tuesday 20th March 2018 at Blu Meze restaurant, Block 10 Dempsey Road, Singapore 247700. First Hand supporters are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting where we will elect new office bearers and discuss plans for the coming year. Attendees are welcome to order their own dinner and drinks at the new Blu Meze restaurant, next to Blu Kouzina, at Dempsey Hill. RSVP by March 15th to...
First Hand Info Evening – 7pm, February 27th 2018, The Sail @ Marina Bay

First Hand Info Evening – 7pm, February 27th 2018, The Sail @ Marina Bay

First Hand Information Evening 2018 7pm, Tuesday February 27th 2018, The Sail @ Marina Bay, 2/4 Marina Blvd, Club Room, Level 44, Singapore 018985 Are you curious to hear more about First Hand and our plans for 2018? Then please come and join us at our Information Evening. Enjoy a glass of wine and some nibbles while you learn about volunteering opportunities and how you can help make a difference. We will also go more into depth about our two service partners and the impact of the work they are doing in Cambodia. Pre-registration is necessary please, to allow access to the Club Room. RSVP by February 24th to...
White Christmas Ball raises $21,969 in aid of Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart Cambodia!

White Christmas Ball raises $21,969 in aid of Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart Cambodia!

We are so happy to share that the First Hand White Christmas Ball has raised a grand total of $21,969.43! This amount has been sent to our two direct service partners in Cambodia – Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart.  The Ball was held at the Swiss Club Singapore on the evening of Saturday 2nd December 2018. The night began al fresco with drinks on the iconic Chess Lawn and music by Intan Duo. Soon after, a three course dinner was served in the beautiful Arbenz Restaurant which overlooks the Club’s lush grounds. Throughout the dinner, 100 guests were entertained by Welles Tan Party Portraits and Christmas songs were performed by the amazingly talented Ukuladies.  Later the emcee got the crowd going with a spectacular Live Auction featuring a signed NZ All Blacks rugby jersey, dinner at Les Amis, a hamper by TheAC and a holiday to Batu Batu. Afterwards, guests danced the night away in the Rifle Lounge with disco music courtesy of DJ Raj Khera. In all, it was a spectacular event which lived up to the season-of-giving spirit. Thank you so much to all of our wonderful guests, generous sponsors and amazing team who made it such a night to remember! There are lots more photos of the event on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FirstHandVolunteers UPDATE: the Ball is featured in the February issue of Expat Living 🙂...