First Hand ‘Singapore Chic’ Party raises $57,000!

First Hand ‘Singapore Chic’ Party raises $57,000!

What do you get when you take twenty women from ten countries and add one great cause?  You have what it takes to create a very successful fundraising event to benefit some of the most vulnerable children and youth of Cambodia.   On Saturday 09 November over 170 people attended ‘Singapore Chic’ at one of the remaining  500 “black and white” bungalows in Singapore. The “black and whites” as these houses are known, were built to house members of the military and their families during the colonial period of the early 1900s.  With its stunning gardens it formed the perfect venue for a night of feasting, music, and celebration, to raise money for First Hand. First Hand is the funding organisation, dedicated to raising and distributing money to benefit its two partners – Mother’s Heart and Damnok Toek.  Mother’s Heart’s focus is providing programs and support for young girls and women facing crisis pregnancies, often alone.  Damnok Toek provides a range of amazing programs for marginalised children and youth, many with special needs. Preparations for the event started in March, with regular meetings held in the run up. From August, this team of resourceful women approached a number of businesses in and around Singapore and were able to secure donations of goods and services which were then auctioned off on the night.   Some of the more unique donations included a 12th century antique statue from Shang Antiques in Dempsey Hill, a stay at Teluna Island Resort and many more. Even tennis player Roger Federer signed a couple of tennis balls, which between them raised over $1200! A sumptuous feast...
First Hand AGM 2020

First Hand AGM 2020

First Hand is holding their next Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 24th March 2020, 7.30pm at Blu Kouzina restaurant, Courtyard, Block 10 Dempsey Road, Singapore 247700. You are invited to attend our AGM where we will review the last year, elect new office bearers and discuss plans for the coming year. You are welcome to order your own dinner and drinks. Please reply by email to info@firsthandvolunteers.com by March...
First Hand Service Trip to Damnok Toek, April 2019

First Hand Service Trip to Damnok Toek, April 2019

In April, four First Hand volunteers travelled to Poipet in Cambodia to visit the Damnok Toek. Much of the money First Hand raises, goes straight to this NGO which runs amazing projects supporting vulnerable families and children in Poipet. We are delighted to see that the funds that we raise are so well spent and to understand how we can provide further support. A special thank you to all our friends in Singapore who donated school supplies and clothes. These were gratefully received by the families and children Take a look at the Damnok Toek 2019 Trip Report kindly written by Annette Harling to find out more. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information then please contact us via e-mail, follow us on social media or come to our next information evening: Thursday 20th Feb, 7.30pm at Beverly Hill Condo function...
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...