A Life Renewed: Human-animal bond In Ministry (HIM) Re-assimilating Ex-Convicts

A Life Renewed: Human-animal bond In Ministry (HIM) Re-assimilating Ex-Convicts

Source: Eric Ward on Unsplash

Second chances don’t come easy. But they’re not impossible.

Chapter 1: The Life of Adeline (& Mdm Teng)

Adeline and her mother, Mdm Teng

Whether you believe in divine intervention or not, it’s undeniable that the circumstances surrounding Ms Adeline’s and Mdm Teng’s lives are more than mere coincidence.

Once a happy couple with a vibrant and promising future, Mdm Teng’s and her husband, Mr Wong’s trajectory took a turn for the worse when the latter was arrested for smuggling heroin from Malaysia to Singapore on account of helping a friend. Although Mr Wong was by no means a drug pusher, the promised cash reward incentivised him to perform the delivery for the sake of his family.

Undoubtedly, this gravely shocked Mdm Teng and sent her spiralling into a state of ill health and sorrow — to the point where she was contemplating suicide. However, with the support of her close friend and family members, she pulled through and persevered through the hardship to provide for her dearly beloved daughter that they had tried so hard to conceive. To Mdm Teng and her now-late husband, their daughter Adeline was like God’s gift to them. Both father & child shared the same birthdate (just 30 years apart).

Mdm Teng and a young Adeline

Mdm Teng worked 16-hour days tirelessly from morning till night just to make ends meet — a seamstress by day and a waitress by night. At that time, her paths crossed with Reverend Khoo Siaw Hua who was the first Honorary Prison chaplain and laid the foundation for Prison Fellowship Singapore (PFS) but both parties had unfortunately lost contact. Meanwhile, Adeline was left in care of a family relative while Mdm Teng could only afford to visit her daughter few times a week.

Adeline and her mother, Mdm Teng on a day out

Essentially, Adeline was raised outside maternal care. This led her to become estranged from her mother, even into her teens and adulthood. Nonetheless, her mother continued supporting her without complaint. It wasn’t until Adeline found Christ in her twenties that she underwent two major life changes: uncovering the truth behind her father’s conviction & death and finally reconciling & reuniting with her mother, Mdm Teng.

Adeline ministering to the children of convicts

By God’s grace and mercy, Adeline found her calling working in the Family Care Ministry under PFS. Over the 8 years of her tenure there, she attended to over 100 families of inmates with medical, financial, education and counselling support. Adeline’s contributions within the prison community are both remarkable and noble. However, her story doesn’t end there.

Chapter 2: The Creation of HIM (Human-animal bond In Ministry)

A New Beginning

Source: Ryan Stone on Unsplash

All of Adeline’s work and experience in the prison fellowship ministry has since led to her departure from PFS and resulted in the founding of her new social enterprise supporting convicts, ex-convicts, their families and the marginalised, HIM. As its name suggests, HIM — or Human-animal bond in Ministry — is still very much spurred from God’s love but now, with a fresh outlook.

Besides ministering to current prison inmates, HIM focuses also on assisting ex-convicts in obtaining a new lease in life. Statistics have shown that many ex-felons end up returning to the life of crime within 5 years in the absence of proper guidance and community support.

Hence, although many ex-convicts have once lost their freedom to a life of crime and punishment, it’s been since renewed thanks to the help of kind samaritans like Adeline herself. Moreover, HIM is centred around having animals as a conduit to rehabilitate such ex-convicts. But how so?

 Animals are the Solution: AAI & ARST

Specialising in pet care, pet photography and animal-assisted therapy, HIM strongly believes in using all these animal-facilitated avenues to rehabilitate these ex-criminals back into society. Whether it’s for direct therapy or for sponsorship purposes, all proceeds paid will directly benefit them.

After all, HIM’s mission is dedicated to:

rescue and re-member through Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) and to regain and restore dignity through Animal Related Services & Training (ARST)”

bringing hope and healing to those affected and marginalised by crimes.

AAI refers to a goal-directed intervention promoting improvements in physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive function of a person under the guidance of a trained animal-handler team. Through this, the team endeavours to rescue the outcast and the forgotten by accepting their trauma, shame, guilt and rejection along with many other undesirable effects.

Thus, an example of an AAI exercise could entail providing direct animal interaction and playtime to provide reprieve to these former felons, even if only for the moment.

Furthermore, HIM also values continual self-improvement. Hence, they also embarked on ARST which refers to a more sustainable form of intervention aimed at training, mentoring, empowering and meeting the needs of these past convicts and their families, and enabling them to reach their fullest potential.

Having animals for therapeutic purposes helps such marginalised groups regain self-respect by acknowledging their value and worth and simultaneously restoring their dignity through recognition of their intrinsic strength and acquiring new skills.

Although a relatively new therapy and counselling project, HIM has since garnered the support of many local church communities, extending their available resources to sponsor this admirable cause.

Chapter 3: A Mother’s Day Special

Source: on Pexels

This brings us to a very special launch of HIM’s first official community project in commemoration of Mother’s Day — which has since been FULLY SOLD through all supporters, with about 45 packs blessed to mothers from PFS & Social Health Growth (another social service agency which supports unwed or single mums).

These exclusive packs of animal design products were personally handpacked by HIM clients themselves. Within each one, buyers could expect to find an assortment of thoughtful gifts that any mother will love:

  • Soap flower*,
  • Animal design nail clipper*,
  • Perfume*,
  • Gift card*,
  • Face masks,
  • Shredded paper, and
  • Gift bag.

*These products were assorted and differed from bag to bag.

Best of all, each purchase came with a complimentary free gift! With that being said, each pack was sold for $25 inclusive of islandwide delivery. With the limited stock of 80 sets, purchasing one of these packs meant giving back to a meaningful cause while also appreciating and treating one’s mother this Mother’s Day.

Although all the packs are sold out already, you can still continue to support and remain up-to-date with all of Ms Adeline’s ventures at HIM by following their Facebook page @EmmausRoom or clicking here.

Alternatively, scan their Whatsapp QR code below to instantaneously start a chat with HIM. You can direct all of your latest inquiries to them there.

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