Celebrating Families Of All Shapes And Sizes

National Family Week had its second run in 2023 with a stronger focus on diverse families and structures, such as families with persons with disabilities.  

National Family Week 2023

150 partner activities over nine days and more than 400 volunteers deployed – a massive, island-wide festival to bring families in Singapore together.

Back for its second run, the National Family Week (NFW) is a chance for families to spend time together and bond over meaningful and fun activities. The annual event, organised by Families for Life (FFL) with support from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), returned with its theme, “Yes to Family Time – Anywhere, Anytime”, to highlight that everyone has a role to play in building strong families.

Families enjoyed a myriad of activities for all ages and interests, from games to workshops and walking trails. Parents and grandparents were also able to pick up useful family-building tips from parenting talks and events.

With a stronger emphasis on diverse family structures in Singapore, the 2023 run also featured several inclusive events to cater to and support persons with disabilities.

Learning Lessons Through Storytelling

National Family Week 2023 - Story Telling Sessions

Children were all smiles at the storytelling sessions led by seasoned storyteller Roger Jenkins (top picture, right). Jenkins, who founded Singapore’s first theatre for the deaf and came recommended by SG Enable, led the sessions alongside Gophi Nathan (top picture, left), a deaf storyteller and mime artist.

The duo regaled the audience with tales about building strong families. The stories were made more animated and inclusive with both storytellers using sign language that was woven seamlessly into their acting. In the second half of the session, Gophi’s wife and daughters even joined him onstage to take part in the storytelling.

Supporting Makers With Disabilities

Handcrafted goods made by persons with disabilities.

In between other activities at Our Tampines Hub, families could unwind at the i’mable gift market, browsing and buying handcrafted goods made by persons with disabilities. Ten social enterprises, such as Don8uri and the Down Syndrome Association, participated in the event as part of the i’mable Collective.

An initiative under SG Enable, i’mable engages makers with disabilities and external partners to develop a viable market for quality merchandise crafted by persons with disabilities.

Staying Active With Wheelchair Rugby

Families looking to bond with exciting and inclusive activity – wheelchair rugby.

Families looking to bond over sports had the opportunity to challenge themselves in an exciting and inclusive activity – wheelchair rugby. At Bukit Canberra Sports Hall, members of the Wheelchair Rugby Association of Singapore came down to invite visitors to a friendly game, as part of their efforts to educate more people about the sport.

Reaching New Heights

Planning such a large-scale event was no small feat. The 2023 run of NFW required coordination between the FFL, 71 corporate partners and 76 community partners.

With each organisation having its own decision-making processes, it was crucial for everyone to be in sync for the event to be successful.

The organisers set clear objectives from the start. A central organising committee comprising FFL and the agencies (ActiveSG as part of Sport Singapore, People’s Association and the Prime Minister’s Office – Strategy Group) was also set up to enable smooth communication and monthly updates from each party.

Through their efforts, NFW returned with at least 100 more partners than its inaugural run in 2022, and drew about 191,000 participants in total.

Said FFL Council Chairman, Mr Ishak Ismail: “We hope to build on this momentum to mobilise more partners and the community to take action to strengthen and support families.

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    Sep 26, 2023
    Norman Ng
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