Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin joined 12 pairs of fathers and their special needs
children on May 26, 2019 to make cookies using a less-sugar recipe at a hands-on
workshop hosted by chefs at My NoNNa’s today. My NoNNa’s is a social enterprise who
hires persons with handicap and special needs.
The cookie making workshop is one of 90 father-child bonding programmes that run from
16 May to 16 June as part of the Celebrating Fathers initiative and the first Celebrating
Fathers programme specially catered to fathers and their special needs children.
Initiated in 2016, the Celebrating Fathers movement seeks to raise awareness of the
importance of active fatherhood with a month-long line-up of exciting activities in the run-
up to Father’s Day each year. The activities are organised by DADs for Life in partnership
with Mediacorp, and supported by the National Population and Talent Division under
Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office; and the Ministry of Social and Family
Said Mr Tan, who is also the Patron for Centre for Fathering, “Celebrating Fathers is
important because we all have a role to play alongside mothers. The key thing is to be
present in the lives of our children at every stage as far as we can.”
He added, “The role of fathers is important in every context but for those with special needs,
it’s more challenging and it’s good to get the community together for families to share their
experiences and be a support group as well.”
Sixty-three-year-old Mr Low Thiong Keng, who attended the workshop with his 26-year-old
son, Benny, said, “We can learn with each other. I was so worried that Benny cannot
manage and I was so surprised that he can follow and learn everything by himself. I learnt a
lot from Benny as I have never done any cooking before.”
Mr Say Hong, a 37-year-old army officer, attended the baking workshop with daughter Heidi,
who is 7-year-old. Heidi has a genetic disorder which brings about difficulty in her movement
Mr Say shared, “This workshop allows us to spend quality time together without Mum and
helper. As this workshop caters to special needs children, she feels more at home and at
ease than other workshops which isn’t as inclusive and she may feel left out.”
Besides this workshop, more than 20 other community and private sector partners will also
be recognising fathers through 90 programmes to promote father and child bonding. This
includes workshops for photography, DJ sound mixing, race car engineering, building a
medieval catapult and constructing a fun resin table as well as adventure trail in the
jungles with the whole family!
For more information on Celebrating Fathers activities, go to www.celebratingfathers.sg.