Category: Humans of ISCOS

The Everyday People has always been inspired by heartfelt stories shared by people from all walks of life, and they include ex-offenders who are trying to rebuild their lives with their families here in Singapore.

 

In collaboration with ISCOS, a co-operative that helps ex-offenders reintegrate into society, we are pleased to present Humans of ISCOS, a brand new series where we interview and feature 20 individuals who are affiliated with ISCOS in some kind of way.

 

As you read about their unique journey in life, we hope that their stories will touch your heart, open your mind and inspire you to give others a second chance.

Humans of ISCOS: Jayson

We’re all trying in life. We’re all trying to be who we think we’re supposed to be, and in order for those recovering from addictions to reach that state of self-actualisation, people like you and I need to give them a fighting chance.

Humans of ISCOS: Jo-Anne

In the real world, there will always be underprivileged people who are struggling every day. But where ex-offenders and their children are concerned, I think there is a need for a change in how the community perceives them…

Humans of ISCOS: Timon Chiong

There’s nothing complex about how I’m going about doing it. I don’t have to be a politician or impact the world in some grand way. If I can just be a friend to somebody, especially somebody in need, that fills my heart with joy…

Humans of ISCOS: Normizan

Now that I’m out, my daughter and I are able to really build our relationship. Our first meeting was very weird and awkward, of course. We didn’t really talk much. I’d speak a word and she’d reply with a single word. But I’m happy that she is slowly starting to open up more…

Humans of ISCOS: Edmund Ng

We want to let these kids see the light in their situations so that they don’t focus on their parents’ problems. By linking them up with mentors who are there to provide healthy influence in their lives, hopefully these kids will be motivated to move towards a positive direction.

Humans of ISCOS: Ruby 

I think the greatest joy of what I do is making a positive impact on someone’s life. Education can really improve someone’s life for the better. When a person is better educated, s/he will be able to contribute meaningfully to society and pay it forward to the rest of the community, as was the case for me.

Humans of ISCOS: Teo Pok Zin

You can’t expect a 10-year-old to understand the world – even at 68, I still don’t understand the world either. And I know that my relationship with a mentee might not last more than two years, but hopefully when he grows up, whatever impression I’ve had on him will help him in the future.

Humans of ISCOS: Liang Kwang

ISCOS is preventing ex-offenders from returning to the world of crime and helping them become useful citizens of our society. Getting a job can be difficult if you have a record. I hope the public understands their plight and supports them.

Humans of ISCOS: Norlinda

Yes, I feel blessed right now. My husband and I are working hard to create a good life for our family. Whenever I’m tempted to do anything bad, I just look at my children’s faces as they remind me of what’s important. I’ve lost my son; I don’t want to lose anything else.

Humans of ISCOS: Rennie Whang

Unless you’ve been through the ecosystem, it really is an entirely different world. The reality of what they go through is really quite difficult. If you believe that someone deserves a second chance, you should sign up as well.

Humans of ISCOS: Albert Teo

And in an ideal world where we can really make a difference, I want our students to discover and harness the community’s resources so that marginalised groups will be self-motivated to realise their own dreams and aspirations…

Humans of ISCOS: Mike Hue

Yes, I feel happy and satisfied now. My full-time job helps pay the bills, but the work I do here keeps me feeling fulfilled. To call it a calling would be an exaggeration, but I do feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that I can at least contribute something worthwhile back to society.

Humans of ISCOS: Zulkhairee

But the kids at the school don’t label me. They’re only 14, 15 and 16-years old, but not as judgemental as the adults. Instead of pushing me away, they welcomed me into their circles. It’s an experience I cannot find anywhere else, and I’m very happy to be here.

Humans of ISCOS: Devan 

Don’t volunteer for the sake of volunteering; volunteer with commitment and heart. Just know that the universe works in funny ways. The more you give, the more you will get. Stick to this belief and volunteer work won’t be a hassle.

Humans of ISCOS: Brian Kang

I think being genuine is the most important thing in my line of work. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. If the way you express yourself makes the ex-offender feel comfortable, he or she will find it easier to trust you.

Humans of ISCOS: Rasheed

Everyone makes mistakes, don’t they? But that’s all in the past. These ex-convicts have paid for their mistakes and are on the road to recovery, so why can’t they be treated fairly?

Humans of ISCOS: Michelle Cheong

If you’re concerned about labels or stigma when working with children of ex-offenders, get to know the person first before passing any judgement. If I could play a part to help stop intergenerational offending, I would try my best to do so.

Humans of ISCOS: Elvis Overee

When an ex-offender changes for the better, we’re helping his family. When he gets a job, he will also contribute to the workforce and economic success of the country. So it’s not just a job; we need to believe what we’re doing actually makes a difference.

Humans of ISCOS: Terence 

I think people with records don’t like to be persuaded or told what to do. Many of them are very proud and sensitive by nature. I know this because I’m like that too. The truth of the matter is, they just need someone whom they can trust and talk to…

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