Metta Home for the Disabled



Metta Home for the Disabled, at Woodlands Street 31, was officially opened on 21 April 2001. The home is managed by the Metta Welfare Association, a charity organisation which runs other homes for the less fortunate and the elderly.

History
The Metta Welfare Association was founded in 1992 by Venerable Shi, Fa Zhao, the Abbot of Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple at Tampines Road. It was registered with the Registrar of Societies in 1994 and thereafter gained endorsement from the Ministry of Community Development & Sports, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. The association is a member of the National Council of Social Services and the Singapore Hospice Council. This non-profit organisation also runs other community services including a day centre for intellectually-disabled children in Hougang, a rehabilitation centre for elderly stroke patients in Tampines and a welfare clinic in Geylang. The organisation provides its services to the less fortunate, regardless of race or religion. The word metta in Pali means "compassionate light".

The construction cost of the Metta Home for the Disabled was shared between the government and the Metta Welfare Association. While the government contributed S$4.79 million towards the construction, the association raised S$8.3 million entirely through fund raising, which helped see through the cost of the interior fittings in the 4-storey building as well. The government also puts up S$138,000 every year to pay for the home's operation costs. The home also relies heavily on the generosity of donors to cover its miscellaneous expenses. Many of the staff working in homes run by the Metta Welfare Association are volunteers. Venerable Shi Fa Zhao is the head of the Metta Home for the Disabled and of the Metta Welfare Association.

Description and facilities
The Metta Home for the Disabled is a 4-storey building, spread over an area of 3,700 sq. m. It is equipped with medical treatment rooms, cafeteria, physiotherapy room, and day activity areas. It has 103 beds for long-term residents and a Day Activity Centre for 50 people. The Metta Home accepts Singaporeans and Permanent Residents whose age falls between 16 to 55 years, and who are intellectually or physically disabled. In addition, a parent or guardian of the applicant must go through an interview by the Admission Committee of the home, and visit the applicant at least once a week.

The home is concerned with training its disabled residents with social and domestic skills so as to build their confidence in leading a normal life, hence easing their integration into society and lessening the burden to their families.

Metta Welfare Association
Services by the association include disability care, medical care and community care in the form of activity centres, hospice centres, and student and day care facilities. The association also runs schools for those requiring special education, and provides professional counselling services. Since its inception in 1992, the association has been involved in many community, ranging from special schools, clinics and activity and student care centres throughout the island.

Address
Metta Home for the Disabled, 2 Woodlands St 31, Singapore 738580.
Tel: 6365-7666.



Author
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja



References 
New Home for the Disabled. (2001, April 24). The Straits Times, p. 2. 

Tan, H. Y. (1994, July 6). Group setting up three services to aid the family. The Straits Times, p. 21.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (Singapore). (2003). About Metta. Retrieved September 25, 2003, from
www.singaporebuddhatooth.org.sg/METTAabout.htm

Metta Welfare Association. (2003). Retrieved September 25, 2003, from www.metta.org.sg/main.html



The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Public health
Day care centers for people with disabilities-- Singapore
Institutional care--Singapore
Politics and Government>> Health
Health and medicine>>Health services

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2004.