Our journey in contributing to the needs of the disadvantaged began in 1970 by the will of one woman, Mrs Shakuntala Bhatia, to fill a gap after the wives of the British troops left in the late 1960s. She rallied like-minded women in Singapore to pick up where the British women left off in helping the needy.
In the beginning, the work consisted of general welfare services. What started out as a group of caring individuals coming together to distribute rations to low-income families evolved into becoming a social service provider. Under the banner of the Asian Women’s Welfare Association, Mrs Bhatia and her peers identified gaps in the community and, in addition to helping families in need, also delivered much-needed services to help the aged and persons with disabilities. Their goal was to empower the marginalised and socially-disadvantaged, and enable them to lead dignified and independent lives.
On 7 January 2015, the Association incorporated AWWA Ltd, a Singapore company limited by guarantee. In April that year, AWWA Ltd took over the operation of all the charitable services and activities previously managed by the Association.
Mrs Bhatia’s work laid the foundation for AWWA. Today, our social workers, therapists, teachers, programme staff and management continue to identify needs on the ground. Through this, AWWA continues to evolve, innovate and fill gaps in the community, venturing into new areas where there is a need.
“People Giving to People” aptly embodies the ethos of AWWA; It reflects the ‘heart of the volunteer’ and the hard work and dedication of staff, contributors and supporters who give their best to help the disadvantaged and make Singapore a more caring and inclusive society.
We continue to carry with us Mrs Bhatia’s belief that no one should be left behind and till today, we stay true to the aim of filling the gaps of society. All of AWWA’s programmes and services have been and continue to be driven by the mission of empowering the disadvantaged towards independence and living dignified lives.