Yellow Ribbon's Second Chances Awards Ceremony

Over the weekend we had a booth at the Yellow Ribbon Second Chances Award Ceremony. 

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The awards seek to honour those who are ex-offenders who have seized their second chances and turned their lives around, as well as those who play an active part in providing them with support of reintegrating back into society. 

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Mr. Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs, was the guest of honour at the event and came to speak to our volunteers who were providing face painting, colouring and reading sessions for the children of the families attending. 

There were over 197 ex-offenders at the ceremony, all taking ownership of their rehabilitative journeys. 

For more on the event, click here for an article on Straits Times: After Serving nearly 30 years in jail, man turns his life around and wins Yellow Ribbon award

Singapore Women's Weekly: Great Women of Our Time

Our Co-founder Saleemah Ismail is nominated in the Public Service and Education category for this year's Great Women of Our Time. 

Every year, The Singapore Women's Weekly holds these awards to shine a light on 18 inspirational women who are making an impact. 

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Saleemah started her career in the private sector, but the call for social activism proved too strong and she soon moved to a consultation role with UN Women and UNDP. 

In her interview with Singapore Women's Weekly, Saleemah said this about forming New Life Stories

My friends and I were invited by the Singapore Prison Service to develop a vocational training programme for the female inmates. I found out that many of those imprisoned were mothers and that they were extremely remorseful for the pain they caused their family.

Monthly Round-Up

In the past week we have been gearing up for two Volunteer Orientations that are happening soon. 

We also attended the NLB's and Geylang East Public Library's book donation event. Their kind donation of over 100 books will be a huge help, as they'll be used to teach underprivileged children on our Early Reader Programme. We also had help on the day from our friends at Julia Gabriel, who helped us pick out the most suitable books for our different age groups. 

We're really excited to have Julia Gabriel on board - their expert advice on childhood education will be invaluable. 

Please do note that we currently don't need any book donations - we are all set! 

But if you'd like to support our cause, we'd be thrilled to have your donations. 

Monthly Round-Up

We're fast approaching the end of the first month of 2017. 

This year at New Life Stories we are looking to recruit as many volunteers as we can for our next batch of children who need our help. 

Becoming a Learning Friend with us and helping an underprivileged child is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Through reading lessons, your time will help ensure that they don't get left behind at school. 

In the coming months, we'll start adding more personal stories from our volunteers so they can tell you all about their experiences and what it means to them. 

In the News

Did you see this article in Straits Times yesterday?

Don't worry if not, it's online and the link is below. 

It tells the story of Aisyah, one of the children on our program who has been receiving reading lessons from our volunteers for the past 2 and a half years. 

Click here to see the full story: Her mother, aunt, grandparents are ex-cons. Can Aisyah break the cycle?

Monthly Round-Up

This week was the beginning of Giving Week. Our campaign has been up and running before but this is the official launch.  

We’re aiming to raise $10,000 to provide 100 underprivileged children with vital early education.
We’ve already received donations - huge thanks to all who gave - but we still have some way to go in order to meet our target.
To find out more please click here:…/newlifestoriesgwcampaign

In the News


Did you spot us in Straits Times over the weekend? Fear not because we have the link below. 

We'd like to thank the newspaper for covering how important relationships are with incarcerated parents and their children.

Having the media raise the issue with the public plays an important role in our efforts with the children and their mums. 

Two families in our programme featured in an article and the two mothers explain how not only has their children's ability to read has improved, their relationships have also grown stronger. 

To see the article, visit this link: Connecting mums in jail with kids

Weekly Round-Up

This week has seen the start of our Giving Week campaign.

It's a great time of the year when individuals and companies throughout Singapore show their generosity. 
It’s a special time for us too, because we have launched our own Giving Week campaign to raise $10,000. 
This will allow us to provide 100 underprivileged with the vital early education they need.

As Giving Week doesn't officially start until next Tuesday, we are giving ourselves the best possible chance to raise the money by kicking off our campaign earlier. 
You can help us starting from today. All you have to do is click on the link to donate, and there’s also more information on Giving Week itself:…/newlifestoriesgwcampaign

On Tuesday, our Co-Founder Saleemah Ismail gave a talk at The Heroes Seminar at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.  

This event highlights heroes in the community and tells students that they can be heroes too. With talks and activities, students are encouraged to get involved with a cause and get a sense of achievement.
The theme this year is social inclusion and all students are enrolled in a 'Global Issues’ module, with a Singapore perspective. 

The end of this week marked Black Friday. If you’re looking for a more rewarding day, how about giving an underprivileged child a brighter future? 
By giving them ongoing support and encouragement during their formative years, we help ensure, through our reading lessons, that they get a fairer start in life.
It doesn’t take much to make a difference, Just $10 will fund a stationary kit with notepads and a $30 donation is enough to fund a one-to-one reading lesson. 

Weekly Round-Up

This week we have been gearing up for a busy time ahead, with our Giving Week Campaign coming up and having Christmas just around the corner. 

Also, on Saturday the 26th of November from 10am to 12pm, we’re having a 'Volunteer Orientation' , at our office #06-39 Paya Lebar Square. So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a 'Learning Friend' with New Life Stories, now’s the time to find out.

It’s a great chance to meet other Learning Friends and discover more about the rewards - and the commitments - of being a volunteer. For more information about what we do, please have a look through the rest of our site. 

This week saw our second week of#ThrowbackThursday where we post relevant articles on early education, that have been published through the years. Follow this link for a piece from Forbes about how powerful storytelling is and how it should be more recognised in education:

New week we are launching out campaign with Giving Week, which is taking place from the 29th of November to the 5th of December, so keep a look out on our social media for posts relating to this. 

Weekly Round-Up

In our weekly round-up blog posts we give our supporters a run down of the past week and what we've been up to. 

On Monday, we attend the Societal Leadership Summit at Singapore Management University. The Summit was all about how organisations can do good in a sustainable way. We oversaw a panel discussion with Alfie Othman, the Executive Director of raiSE and Veronica Colondam, the Founder and CEO of YCAB Foundation. 

Also this week, we got to visit the new Google offices that officially opened this week. Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong opened the two new office blocks at the Mapletree Business City II in Pasir Panjang this Thursday.

They were previously located at Asia Square Tower 1 in the Central Business District, but moved for more space and to accommodate more people. The Asia-Pacific business headquarters boasts free breakfast and lunch for employees, as well as a 24/7 gym, salon, nap room and numerous cafes and pantries. 

We had a meeting with GoogleGive about potentially working with the organisation to gain more awareness for New Life Stories, through initiatives like Google Grants and 'Adwords'. 

With our social media this week, we posted our first 'Carousel' ad on Facebook with a selection of our favourite inspirational quotes that we have put up in the past month. 

Weekly Round-Up

Welcome to our third blog post, where we give a weekly update on what we're up to for our supporters. 

With Deepawali taking place over the last weekend, we wanted to highlight how during the festival of lights and family celebrations, we also need to think about those less fortunate.

This picture was posted on our social media platforms, which you can follow in the links at the bottom of the page. We explained how our vital home-based quality reading means that children of incarcerated mothers have a fairer chance in life, which means the donations we receive will enable us to help more children have a brighter future. 

How it works is that a S$10 donation will fund a stationary kit with notepads and crayons for one child. While a S$30 donation will fund a one-to-one reading lesson. 

Halloween also happened this week and we posted our new cartoon graphics, which will happen every holiday, to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 


This week is also the start of a new month. In November we are attending lots of different summits and conferences, as well as our co-founder, Saleemah Ismail, who is giving a talk at the Heroes Seminar later this month. The end of November also marks the start of Giving Week in Singapore, where we will be creating a campaign to raise donations so we can help more children get the education they deserve. 

Subscribe below to receive this roud-up blog at the end of every week.

Weekly Round-Up

This is our second blog post, where we give our supporters a weekly update on what we're up to.

This week we posted a video to our social media of Marsya, 8, who couldn't read any English before she started our Early Reader programme. Please watch the video below to see and hear her read. 

Marsyah's progress was helped with the ongoing assistance of her Learning Friend (our volunteers), who provides one-to-one reading lessons for underprivileged children. Our learning friends make a vital contribution to a child's education and make sure that they aren't left behind in the crucial early years of their development. Ultimately, promoting social mobility.

Also this week, we attended this year's Singapore Social Enterprise Conference today which ran over two days. 

The organisers raiSE (The Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise) set this event up to serve as a platform for sharing knowledge on how businesses can be a force for social good and we went along for tips on how to increase our awareness and support. Although it was more focused on social enterprises and entrepreneurship, the same advice shared can be applied to non-profit organizations. 

Weekly Round-Up

Welcome to our first blog post! Here we will give weekly updates on what we're up to, relevant news posts, events we attend and speak at, as well as the positive impact our reading programme has on children's lives, with a mix of photos and videos.

This week we went to visit some of the children on our reading programme. Marsya, 8, and her younger sister Mirsyih, 5, started getting lessons from our ‘Learning Friends’ and they confidently read their favourite books to us. 

Before the lessons, neither sister could read any English at all, but in the space of two years they have improved so much that they can both read fluently. 

These lessons means these children have a better chance of keeping up with other children at school, instead of being left behind. Ultimately, our work is promoting social mobility.

You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

-We protect the privacy and reputation of the children and mothers on New Life Stories programs. No photographs or image of an identifiable child or mother has been used in New Life Stories publication. The children featured in this website are children of our adult volunteers-