Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) was founded in May 1962 under the name of Singapore Association for Retarded Children (SARC). A group of philanthropists saw the need to provide equal opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities to receive education and later, to be integrated as contributing and responsible citizens in Singapore.
The Singapore Rotary Club gave the first donation to pilot the project under the Singapore Children’s Society and the first ‘Chin Pu’ (meaning progress in Chinese) school was set up in a single room in Towner Road with 26 children.
‘Chin Pu’ centres mushroomed around the island in whatever premises that were available – churches, disused schools, etc. In 1985, SARC was renamed MINDS to encompass the services provided not only for children, but adults and the aged persons with intellectual disability.
Since then, MINDS has grown to be one of the largest Voluntary Welfare Organisations in Singapore, serving some 2,400 clients from past the age of six to their ripe old age. MINDS’ services include four special schools, three employment development centres, three day training and development centres, and one multi-service residential home.
Children’s Wing – MINDSville@Napiri is Singapore’s first home set up solely for children with intellectual disability from the age of six to 18 years old. Prior to its set up, these children who are mainly from poor or broken families, lived in welfare homes that did not cater to the children with intellectual disability. Hence with the establishment of Children’s Wing, a service gap is fulfilled and a wish satisfied.