SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 3 December 2020 - Despite the more challenging times of the COVID-19 season, the Eat With Your Family Day (EWYFD) initiative has drawn the participation of over 600 organisations such as City Developments Ltd, Etiqa Insurance Pte Ltd and Eu Yan Sang International Ltd who encouraged their employees to end work earlier and gather with their families for meals this year.
During this time, most organisations were still in a work-from-home mode and employees often grappled with the blurred boundaries of work and life, at times working beyond normal working hours although they were at home. To encourage employees to be present for their families, and bond over meals and activities, the organisers of EWYFD tied-up special deals with over 50 merchant partners for the EWYFDs in September and November to offer food, retail and fun options for family activities.
During EWYFD on 4 September 2020, the organisers of EWYFD worked with over 40 organisations to plan a special programme for their employees. The 150 families nominated by their organisations received a family meal delivered to their homes and participated in a photo contest and movie trivia to win prizes and goodie bags. For both events in September and November, special movie screenings of "Happy Feet 2" and "Despicable Me 2" were also broadcasted on Mediacorp Channel 5 so families could bond over movie time. In addition, the Centre for Fathering offered complimentary online fathering and parenting workshops to further strengthen family bonding.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament and Patron for Centre for Fathering and DADs for Life said, "Family-friendly initiatives such as Eat With Your Family Day may seem only beneficial to employees but this practice can benefit the company in the long run. Organisations who put their employees first by helping them prioritise their families tend to have employees who are more productive and committed. As such, I would like to encourage companies to embrace EWYFD as part of their efforts to nurture a family-friendly work culture."
To build on the momentum and positive feedback, EWYFD will go on to place special emphasis on encouraging families to eat together with grandparents in 2021. As the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child." With the stress imposed by today's fast-paced society, many parents feel the strain of managing multiple roles at work and home. The role of grandparents in providing support for parents, acting as a role model and being a link to family history and traditions, is critical to the family's well-being. This support by grandparents is even more pertinent amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 season.
"Our grandparents' greatest joys are the times when the family gathers for meals. Unfortunately, the demands of our fast-paced society have made it difficult for many families to regularly spend time together as an extended family. With families connecting digitally, the less tech savvy grandparents are excluded from this social interaction, which may cause them to feel isolated," said Mr Bryan Tan, CEO, Centre for Fathering and DADs for Life.
He added, "Spending time with grandparents over a meal on occasions such as EWYFD shows that they are important in our lives and emphasises the values of respect and esteeming our elders to our children. We want to recognise the selfless love of grandparents - from caring for the grandchildren when parents are at work, to whipping up our favourite dishes."
Underpinned by multiple research studies that show how connecting as a family over a meal can improve the physical and mental health of family members, EWYFD was launched in 2003 by the Centre for Fathering to encourage organisations to arrange for employees to leave work at 5pm so that they can eat with their families. Held on the last Friday of each school term, EWYFD will take place on 12 March, 28 May, 3 September and 19 November in 2021. EWYFD is brought to you by MUMS for Life, DADs for Life and Centre for Fathering, in support of Made for Families.
For more information, go to fathers.com.sg/ewyfd.
About Centre for Fathering, DADs for Life and MUMs for Life
Centre for Fathering (CFF) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2000 to promote active and involved fathering and address issues caused by fatherlessness in Singapore. The organisation aims to turn the hearts of children towards their fathers by empowering more fathers to be better role models and an enduring inspiration to their children.
Since 2015, CFF has been the driving force behind Singapore's nation-wide fathering movement - DADs for Life which seeks to inspire and mobilise fathers to become more involved with and a good influence to their children... for life. Under the DADs for Life umbrella are initiatives such as DADs@School, Back to School with DAD, Eat With Your Family Day and Celebrating Fathers -- to encourage fathers to spend time with their families and create a culture that promotes active fathering.
MUMs for Life is a ground-up movement to celebrate a mum's unique identity as a woman, daughter, wife & mother. Our key partner is DADs for Life because we believe that mums and dads play irreplaceable and complementary roles in parenting together.
CFF is Made For Families
CFF is proud to be part of the ecosystem supporting families in Singapore, and identify ourselves as an organisation that is Made For Families. Made For Families represents the different ways -- big and small -- in which Singapore supports families. Companies, organisations and community groups can adopt the brand mark to identify themselves as promoting the value of family in our society. Together, we can build a society that is Made For Families, by laying a foundation of support, from family-friendly spaces and workplaces, products and services, and family-bonding activities. Visit go.gov.sg/MadeForFamilies for more information.