In 1854, a small group of Infant Jesus Sisters (IJ Sisters) arrived in Singapore and laid the foundation for today’s eleven schools under the banner of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ).
When the first school for girls was established in Victoria Street (present day CHIJMES) the IJ Sisters also set up a Home for Abandoned Babies that were left at the school gate (Gate of Hope). This Home evolved over the years to become the Infant Jesus Homes and Children’s Centres (IJHCC) providing a nurturing and protective environment for children to grow and learn.
Ever since then, a total of 165 years by 2019, the IJHCC we have come to know has been the ‘village’ or kampung’ (in local parlance) for children and youth in Singapore to grow and learn in a safe and caring environment. Thus the Management Committee has decided to rebrand IJHCC as IJ VILLAGE to reflect our longstanding ethos and social mission, together with the values of what we are to the Singapore community today. While IJ Village has been used to refer specifically to our student care centre next to S. Nicholas Girls’ School, we would also see the name referred to the entire organisation.
This rebranding of IJHCC to IJ VILLAGE is driven by our desire to create a ‘village’ or kampung’ spirit amongst our students, parents, volunteers and other like-minded supporters such as mission partners and donors. We wish to revive the metaphorical ‘village’ where people freely share their time, resources and talent for the betterment of the entire community.
With this rebranding we are keen to serve more neighbourhoods and schools. We currently have more than 150 children of primary school ages in our two student care centres. We aim to bring IJ Village to more areas around Singapore over the coming months and years. Besides student care, we aim to provide Bursaries for the children, IJ Joy Packs and Youth Club services to communities around us.
I am honoured and privileged to be a steward on this journey to reach out to families, children and youth in need and to nurture, guide and direct them well whilst in our care.
I thank all my fellow management committee and sub-committee members for their time given freely. I am grateful to our staff who remain tireless in their work to fulfil the mission of IJ Village. Last but not least I must give thanks to God for guiding our organisation through all these years and more…
Yours in Christ,
Chairman / Management Committee
IJ Homes and Children’s Centres