Vision and Mission
We aspire to be outstanding in providing acceptance and hope for people with special needs in Singapore through God’s love.
We believe that each person, including those with disabilities, have a God given right to be heard; recognised and appreciated as people of inherent worth; and respected for the potential they carry.
– To work and serve one and all in a spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
– To do what the Lord requires of us that is to act justly, to love mercy and walk humbly (Micah 6:8).
We value organisational effectiveness, teamwork and professionalism. Our goal is to deliver a quality yet cost-effective service. We will not stay contented with our status quo and look forward to a better future for everyone within our circle of influence.
A Pioneer Programme in the 1970s
Christian Outreach to the Handicapped (COH) is an interdenominational not-for-profit organisation founded in 1979 by Rev Alice Shae, an American Baptist missionary who was unable to find services in Singapore for her own daughter who had an intellectual disability.
She got together a group of like-minded individuals to serve the disabled and their families with God’s love. They began by registering a committee with the government, and conducting seminars to raise awareness of people with special needs.
They also started providing classes to a small group of special needs children for a few hours twice a week. This gave the children a chance to interact with their peers and offered parents some time to run errands.
Word went round and parents began asking about COH’s services. It indicated the need for day activity services for people with disabilities. Not long after, COH was operating on a daily basis.
As one of the early pioneers in Singapore in this service sector, COH has contributed significantly by providing the impetus for the inception and growth of other similar types organisations caring for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in our society.
Here are some of the key milestones in our journey:
1979 – COH was founded by Rev Alice Shae
1983 – A Children’s Activity Centre was set up in the Ang Mo Kio Social Service Centre
1987 – Relocation to Seng Poh Road
1987 – Registered as a Society under Societies Act (Ref No.: 265/86Rel) on 27th July
1987 – Attained full membership with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) on 1st August
1987 – Registered as a Charity under Charities Act, 1982 (Reg No.: 0521) on 1st November 1987
1988 – Started Emmanuel Activity Centre for adults with intellectual disability
1989 – Relocation to Owen Road
1993 – Attained status of Institute of Public Character (IPC) on 27th July, allowing us to raise funds from the public
1995 – Started programme for teenagers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
2000 – Relocation to Jalan Tembusu
2001 – Started programme for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
2002 – Started programme for adults with cerebral palsy
2004 – Started programme for elderly clients with intellectual disability
2005 – Started Community Integration Projects with various community partners
2008 – Classes which homogeneously grouped clients according to disability types were restructured into clusters made up of clients with different disability types
2008 – Relocation of one activity centre and COH HQ from Jalan Tembusu to Block 414 Tampines Street 41
2009 – Relocation of the remaining activity centre at Jalan Tembusu to Block 171 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh
2009 – 2012 – Tree of Life Project made inroads into the community
2017 – The opening of Emmanuel Activity Centre (autism) at 161 Toa Payoh on the 28th October