Launch of Temasek Foundation Project ARIF at Masjid Yusof Ishak with the Project ARIF team. (Centre to right) Dr Suzanna Sulaiman, Co-Lead, Temasek Foundation Project ARIF; Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development; Prof Alex Sia, CEO, KKH; Assoc Prof Ng Kee Chong, Chairman, Medical Board, KKH; Prof Tan Hak Koon, Chairman, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KKH.

A two-year pilot programme by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and Temasek Foundation is helping newly-weds develop a resilient marriage and family life to optimise maternal wellness and child development.

Launched in March 2021, the Temasek Foundation Achieving Resilient and Inspiring Families Programme (Project ARIF) provides newly-wed couples with religious, marital, medical and parenting guidance from a team of Naib Kadis (deputy marriage solemnisers of Muslim marriages), mosque personnel and KKH healthcare professionals in the first two years of marriage. Where necessary, they will be referred for additional social support, intervention programmes or case management.

“New or fledgling marriages are like newborn babies. If you give them the attention they need, guide and support them well, they will flourish and continue to grow. Project ARIF leverages on KKH’s expertise in maternal and child health, with the combined strengths of partners in community and social work, to improve marriage, family life and optimise the health of Singapore’s future generations,” says Dr Suzanna Sulaiman, Co-Lead, Temasek Foundation Project ARIF, and Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KKH.

As at June 2021, 176 couples have received the Project ARIF guide to maternal and child health; 150 couples have received additional support, which includes referrals to community agencies for smoking cessation and counselling services. The programme aims to reach out to 800 couples for the duration of the pilot.