About Us

Note

Dear friends of Tamar Village,

The leadership teams of Mercy Centre Limited and Tamar Village are in a season of evaluation and transition in order for us to serve and love better. As such, Tamar Village will stop all operational activities by 29 February 2024 in order for us to have unhurried and meaningful dialogues regarding our work.

Kindly refrain from making donations (financial and in-kind) to Tamar Village at this juncture.

For enquiries, please reach out to Mercy Ho (CEO, Mercy Centre Limited) at mercy@mercy-centre.org.

Vision

To see justice and compassion revealed in the red light districts of Asia.

Mission

To bring hope, help, and healing to people who will rebuild, restore, and renew relationships and communities.

In Singapore, we walk journeys of restoration with individuals and their family units who have decided to no longer be involved in or influenced by the trades of the red light district.

Our main base is currently in Singapore and we are working towards a focus for Asia and establishing partnerships and partner offices.

Our Core Values

1. We are teachable and humble in our service.
2. We care deeply for the families we serve and our co-workers.
3. We work in inter-generational teams with patience and self-control.
4. We grow in doing things right and with integrity.
5. We forgive wrongdoings and learn from our mistakes.
6. We seek to be honest and transparent to all.
7. We honour others and work in unity.
8. We persist joyfully in the face of challenges.

Our History

2010 Our founders, Shih Shu Hui and Lois Loh, visited Tamar Center in Pattaya, Thailand. Tamar Center reaches out to Thai girls who have been unwittingly forced into prostitution by either their family or other circumstances. The centre helps to rehabilitate and equip the girls with skills to find a job in their hometowns.
As our founders returned to Singapore and walked the lorongs of Geylang, their hearts grew in compassion for the street ladies in prostitution. This led them to start Tamar Village.
2011 A Skill Centre was set up to provide classes on baking and jewellery-making for ladies who sought a renewed life. Outreach work to the street ladies began.
2012 Shine, a programme for the children of the ladies of Tamar Village, was started in hopes of journeying with the children and their parents to see the children reach their greatest potential.
2013 Sewing was added to the Skill Centre’s programmes.
Counselling was introduced as part of our restoration programme to bring healing into the lives of our ladies.
2014 Tamar Village started supporting the spouses of the ladies in our centre in the areas of legal representation and job searches. We wanted to focus on restoring family units and not just individuals.
2015 A video documentary, “2nd Chance”, that explains our work with individuals from the red light district was launched.
Nuggets of Wisdom (NOW) was started to provide academic support to the children known to us. NOW and Shine were placed together under Acorn, our children and youth focus.
Mercy Ho was appointed as Tamar Village’s new Ministry Head; Shih Shu Hui and Lois Loh released all executive duties while remaining in our Founders’ Circle.
Our first individual on the “selling” end of the sex trade joined our restoration programme after deciding to leave the trade.
Our Open Home and Open Community initiatives were launched; Open Home seeks to match individuals in our centre who do not have a place to call “home” with a suitable host, while Open Community brings people together to do life with our brother or sister.
2016 Five of our ladies and their families finally secured a house they could call their own.
Our Barista Work Skill Programme was launched after realising that making coffee beverages caused some of our ladies to come alive. Our heart was to empower the dreams of the people we work with.
The Men Focus was officially established (running in parallel with the Ladies Focus) to journey together with the spouses/partners of our ladies in a holistic way.
2017 All our in-house programmes were reorganised under the Restoration Centre, emphasising the holistic approach taken towards restoring individuals and family units. The Skill Centre now consisted of various Work Skill Programmes under the Restoration Centre, such as Sewing, Barista, and Wood Work.
Four of our men went through the work transition programme that led them to find full-time jobs. On top of receiving practical help in a time of great need, they were also restored in dignity, self-worth, and a sense of responsibility.
2018 The Men Focus started taking in men who were involved in the trades of the red light district, in addition to those who were spouses/partners of the ladies in our centre.
Cooking, Leather Crafts, and Gardening were added as Work Skill Programmes under the Restoration Centre.
2019 SPROUT, our work initiative, was started to consolidate the retail of the different products made by the men and ladies of Tamar Village. All the Work Skill Programmes were consolidated under SPROUT.
2020 Tamar Village celebrates our 10th anniversary.
Individualised casework for foreign ladies was started.

Our Team

Our team consists of a Strategic Leadership Team that directs overall vision and strategy together, a group of Core Leaders who carry specific responsibilities and a dedicated group of ad hoc and consistent volunteers and supporters.