The Circle Of Love



Geraldine Lee and Ronita Paul co-founded Arc Children’s Centre as a sanctuary for children dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. These two indomitable ladies share about the challenges they face running this haven of respite.

What is Arc and, what does it do?
Arc Children’s Centre is a sanctuary for children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses, a safe place where they can receive education, socialise and form bonds. Arc also cares for their families and aims to be a haven of respite and comfort for them. Arc also refers to part of a circumference of a circle, and Arc Children’s Centre is committed to forming a meaningful part of the Circle of Care for these children in need.
What led to its creation?
To fulfill the last wish of a terminally ill child to have a place for children like him to go to instead of always being at home or the hospital. His name was Raphael (the R in ARC is a tribute to the brave little boy, Raphael who lost his fight with cancer). Before his passing, Raphael shared that his hope was for children who were ill to have a safe, welcoming place to rest and play during the day. His selfless wish spurred the creation of Arc.

Prior to Arc, what were the both of you working as?
Ronita worked as a nurse while I was a volunteer coordinator who had worked 30 years in public relations. After much urging that there must be more to life, we decided to fulfill the wish of Raphael before we got too old and worn out to do anything meaningful. When we opened Arc in 2011, it was Singapore’s only day-care centre for children diagnosed with cancer.

What were some of the challenges Arc faced initially?
We started with a small team. It consisted of Ronita, myself and one driver for children who needed transport to get to Arc. Naturally, we were dependent on friends to advise us along the way. We looked hard to find dedicated and passionate teachers to inspire the children to learn, develop their talents, to shine, to dance, to sing, to perform and to enjoy every moment in Arc.

If there is a message you would like to share with Singaporeans, what would that be?
You don’t need big bucks or big brains to do good in Singapore. What you’ll need is a BIG heart and to be single-minded in your desire to reach out and help. Our inspiration are the early pioneers of Singapore and the religious nuns where nothing was too difficult for them – they just get things done for the good of others, no matter what!

How can Singaporeans help you?
Be a regular volunteer if you can. For donors, any little sum is welcomed. If you are talented in IT, we need you to help us automate some of our work like attendance, statistic keeping, invoicing.

What are some of your future plans for Arc?
We hope to find a bigger place with some outdoor area for the children. We also hope to have more space so as to create an exclusive area strictly for children still in intensive treatment to enjoy themselves too.

For more information on Arc Children’s Centre, visit .