Humans of ISCOS

ISCOS x The Everyday People: HUMANS OF ISCOS

ISCOS has always been inspired by the many people from all walks of life that we've had the pleasure of meeting every day, as we share a common belief in second chances, particularly in helping ex-offenders and families rebuild their lives.

In collaboration with The Everyday People, we are pleased to present a brand new 'Humans of ISCOS' series! Here, we greet, meet and listen to 20 individuals share their journeys with ISCOS, every one of them just as heartfelt and sincere as they demonstrate their support towards our cause in own unique way.

We are excited to share their stories with you, as much as we have been encouraged by them.


Humans of ISCOS: Muru

“There were days where I felt stressed, depressed and really broken down. Why was I still being labelled? Why were they still thinking of me in a negative way?

That was a real struggle for me, but I used their words as inspiration to turn over a new leaf. Whenever they said I couldn’t make it, I took it as a challenge to become a better person.” – Muru, 45


Humans of ISCOS: Jayson

“We’re all trying in life. We’re all trying to be who we think we’re supposed to be, and in order for those recovering from addictions to reach that state of self-actualisation, people like you and I need to give them a fighting chance.”- Jayson, 39

Jo Anne 02-min

Humans of ISCOS: Jo-Anne

“In the real world, there will always be underprivileged people who are struggling every day. But where ex-offenders and their children are concerned, I think there is a need for a change in how community perceives them, and I’m glad to know that we are at least having more conversations now about helping them in Singapore, as compared to many years ago.”– Jo-Anne, 36


Humans of ISCOS: Timon

“There’s nothing complex about how I’m going about doing it. I don’t have to be a politician or impact the world in some grand way. If I can just be a friend to somebody, especially somebody in need, that fills my heart with joy.” – Timon, 29


Humans of ISCOS: Normizan

“Now that I’m out, my daughter and I are able to really build our relationship. Our first meeting was very weird and awkward, of course. We didn’t really talk much. I’d speak a word and she’d reply with a single word. But I’m happy that she is slowly starting to open up more.” – Normizan, 40


Humans of ISCOS: Edmund

“We want to let these kids see the light in their situations so that they don’t focus on their parents’ problems. By linking them up with mentors who are there to provide healthy influence in their lives, hopefully these kids will be motivated to move towards a positive direction.” – Edmund, 49


Humans of ISCOS: Ruby

“I think the greatest joy of what I do is making a positive impact on someone’s life. Education can really improve someone’s life for the better. When a person is better educated, s/he will be able to contribute meaningfully to society and pay it forward to the rest of the community, as was the case for me.” – Ruby

Mr Teo

Humans of ISCOS: Pok Zin

“You can’t expect a 10-year-old to understand the world – even at 68, I still don’t understand the world either. And I know that my relationship with a mentee might not last more than two years, but hopefully when he grows up, whatever impression I’ve had on him will help him in the future.” – Pok Zin, 68

Mr Goh

Humans of ISCOS: Liang Kwang

“ISCOS is preventing ex-offenders from returning to the world of crime and helping them become useful citizens of our society. Getting a job can be difficult if you have a record. I hope the public understands their plight and supports them.” – Liang Kwang, 65


Humans of ISCOS: Norlinda

“Yes, I feel blessed right now. My husband and I are working hard to create a good life for our family. Whenever I’m tempted to do anything bad, I just look at my children’s faces and i’m reminded of what’s important. I’ve lost my son; I don’t want to lose anything else.” Norlinda, 43


Humans of ISCOS: Rennie

“Unless you’ve been through the ecosystem, it really is an entirely different world. The reality of what they go through is really quite difficult. If you’re not impartial and believe that someone deserves a second chance, you should sign up as well.” – Rennie, 30

Prof Teo

Humans of ISCOS: Albert

“And in an ideal world where we can really make a difference, I want our students to discover and harness the community’s resources so that marginalised groups will be self-motivated to realise their own dreams and aspirations. I understand that researchers are only facilitators, but I really hope our students can be catalysts for social change.” – Albert, 57


Humans of ISCOS: Mike

“Yes, I feel happy and satisfied now. My full-time job helps pay the bills, but the work I do here keeps me feeling fulfilled. To call it a calling would be an exaggeration, but I do feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that I can at least contribute to something worthwhile back to the society .” – Mike, 51


Humans of ISCOS: Zulkhairee

“But the kids at the school don’t label me. They’re only 14, 15 and 16, but they’re not as judgemental as the adults. Instead of pushing me away, they welcomed me into their circles. It’s an experience I cannot find anywhere else, and I’m very happy to be here.” – Zulkhairee, 48


Humans of ISCOS: Devan

“Don’t volunteer for the sake of volunteering; volunteer with commitment and heart. Just know that the universe works in funny ways. The more you give, the more you will get. Stick to this belief and volunteer work won’t be a hassle.” – Devan, 26

Brian 01

Humans of ISCOS: Brian

“I think being genuine is the most important thing in my line of work. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. If the way you express yourself makes the ex-offender feel comfortable, he or she will find it easier to trust you.” – Brian, 28


Humans of ISCOS: Rasheed

“Everyone makes mistakes, don’t they? But that’s all in the past. These ex-convicts have paid for their mistakes and are on the road to recovery, so why can’t they be treated fairly?” – Rasheed, 52


Humans of ISCOS: Michelle

“If you’re concerned about labels or stigma when working with children of ex-offenders, get to know the person first before passing any judgement. If I could play a part to help stop intergenerational offending, I would try my best to do so.” – Michelle, 20


Humans of ISCOS: Elvis

“I also remind them that we’re not just helping an individual. When an ex-offender changes for the better, we’re helping his family. When he gets a job, he will also contribute to the workforce and economic success of the country. So it’s not just a job; we need to believe what we’re doing actually makes a difference.” – Elvis, 52

Terence 01

Humans of ISCOS: Terence

“I think people with records don’t like to be persuaded or told what to do. Many of them are very proud and sensitive by nature. I know this because I’m like that too. The truth of the matter is, they just need someone whom they can trust and talk to.” – Terence, 62