50-year-old single mum to four children aged 14 to 20, Sally’s* divorce was finally resolved two years ago. Her ex-husband did not agree to the alimony or maintenance for her and their children. As a sales agent, her income was based on commission, often bringing home slightly less than $1,500 every month, for the family of five.
Unfortunately, it was not enough to foot the bills, even with financial aid from South East CDC. Thankfully, she had sensible children who supported her in their own ways.
At times, when Sally’s income took a dip and was unable to afford a proper meal, they lived on instant noodles. Despite so, they ‘bore with her’ without a word of complain.
Seeing her children suffer, Sally continually tried her best to make up for it. From waking up before dawn to prepare lunch boxes packed with a daily love note for her daughter, to trips to the public library to help research for her children’s projects, she made every possible effort to build a stronger bond with each of them.
Hampered by ill-health, she has been struggling with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and arthritis, which posed a threat to her performance at work due to severe pain. Due to her four caesarean births, Sally also continued to suffer from back pains that affect her livelihood, often indirectly impacting her children.
Her son, a team captain and leader of a Lion Dance group in school, would often face tight purse strings when he had to pay for several activities and expenses. Thankfully, the MWS Bursary Programme lifted this burden of her shoulders, allowing him the opportunity to fulfil his potential in leadership without financial distress.
Her daughter, also a recipient of the MWS Bursary, was able to top her secondary school for the last four years, as the first batch of direct admission students in Polytechnic. With the assistance received from the Bursary, and savings from working part-time, she was able to purchase a laptop – a much needed item for her tertiary education.
Sally believes that although she may not have been blessed financially, she lives each day with a thankful heart, knowing that she has been blessed instead with four wonderful children, who were able to excel academically without tuition.
“God is fair, and I am a proud mother of four children with bright and promising futures. Life has not been easy but I know good things will come. We can smile and make others around us happier, and we trust and thank God.”
*Not her real name