“I no longer feel like I am struggling alone. I’m also thankful that my husband has become more active in building a better future for our family. We communicate better as a family now and my eldest daughter has hope of a brighter future.”

Sheryl, Beneficiary of MWS Family Services

A few years ago, Sheryl* was working as a kitchen assistant to supplement the income of her husband who drove a taxi. During the pandemic, his income was badly hit.

Getting by was a struggle but she made the best of it for her family. Then came the shattering news that her husband has cancer. It didn’t take long before their fragile existence was pushed over the edge. Sheryl resorted to self-harm to cope and thought of ending it all.

By the time Sheryl came to Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) Family Service Centre – Tampines for help, she was $20,000 deep in debt. Medical bills were stacking up on top of her 3 children’s education expenses. The cracks of anxiety and stress were palpable on her face.

The family was placed on the MWS Family Development Programme (FDP) — a debt clearance and savings-matching scheme which aims to help families get out of poverty. MWS FDP is developed by MWS and made possible entirely by public donations. For every $1 of debt that Sheryl cleared on her own, MWS matched with $2. By sheer determination and close guidance from the MWS social worker, Sheryl cleared the debts after about 2 years.

Sheryl and her husband were also supported on their marital issues and parenting challenges through the MWS Family Support Programme. The couple learnt effective communication and parenting skills that greatly improved their relationships with each other and their children.

“It may look like MWS Family Service Centre helped me alone, but actually it saved my entire family. It brought us from the brink of helplessness to having a hope for the future.”

Families with complex and chronic issues like Sheryl’s need multiple types of intervention that tackle the root of their problems. In Sheryl’s case, she benefitted from casework and counselling, parenting and marital support, and a debt clearance scheme, 3 distinct yet integrated programmes run by multi-functional teams in MWS.

There is another positive ending to Sheryl’s story. She has since become an MWS volunteer to help other families facing similar struggles. 

Please give generously to empower more than 9,000 MWS beneficiaries. Together, let us alleviate the different forms of poverty experienced by those we serve so that more may have life to the full.

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