A Mother's Struggle for Survival

The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures, have pushed millions of people around the world deeper into poverty. In this series of selected articles from the MWS blog archives, we examine the multi-faceted nature of poverty and how one taxi driver survived the circuit breaker with the holistic support of her MWS social worker. 

2020 has been a challenging year for many and even more so for the clients we serve. Together with the generous support of our donors, Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) is glad to have been able to meet the needs of some of the families and individuals who have been hit the hardest.

One such person is Mdm Jaya Lingum, a beneficiary of MWS’ Donate to Bless campaign. A diligent and resourceful mother of 6, Mdm Jaya has been working as a taxi driver to support her family. However, when the economy slowed down due to COVID-19, Mdm Jaya found herself unable to bring home the income she used to.

“During the circuit breaker period, I worked about 8 [to] 10 hours but sometimes, I had to wait for 3 hours just to get one passenger. I couldn’t even cover my diesel money as I made only about $35 a day.”

Mdm Jaya

Her income had dropped by 80% and she was struggling to pay the bills and buy groceries. Mdm Jaya’s husband, a general maintenance contract worker with an airline, was also unable to supplement the family’s income as the aviation industry took a hit.

Her stress was further compounded by the need for pocket money for her older children, and having to care for her younger children at home due to the closure of schools and childcare centres. Despite such immense pressure, Mdm Jaya was resilient and determined to tide her family through.

With a positive attitude as well as encouragement and help from her MWS social worker, Mdm Jaya pulled through the toughest days. A sturdy pillar of support, Mdm Jaya’s social worker listened and counselled, provided weekly groceries money and also helped to apply for financial aid. “[The social worker] was very supportive. She gave me a lot of confidence and helped me in many ways.”

Today, Mdm Jaya continues to work hard as a taxi driver and her income has recovered significantly. Her husband has also managed to secure some projects which helps with the family’s income. MWS is honoured to have journeyed with clients like Mdm Jaya. 

Thank you for giving charitably and enabling us to empower the lives of those we serve to the full.

What can I do to help?

1. Understand

Take your time to question your beliefs, and find out more about poverty in its many forms. Understand it well enough to explain it to friends/family.

2. Care

Care in your own way! As a first step, you can donate and/or volunteer. You’ll be surprised at how little it takes to help change a life.

3. Share

Sharing is caring! Get others to understand and care about poverty in its many forms. How about sharing this article as a conversation starter?

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