Turning Silver Years into Gold
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Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Social and Family Development & Culture, Community and Youth Mr Eric Chua joined MWS befriender, Roy Tay, to visit Madam Tan Chiew Leng and her family to offer his encouragement. Roy has been journeying with Madam Tan and her family for the past two years, and visits them monthly.
During the visit, 51-year-old Madam Tan shared how she turned to MWS Family Development Programme (FDP) for help in 2018. At that time, she was jobless and saddled with debt, while having to raise her kids single-handedly. MWS FDP is a debt clearance and savings matching scheme where MWS matches with $2 every dollar that beneficiaries clear in debt or save up.
As the family’s sole breadwinner, Madam Tan’s greatest concerns are the growing needs and expenditure of her youngest daughter and son. As she wants to focus on raising her kids well, she chose to work part-time and only earns $200 a month as a cleaner.
Madam Tan is close to saving $10,000 and hopes to graduate from the programme very soon. She intends to use the savings for her children’s educational needs.
Despite her own setbacks, Madam Tan has a heart to help others. She serves as a community volunteer, engaging with her neighbours and collecting items that are usable and distributing them to the needy. Like a village chief, Madam Tan helps to care for others, including assisting her neighbour’s autistic son with daily living activities.
In addition, Madam Tan does door-to-door knocking to identify the needs of seniors living in the community, and befriends them. She also helps social service agencies distribute gifts and donations to needy families.
Madam Tan said that she is very thankful for MWS FDP as she is less stressed now, with the accumulation of savings.
Acknowledging her strength and resilience, Mr Chua commended Madam Tan for her “big-heartedness”, for going the extra mile to help others in her community who are in need, despite her own financial challenges. The Family Service Centre in Madam Tan’s area is now looking into how best to assist her.
For families like Madam Tan’s, clearing mounting debts or saving for a rainy day can seem like an insurmountable task. MWS Empowerun aims to galvanise the community to bring colours to the lives of our beneficiaries who face bleak futures and harsh challenges in their daily lives. Funds raised will go towards empowering over 9,000 MWS beneficiaries in need.
MWS Empowerun took place as a virtual run from 15 to 28 Oct, as well as in a physical format on 29 Oct at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Mr Chua graced MWS Empowerun as the Guest-of-Honour, and participated in the 5km in-person run.
Help us bring colours to lives by donating to MWS Empowerun. Donations will continue here until 30 November 2022.