Help ease Matthew’s financial struggle to continue his studiesCampaign started on 30/03/2021
Raised of S$26,000.00
0Days to go
The case workers have cited and verified the family tree, income and expenses, as well as medical documents of Matthew that certify his circumstances. Here’s his story.
I grew up in a lower-income family. For as long as I can remember, my mother has been afflicted with schizophrenia, a chronic mental condition that inhibits her ability to care for my younger siblings and I. She had erratic moods and frequent episodes of outbursts where things turn violent. My father quit his job and took on the sole responsibility of being the full-time care-giver for my mother and the three of us children. Consequently, there was no income in the family. Those times were tough when whether we could have our next meal was a question and resources were extremely scarce. My family sought help from the family service centre and social financial aid from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), which was granted to us. Despite the financial grants, albeit limited, raising three children was a huge struggle. I took it upon myself to work whenever school holidays arrived, to chip into the family expenses and to buy the things a typical teenager my age would have wanted- new clothes, new shoes. As a result, I learnt to be independent from a young age.
However, things took a turn for the worse. Anger, violence and maltreatment brewed in the family. There were a lot of hate, resentment and fault-finding going around and my father became physically aggressive towards my mother and the three of us. The situation was so dire that police officers were a usual appearance at our two-room rental flat every other few week. With the worsening family dynamics, the effects spilled over to other aspects of my life, like my studies and overall mental well-being. I started experiencing depression and anxiety, which were particularly debilitating during my junior college years. I eventually sought help from my school counsellor, and mustered enough courage to seek help from a social worker at the family service centre near to my residential area. Child Protection Order for my younger siblings were eventually filed. Whilst I was too old to quality for the Child Protection Order, I took it upon myself to protect myself in times of physical conflicts at home. Despite all these setbacks, I managed to pull through and complete my ‘A’ levels. I enlisted into the army in April 2018 and sought help from Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) under the SAF Financial Assistance Scheme. During that period of time, I gradually realised I was growing older and the space in our two-room rental flat at home was becoming hugely constrained for the five of us (my younger sister was sleeping in the bed room with my parents while my younger brother and I were sleeping in the living room). Therefore, I requested to voluntarily stay-in camp bunks during weekends while others book-out.
I completed my 2 years of National Service in February 2020 and eventually had to move out from staying in the bunks of my camp. Lodging became a dire concern for me and I reached back out to my social worker from Feiyue Family Service Centre. I explored various options with my social worker and eventually, with the referral and aid from Ministry of Social and Family Development, I was referred to a shelter. I was eventually accepted into one, and have stayed here since then, from April 2020.
Matthew is currently in Year 1 of his degree programme. As the degree offered by a private institution, he does not qualify for education loan. Matthew hopes to continue pursuing his degree and wants to do well. Ray of Hope would like to raise $26,000 to support Matthew with the following:
- 3-year course fees ($14,000 for 3 years)
- Course materials for 2 years ($500 x 24 months)
*Matthew is not receiving social assistance. He is only receiving a study grant of $6000 a year for his 3-year programme.