Caption: Mdm Fizah having a conversation with TOUCH’s social worker Ms Chew Wei Ting
“The support provided by TOUCH has made a big difference to my family. Sometimes, when you try to solve issues on your own, you feel lost and helpless. But with strong support, you feel more confident in meeting the challenges ahead."
The pandemic outbreak has placed tremendous pressure on vulnerable families, who already face multiple stressors on the work and family front.
For Mdm Fizah, 40, it was especially challenging. She had to quit her work as an administrator to care for her four primary school and one secondary school going children, including a child with special needs. It was tough for the family with her husband, Mr Rashid, as the sole breadwinner. At one point, he was holding two jobs – as a trailer driver in the morning and a Grab driver at night – to provide for the family. Money was tight.
Caption: (From left) Qairul, Quraisy, Mdm Fizah, Qaidir, Mr Rashid, Qalish, Qayyum
Mdm Fizah was referred to Ms Chew Wei Ting, a social worker from TOUCH Integrated Family Group, to see how the family could be better supported. Her children were already supported by TOUCH Young Arrows (TYA), which caters to their social, emotional and educational needs. Mdm Fizah learnt more about the financial schemes available and was given support as her family transited from a purchased flat to a rental flat. However, they still had to settle outstanding debts.
During the circuit breaker period with everyone confined at home, it became more stressful for Mdm Fizah. There was limited space at home and there were laptop issues. Fortunately, TYA provided the children with laptops sponsored by Facebook. TYA’s volunteer coaches also came to deliver the laptops and helped the children navigate virtual platforms.
Caption: (From left) Qaidir and children from TYA
Caption: Brothers Qaidir and Qairul enjoying a fun time together at TYA’s pizza party
“I am so relieved that the TYA volunteers can continue to coach my children through Zoom every Saturday. They have also learnt to be confident and independent. It is a great relief to me and I don’t worry so much. I know they are in good hands,” Said Mdm Fizah.
To provide further support, the family was introduced to TOUCH’s Home Improvement Project – Aspire. This project allows low-income families to tap on funds to purchase essential items for their new home. As part of its efforts to empower the family and provide sustainable solutions, TOUCH’s coaches also worked with Mr Rashid and Mdm Fizah to explore career options and upskilling opportunities to increase their employability. The couple were also given practical handles to build emotional resilience and coping strategies.
“The support provided by TOUCH has made a big difference to my family. Sometimes, when you try to solve issues on your own, you feel lost and helpless. But with strong support, you feel more confident in meeting the challenges ahead. Being aware of available options and what I must do to achieve them also gives me a greater sense of confidence and purpose in life,” added Mdm Fizah.