When I was growing up, I had what many would consider a privileged lifestyle. I had tons of toys and branded clothes, attended enrichment programmes, and travelled the world with my parents. Yet, I always felt sad and empty as if there was something missing in my life.
For the first 20 years of my life, my dad worked overseas, returning only once in a long while to visit my mum and me. His visits were so few and precious that I would cling to him, demanding his full attention. Those were indeed happy moments for me. But feeling the acute loss of his presence, I would cry unconsolably and lock myself in my room whenever it was time for him to leave.
While I appreciated his sacrifice of working hard to give us a good life, I constantly struggled with my emotions and craved my dad’s love, time, and attention. The pain of missing my father sometimes seemed unbearable.
Finding the Silver Lining Today
I realise that my personal experience has helped me to understand the importance of love, care, and attention that all children need, especially during their early stages of life. Whenever I encounter a child from an underprivileged or broken family, or a child at risk, I ask myself, “What can I do to help, comfort, and encourage them?”. I want to be able to bring them happiness and assure them that I will always be by their side to guide them through the difficult times.
I have been with Morning Star for six years now, and love working with children who are challenging. I strongly believe that every child has a story to tell and deserves to be nurtured and encouraged so that they can become responsible, caring adults and citizens.
While these children would test my patience some days, I acknowledge that this is part-and-parcel of their growing up and my love for them should be a constant in their lives.
My heart finds fulfilment when they improve and I see the difference that I make in their lives. They would write notes of appreciation which warm my heart; and when I see a significant change in their behaviour for the better, I am filled with gladness. My journey with Morning Star has helped me to grow and appreciate what I have in life. It is when you see how other people without privileges and material comforts struggle that you realise how blessed you are.
– Lim Jia, Facilitator, Morning Star Community Services