The Amazing Souls among Us

As we continue to work through the Circuit Breaker trying to journey with the community, we have seen people who are touched by our outreach to them. And in return, we are humbled by their remarkable words!

Photo by Yu Hosoi on Unsplash

With the Circuit Breaker extension, case workers from ACMI made many calls to check on our clients to ensure that they were given the necessary physical, emotional, and mental support during these uncertain times.

These case workers had spent the last week calling families to arrange for a second round of care packs, which ACMI had planned to distribute to vulnerable transnational families and migrant individuals.

With many distress appeals coming in and ACMI’s continuous efforts to reach families, one of their case workers, Christopher Yu, was deeply touched by the generosity and altruism of one migrant family.

He shared that the single mother of two had said: “Please give my care pack to someone else who needs it more than me.

“I still have my job. Even though my salary is not much, I am able to provide for my two kids and take care of them. I’m sure there are others out there who need it more than me.”

Surprising and, yet, such humbling words.

Christopher said, “It was really heartening to hear such generosity from our beneficiary, especially after a full day of attending to distress calls and cases.”

Indeed, it is inspiring to hear that those who have received support and care from others, would want to care and give back to others.

It takes an amazing soul to be able to see the needs of others.

Strength through Adversity

*Linda’s husband passed on six years ago after contracting HIV, leaving her and their son behind. Unfortunately, she discovered that she had also contracted HIV from him. Linda had promised her husband that she would care for their only son and intended to fulfil this promise.

Linda and her son held foreign passports, although her husband was Singaporean. So, the flat could not be owned by them. Her migrant status also meant that she could not gain full-time employment. And her son attends polytechnic and will shortly be required to serve his national service and make a choice on his nationality.

They were referred to ACMI for legal assistance. ACMI enlisted the help of a pro bono lawyer and persuaded her sister-in-law to provide support and alternative housing to the mother and son.

“My son was a teenager when we moved to Singapore… when I think of my husband, I resolve to do everything possible to ensure that he has a better future as that was my husband’s wish. No matter how hard it is, I will struggle to see him through.”

Her son is doing well in his studies, made possible through a bursary. His humour helps them through tough times. Once when asked to do the Offertory at Mass, they were asked if they were husband and wife. She responded that they were mother and son, and her son quipped, “See, Mom, I told you not to wear skirts like that.” She laughed, “I cannot help it… I can only wear what I get from the thrift shop.”

Due to the high cost of HIV medications and their growing financial demands, she decided on her own to reduce her dosage. This affected her health badly, and she became weaker. Just as legal matters of the estate was settled, case workers noticed her declining physical state and investigated. Her doctors urged her to continue her medications properly and attend regular check-ups.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) together with ACMI and the social worker from a local hospital formed a tripartite network of collaborative support around Linda. They assisted with her obligatory medical costs and found a longer term solution to her financial and medical needs. The parish of St Ignatius stepped forward to help with the costs for medicine as part of their work of mercy for the vulnerable. Meanwhile a benefactor provided ‘groceries that were nourishing which eventually boosted Linda’s health, much to her gratitude’.

With the support of ACMI and other well-meaning organisations, hopefully both mother and son will be able to live a better life.

*Not her real name

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