“I really appreciate KeyStart for helping us; if not the stress level is too high… now we have a place to come home early to relax. It is quiet… The children can come home to study and cook their meals. Now my children have a place to call their own”
With the help of KeyStart Access Fund, Mr Borhan moved into his new home with his 3 teenage children, in January 2019. It was a bittersweet moment when he received the cheque from the KeyStart Team to pay for the cash shortfall he needed for his flat, because “otherwise we will have to give up the flat”. This was a far cry from the nomadic life that the family lived in the last ten years since Mr Borhan and his wife divorced. As part of the requirement by HDB, Mr Borhan was required to sell his matrimonial home. The timing of the sale in 2007 meant that his flat was sold at a loss, incurring debts that he had to spend the next decade servicing. In the ten years, Mr Borhan moved around with his children to live with different relatives, most recently with his brother’s family, packing 13 people in a 4-room flat.
“At that time, we don’t go home after school because there is no space; I go to the library to do my homework… we come home only late at night to sleep… sometimes I sleep only in the morning, because there is no space to sleep, so I just wait till others get up before I get my sleep…” said Mr Borhan’s second daughter, who is currently studying floristry in Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
Mr Borhan now works as a store supervisor with a good salary. Even though the daily commute is about four hours, he has been industrious and consistent in his work because he would do everything for his children to give them a good home.
“Now we can eat together at home, and over the weekend I can cook for the children. (This was something that I didn’t used to have), as previously we didn’t have space, now we can spend more time at home together, it hasn’t happened for a long time,” said Mr Borhan.
As for the children, they “…can sleep better now”, “…study more because it is quieter”and “…can concentrate on my studies better”. At time of writing, Mr Borhan’s youngest child, Nurul, had just received an Edusave Merit Award.