With warm embraces and beaming smiles, Celine and Celice, two of Amy's daughters, were undaunted and unbeaten by their hardships in life.
Amy always joked that it would take volumes to document her life. Based on the little she shared, she could have had a difficult childhood. She hardly saw her parents and was raised by her grandparents.
Her first marriage failed, and her subsequent union, which saw the birth of Celice and Celine, landed her in an even worse situation. Amy and her children were homeless for a while, wandering from place to place until she rented a one-room apartment five years ago.
Despite life’s continuous challenges, Amy juggles between being the sole breadwinner in her family, taking care of her children and ensuring that they have a roof over their heads. Like so many others in her situation, she somehow manages to find a way to provide for her children and give them a better life than she had. She understands that family is built from strong bonds and ensures that everyone in her family is in frequent contact with her son, who is currently in the custody of her ex-husband.
Amy took the initiative to find a job that offered her the flexibility to be there for her kids. Knowing that education is important, Amy ensures that her children attend school regularly and beams with pride that her eldest child, Cecilia, is in her final year at SHATEC and is currently completing an internship with a prestigious event company.
Amy has a way of stretching her dollar and has developed the financial discipline to take care of the debts she had accumulated. She also painstakingly sets aside a small amount each month towards her CPF self-contribution. She is part of the FDP3 (Family Development Programme) community of families and has been successfully setting aside $100 a month for the past 1 year for matched savings on a 1:2 dollar basis, thanks to a partnership with the Methodist Welfare Service.
Recognising her zeal and good work ethic, Amy was offered a full-time position early this year as Administrative Assistant with SCC, a position near her children’s school and with CPF contributions at last. With a stronger CPF status and Cecilia joining the workforce next year, Amy, together with a group of families who are similarly planning for home ownership, is exploring KeyStart support to eventually buy her own home.
Amy is very appreciative of the network of co-workers, friends, and neighbours that supported and believed in her. She views them as her Family Partners who has accompanied her through thick and thin.
In gratitude, she empowers her entire family to contribute back to many community initiatives. Amy would never hesitate to extend help to a fellow neighbour and will readily dip into her pocket to give generously from what little she has. Generosity is usually strongest among people with the fewest resources. On Mother's Day this year, we caught a glimpse of Amy's eyes twinkling when a bouquet of flowers and a bracelet were delivered to her workplace.
On the bouquet was a note that said: “Mama, we are so proud of you! Love, Cecilia, Celice and Celine.”