After paying off the rent, the family of 5 only has a few hundred dollars left to survive on. ROHI’s case mangers could feel Masni’s helplessness as she filled us in on her situation.
The 39-year-old has three kids, with her youngest son just being 9 years old. The mother of 3 confided in us that there was not much left after deducting the rental arrears and utilities bills. With just a few hundred left, it was barely enough to cover her children’s educational expenses. Masni’s 3 children are not Singapore citizens and their combined school fees amount to around $600 + per month. The situation at home is tense as the kids have been asking their parents for pocket money, but they are unable to give them any. The school is also constantly pressurizing the kids for money to pay for their school fees. The children’s relationship with their parents has become strained as a result, as the kids were frustrated at the situation and are not able to comprehend what their parents are going through.
Masni broke down in tears as she felt she wasn’t doing her part as a parent, but at the same time, she was also doing whatever she can in her best capacity to hold the family together. She is also worried that if this carries on it will affect her children's studies and their overall well-being. The family is doing whatever they can to scrimp and save. They even went as far as walking their children to school just to save on transportation costs. When asked if the school was in the vicinity, Masni told us that they had to walk quite a far distance to get there. Unfortunately, that is the only thing she could think of to save and cut back on their expenses.
Masni’s husband, the sole breadwinner, suffers from slip disc at his back. While the pain is often excruciating, he does not seek treatment and would rather take Panadol to subside the pain, and to save from medical costs. Masni is also currently looking for a job to help supplement the family’s income.
The family has accumulated debts and arrears that have far exceeded their income.As such, ROHI will be raising $350/month for 4 months to support her children’s education arrears as their mum tries to seek employment.
*Name has been changed in order to protect the identity of Mdm Masni and her children.