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  • Habitat for Humanity Singapore

Kindness which knows no bounds

“We need to understand each other. Then the world will be a better place.”

This is 81-year-old Uncle Mottalib’s life motto, and it truly encapsulates just the kind of person he is.

The kind of person who would take compassion on a homeless stranger and open his home to the stranger. Not just for one night, or one week – but for twenty years!

To Uncle Mottalib, truly supporting someone is not about taking the easy way out. It is about showing love in a tangible way which meets their felt needs too. In this case, it was giving a stranger-in-need a sense of belonging and groundedness which can only come with having a home to call one’s own.

Yet, in showing unconditional love comes its challenges.

Uncle Mottalib’s housemate had mental health issues which resulted in hoarding behaviour. While Uncle Mottalib could handle the decluttering and cleaning when he was younger, old age and sickness soon hindered this. As the years passed, the house condition deteriorated, and it became an unhealthy home for the two housemates.

While the average man might throw in the towel and decide to retract the help given, Uncle Mottalib continued to provide shelter for his housemate. Even when items started piling up on the only bed in the house, Uncle Mottalib gave his housemate the sofa to sleep on while he slept on the floor.

Where does this seemingly endless well of compassion come from? Well, it is Uncle Mottalib’s life motto which defines his actions. By learning and listening more about other people’s beliefs and experiences (this is also the reason why he is an avid reader of psychology and religious material), we can understand each other better, and love each other better.

And that is the key, according to Uncle Mottalib, which will “make the world a better place”.

Decluttering alongside our homeowners is always a precious time because we get to hear their stories and experiences during the process. The more we learn, the more we understand – and suddenly, its not really about the task at hand anymore, but the relationships forged.

A big thank you to volunteers from Goldman Sachs who not only took the time to physically do the works, but also to learn and understand and love. You are the key to making the world a better place!


You can support homeowners such as Uncle Mottalib too by becoming our monthly giver, also affectionately known as our HopeBuilders! The consistent financial support each month is truly integral in powering the work Habitat does.

Join us a HopeBuilder today!

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