Already into his last 6 months of serving National Service, 23-year-old Amirans knew it was now or never to finally improve his family’s living conditions.
Before embarking on the next chapter of his life and thinking about starting his own family, Amirans was determined to give his mother a better home by revamping their cramped & bed bug-infested family house.
The bed bug infestation in his home started when he was as young as 8-years-old. “The bed bugs will come out and when they start to bite it feels like a needle poking you. They’ll attack in large groups so sometimes I can see a group of them under my pillow or running around my bed,” Amirans recalled.
Sleep never came easy and it affected his studies when he was in secondary school. “I’ll just do my best to concentrate. Food gives me energy so I would eat more in school. I use the energy from the food I eat to just survive. If not then I’d really be asleep in class,” said the ITE graduate.
According to his mother Mdm Zuraidah, the infestation started when her own mother came to live in their 3-room Bedok flat. When all the different types of cleaners & insecticides couldn’t stop the infestation from spreading, Mdm Zuraidah started throwing out all their infested furniture as a last resort.
Money was tight for the family, with Mdm Zuraidah working as block cleaner in the nearby estates to support her 3 children while her husband was incarcerated for a period of time. The family started receiving more bags of clothing donations than they had space to store.
Large transparent bags stuffed with clothes overtook the rooms in the house and created even more hiding spots for the bed bugs. When Habitat Singapore’s fumigation partner assessed the home, they had rated the infestation a level 9 out of 10.
Years of growing up in an unsanitary environment resulted in all 3 children developing asthma and breathing difficulties. Amirans also confided that he was ashamed of the state of his house and would never invite his friends over.
“I was the one who told (our social worker) about our house condition and everything. If not, we still wouldn’t be able to sleep and everything. How long more did we have to live in this condition?” said Amirans.
Being in a new relationship also got Amirans thinking about his future and how the state of the house could undermine his partner’s closeness with his own family.
“If I’m really serious with my girlfriend and I want to bring her to see my parents and come to my house, it’ll be a disaster. What if she sits down and she also gets attacked by the bed bugs. Who wouldn’t run away? She could say ‘next time it’s not necessary to visit your parents’ and she’ll avoid going to my house,” he shared.
Covid-19 had delayed the family getting help until a Project HomeWorks session was finally scheduled for January this year. Amirans was ecstatic about the transformation of the house and was the main driving force in leading the clean up alongside our volunteers.
With his mother’s leg pains progressively worsening over the years, he had already been taking over a majority of the chores. The proactive help from Habitat Singapore and volunteers was a welcome change for Amirans after years of little cooperation from his siblings.
With the support of the volunteers, Amirans was finally able to see the dream home he had for his mother take shape: the living room and kitchen was neat & organised, and their bedrooms were finally free of bed bugs.
“I’ve already thought about it for a long time. Before I get married, I want to give my mum a good house to live in. I’d like (for her) to have a nice home,” he said.
Every home transformation is made possible by two elements working in tandem: the consistent support of our monthly donors & muscle power from our volunteers.
When monthly givers, like our HopeBuilders, funds clean & safe homes, they also fund stability & dignity for vulnerable Singaporeans every day, all year long.