- Habitat for Humanity Singapore
Restoring Homes, Restoring Hope
Updated: Mar 18, 2022
Project HomeWorks isn’t just about restoring the condition of a home. Behind every home, there is a precious homeowner who is looking for new hope and a push to help turn their lives around. Home is the sanctuary where one’s life stems from - various studies have described the correlation housing has with all areas of life, including physical health, psycho-emotional wellbeing, motivation to do life and even self-expression. So when we rehabilitate a home, it is always with the purpose of helping our homeowners bounce back in other areas of their life too.
Sometimes, bouncing back is hard, especially when one has led a spirited life before setback - how does one find the strength to forge ahead with an open heart despite what has been lost? That’s why we find homeowners like 69-year-old Mr Mohamed so inspiring.
A unique individual who finds joy in self-expression, Mr Mohamed led a fulfilling life with many hobbies when he was younger. The self-proclaimed avid fashionista loved to shop, and would be inspired by the various designs, patterns and colours he could play around with. He often went out with his equally stylish friends, all decked out in specially curated outfits, to concerts and other entertainment venues. Ever a film buff, he has a precious collection of painstakingly sourced movies – favourite genres include sci-fi, action and horror. To top it off, Mr Mohamed loved to travel too to countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.
However, sustained injury in old age caused him to lose the ability to do what he loved. Alongside the passing of his wife in 2016, life for Mr Mohamed became a mixed bag of grief, struggles with health and mobility issues, and hospital visits due to falls. As years passed, the state of his home deteriorated too. It was as though life and home were both falling apart.
“After I fell sick, I just have no strength to do things. My energy was very low - I had no strength to do what I was supposed to, unlike last time when I would always go out, shop, etc... Now, I can't even stand up, you know? If I fall down again, I think my life will really be gone case.”
When we first visited his two-room rental flat, we were greeted with a living room cluttered with piles of clothes and items, and a bedroom so unkempt that the dust had clumped up. The mattresses Mr Mohamed slept on were dirty and stained.
Last year, Mr Mohamed found the courage to say, “Enough”, that it wasn’t good for him to continue living in such conditions. From then, each day he has made the conscious decision to become stronger. Whether it be going for physical rehabilitation, learning how to use a motorised wheelchair, or working with Habitat Singapore to refresh his home, Mr Mohamed is taking steps to bounce back each day one step at a time and looks forward to the day he can finally go out again independently.
Mr Mohamed also shared his excitement about finally having a decent home to live in again. A less cluttered apartment means having a space to store the motorised wheelchair when he receives it (a step towards independent mobility) and the chance to finally re-organise his beloved clothes (a step towards practising his beloved hobby again). He is confident that the renewed home will give him the motivation and confidence needed for a renewed life.
A big thank you to all the Habitat volunteers who worked tirelessly with Mr Mohamed to restore his home and to give him new hope. It took 5 mammoth sessions of decluttering, cleaning and painting to complete the home rehabilitation, but the impact it would have on Mr Mohamed’s life made all the hard work so worth it.
The affable and welcoming Mr Mohamed is our own little superstar in the making – he has been featured in our Habi-Life, Happy Life video series and also in The Straits Times!
Join us on our journey in giving renewed hope to vulnerable homeowners like Mr Mohamed by donating to our CNY campaign. Let’s be a blessing even as we celebrate with our loved ones this festive season!