- Habitat for Humanity Singapore
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it
Updated: Feb 14
It’s 9:30am on a Saturday morning, and our team had just arrived to put the finishing touches to our last Project HomeWorks session for 2022. Our homeowner 44 year old Mdm Julianah had just woken up and was having her morning 3-in-1 coffee. Currently staying alone, the mother of 6 takes pride talking about her children, and their creative endeavours in the arts scene.
Amongst her prized possessions - are stacks of toy models left behind by one of her sons, and paintings done by her children, which she lovingly keeps by her bedside. She has plans to display them.
As the team started to move furniture around in preparation for painting works, a soundtrack from the 90s started streaming through a speaker sitted on one of the now defunct tv consoles. Immersing in her favourite music and tv shows on Youtube is how Mdm Julianah spends most of her days presently.
Due to battling ongoing auto-immune disease and a mental health condition, she has been unable to upkeep the state of her home, and is currently living separately from her children.
" I get a visitor every now and then. I call her Lady in Black. When she (depression) knocks on the door, I welcome her. I don’t shoo her away. I embrace her, and listen to what she has to say. I give myself a hug. Holding on steadfastly to One who is greater than I am, has given me the peace and strength to go through everyday. "
Despite all odds, Mdm Juliana does her very best to get by every single day. Every now and then, friends come over to assist her to the nearby supermarket for daily groceries. On days she has the bandwidth, her routine includes sitting on a stool in the kitchen to do simple cooking. On weekdays, a social worker comes by to deliver her breakfast and lunch. Both meals cost around $15, which includes a drink and dessert.
When asked about her hopes and wishes, we witnessed a quiet yet resolute desire for family reunification someday. With a twinkle in her eye, Mdm Juliana shared, “If I had a bigger house with many rooms, I would like each room to have different purposes. A room for my son to do his art, a room facing nice window scenery, something that inspires me. That would be my art room. The walls would be filled with paintings”.
We hope that the refreshed home will be the first step for Mdm Julianah to achieve her heart’s deepest yearnings. Beyond the housing intervention, she will continue to receive financial and social service support from community partners on the ground.
A big thank YOU to our volunteers for dedicating their time off during the festive season to show love and care to the people who need it most!
You can give vulnerable homeowners like Mdm Juliana, a new lease of life by donating to our Chinese New Year fundraiser campaign at: give.asia/beachangemakertoday Together, let’s be the change the world needs to see!