A shy child, 5-year old Yana spends most of her time clinging on to her caregiver, 34-year old Noriah at home, or to elder sisters, 15-year old Irrah and 13-year old Lissah, at the TOUCH Young Arrows (TYA) Yishun Club. However, like children of her age, she can be coaxed out of her shyness through play, and when she is with familiar company. Every Saturday, Yana turns up at TYA Yishun for coaching in Mathematics and English. Being surrounded by children her age helps bring her out of her shell, and her enthusiastic response in repeating the phonetic system can often be seen and heard at the club. She also joins other children in values-driven activities, which teach values in fun and experiential ways.
Yana (in yellow) and her siblings, Irrah and Lissah, both of whom are clients-turned-volunteers with TYA
Yana’s cheerful disposition belies the fact that her family often have to live with the bare minimum in a society of excess. Treats such as burgers and fries, or eating out, are indulgences reserved for special events, given that the children are given only $2 in pocket money daily. Apart from studying, the older children also help their mother with housework, and to help look after little Yana and fetch her to and from school when Noriah has to work. With a limited income from her part-time job, Noriah’s financial situation also does not allow for contingencies should any of the children fall ill.
Yana and her family are working hard to get their lives back on track with the help of TYA
Said Noriah, “I taught them that they have to give back to help others in society, and not to be shy to tell others when they are not able to afford certain items. They will have to save up to buy these items as I’m unable to buy these on my salary”. This willingness to serve others in the community, and fortitude in dealing with her family circumstances is admirable, considering that Noriah juggles her part-time work at an F&B outlet, her family commitments such as being a single mother to a family of six, and less than desirable financial situation.
With the help and support of TYA, Yana’s family has taken steps to realise their goals. Older sister Irrah dreams of becoming a photographer when she grows up, while second sister Lissah wants to be a social worker and help others, just like how the family is receiving help from TYA currently.
Will you help the family’s dreams take flight, and run the extra mile for them?