Cop helps youth kick crime through futsal
Police officer helps and befriends wayward youths
This National Day, we celebrate with 16 stories of people who overcame adversity to give back to society. Read their stories and watch the videos at tnp.sg/ndp2016
Growing up, there were several opportunities for Mr Muhammad Fuad Mohd Yassin to fall into bad company as his mother was not around most of the time.
"Since I was 10, my mother became the sole breadwinner for my two older brothers and me.
"She was away at work most of the time, earning money to support the family," said Mr Fuad, who is now a police staff sergeant.
Despite her absence, the family remained close, and that kept Staff Sgt Fuad, 28, out of the trouble.
"We shared our problems and looked out for each other in our own ways.
"It taught me right from wrong, good from bad.
"I was also friends with kids who were less fortunate than us and I supposed that opened my eyes too," he said.
So when he got his dream job as a police officer eight years ago, Staff Sgt Fuad made up his mind to help wayward youths, many of whom strayed "because they came from broken families".
"I am fortunate I am able to be where I am today because of a loving family.
"It also inspires me to share with these youths that their past does not matter.
"It is how they shape their future that counts," he said.
He said jumping in to advise youths does not work.
"I need to befriend them first, gain their trust before I can show my concern and sincerity," he said.
Staff Sgt Fuad recalled a boy he mentored in 2010.
"He was addicted to glue sniffing when I met him. It took some time before we became friends.
"It was only after he trusted me that I started giving him advice on how he could turn his life around.
"He listened and eventually graduated from ITE (Institute of Technical Education) and is now working in the civil service.
"I am happy to see he has changed for the better, as it is not easy for someone to kick the habit and give up inhalant addiction.
"I felt a sense of achievement, knowing that I succeeded in helping him," he said.
Staff Sgt Fuad is currently involved in the Delta League, a futsal competition jointly organised by the Singapore Police Force and National Crime Prevention Council and funded by Tote Board, to prevent crime through forging friendships with youths.
Delta League, which is made up of 2,000 players who make up 96 teams, was the brainchild of the Clementi Police Division and is open to boys aged between 13 and 17.
It started in 2011 with 16 teams.
Staff Sgt Fuad said: "I have been involved in Delta League for the last three years and it has provided me with the opportunity to befriend youths and that helps me guide them better.
"I would share my story and they would share theirs.
"Their stories also helped me understand why they behaved the way they did.
"Delta League also sets a platform where I become a role model for many of them.
"I enjoy working with youths and seeing the drive in them when they are given the motivation," added the father of three boys, who are between eight years and eight months old.
Staff Sgt Fuad said he will do his utmost to raise his sons right.
"I will be there for them, for their growing up years and to guide them emotionally too," he said.
"I know I cannot heal the world alone, but I am glad that I am making a difference with every step I take."
TNP SPIRIT OF 16 GIVINGBACK
The beneficiary is Muhammadiyah Association