Singapore

Needy students get supplies for new school year under scheme

An accident in June left Madam Animaton Mohd Tahil, 46, unable to work and her family without a source of income.

Her job as an inventory inspector required her to stand for up to 12 hours a day, which she can no longer do because of a foot injury.

Her husband is unemployed, and the family has been relying on assistance from the Social Service Office. Providing for their three sons, aged 16, 13 and 11, is a struggle.

"Sometimes they will give me words of encouragement or say they want to find a job.

"When they talk like that, it makes me want to cry," Madam Animaton said.

With a new school year coming, the family was worried about paying for new supplies, but yesterday they received some welcome relief.

The boys were among 166 students from low-income families who received new school bags and bookstore vouchers.

The beneficiaries, aged between seven and 21, also got $60 in supermarket vouchers and other items under the Pack My Backpack initiative organised by the Sembawang Community Club's youth executive committee.

"My boys couldn't sleep last night; they were so excited to get their new backpacks," said Madam Animaton.

A $200 bursary consisting of bookstore and supermarket vouchers was also given out to the families of 137 pre-schoolers aged between five and six, to help them defray schooling and household expenses.

They were disbursed by the North West Community Development Council, which raised the money for 1,400 students across the North West district.

- TIFFANY FUMIKO TAY

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