Saturday, December 22, 2007

(Single) Mums the word!

Since Jumble Station came under the radar of many people, I’ve had folks asking me, “how do you get to know the single mums who are in need and how do you really know they’re genuine?

Remember, Lian See and I are volunteers with the Shelter Home’s Single Mothers Network so there is already a growing base of single mums registered with Shelter Home but we’re also open to any new names recommended regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Once we get the name, a call will be made and a home visit will be arranged by either Lian See or by the paid volunteer from Shelter Home called Seetha.

During the home visit, information is gathered on the actual situation and the most urgent need is identified after which some food aid (groceries) and or a cash donation, the first of a few, is given to enable the single mum to buy or pay for what ever else is most needed.

Take Victoria, a mother of six children aged 2-14 years old, who is living in a terribly run down shack at Jalan Ipoh. Victoria was recommended by the wife of one of my colleague in The Edge and we were shocked to see the deplorable conditions she and the kids have had to put up with ever since she lost her job some 10 months ago. The shack was more open air than closed, when it rains, it pours right into their sofa set and seeps through every crevice, leaving the place a dank, mouldy environment.

Victoria’s hubby had abandoned the family after going off to work outstation some two years ago. Lian See and Seetha were so moved by the children’s plight, they immediately handed over RM200 so Victoria could buy groceries to cook for the kids instead of waiting for some kind neighbours to send over their leftovers.

That was done for some weeks even as efforts were made by Ping Ngan to rent a place to house Victoria and her children. Ping Ngan search, located one that very close to her La Lavender café and paid the rental deposit so Victoria and the kids could move in as soon as the school holidays began in November. The idea was to have Victoria stay at the house, work at La Lavender and still be close enough to walk home to monitor her children.

At the last minute, Victoria changed her mind and we later learnt that her husband had returned and was now living with his family once again. She is now crossed out of our list officially and the whole family is now in the care of a church. Jumble Station's aim is to help those Single Mums who are willing to get out of the poverty rut they're trapped in, we help them to get on their feet and be more indpendent not give them handouts for life...more on mums coming soon.....antz

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