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A Helping Hand When Times Get Tough

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By Kay del Rosario

Joanna Yap has two beautiful daughters who mean the world to her. The 52-year-old single mum would do anything for them, even giving up a good career as an engineer.

That was the decision she made when her younger daughter Amelia was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay, a condition where children are significantly delayed in their cognitive and physical development.

“There was a big drop in my pay. But for me, the important thing is education and how I can teach her [Amelia].

“When she was young, early intervention was very important. If I miss it, that’s it. She’s not going to learn anymore,” Joanna said.

With much of her time dedicated to her girls, Joanna could only take on part-time work as a kindergarten teacher. She had this job for seven years until she was let go in December 2020 due to restructuring.

She now works as a care assistant at a nursing home.

“I had zero knowledge on how to take care of a senior – transferring them from wheelchair to chair, how to feed them, how to talk to them – it was a struggle at first.

“But I told myself, just go ahead and learn a day at a time to gain experience,” Joanna said.

This determination to overcome challenges gets her going. But sometimes, there are burdens too heavy to bear alone.

She admits, “At my lowest point, I will cry first. After that, I tell myself to forget all the troubles and look forward to something that is positive, something that is happy. Then I move on.”

As a union member, Joanna and her family have been receiving help for daily necessities and school needs through various NTUC-U Care Fund assistance programmes and education bursaries since 2013.

For her, the small amount she gets makes a big difference.

“As a single parent, finance is a big problem. It has helped me to be less stressed in this area. The stress has been taken out,” Joanna said.

 

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