Empowering Sustainable Change

The MWS Family Services cluster supports families in distress through 4 MWS Family Service Centres, the MWS Family Development Programme which focuses on debt alleviation and asset building, and the MWS Family Support Programme that provides training and guidance for parents of pre-teens and teenagers.

In addition, we care for youths at risk through a community-based rehabilitative programme, and children through an after-school programme.

After Nurlydiana Binte Nordin and her husband and children left her parents' home over a dispute in 2017, they found themselves struggling to survive.

Although her husband worked long hours and Nurlydiana took on odd jobs like babysitting, while raising their 2 young children, they could barely make ends meet.

At her wits' end, Nurlydiana, now 32 years old, sought financial assistance from MWS Covenant Family Service Centre - Hougang. However, her social worker uncovered that Nurlydiana's financial difficulties were linked to more deep-seated childhood trauma.

Growing up, Nurlydiana was subjected to physical and emotional abuse, and exposed to drug use. As the oldest child, she was also forced to take on the adult responsibility of looking after her younger siblings when her parents divorced and her father was incarcerated. These adverse childhood experiences had negative, lasting impacts on her psychological and mental well-being.

Working closely with Nurlydiana, MWS Senior Social Worker Pamela Goh first ensured that the familyʼs basic needs were met by helping her apply for financial assistance. Resourceful and resilient, Nurlydiana sought to land a better-paying job even while she applied for aid. While she used to earn $200 a month, Nurlydiana now draws $3,000 a month as a courier.

Counselling was also provided to help Nurlydiana heal emotionally. Viewing Nurlydiana's case through a trauma-informed lens, Pamela identified her trauma symptoms and worked with her to manage them. "I taught her simple grounding techniques like tapping into her 5 senses to bring her back into the present moment whenever she gets flashbacks. This helps the symptoms like breathlessness subside," shared Pamela.

Over time, Nurlydiana reported significantly fewer trauma-related symptoms, and found herself better able to manage her emotions and even be a role model for her children.

"I used to get triggered by the smallest things. At times, I would relapse (from past trauma). It was affecting my children, so I knew I needed help. Grounding techniques help me to control negative emotions like the anger I feel over my childhood incidents. I'm a lot calmer and level-headed now," shared Nurlydiana

Her husband added, "Sometimes, when I give my wife advice, it doesn't go through. But with Pamela's help, she listens. Counselling has benefitted our marriage and children."

In addition, over the 4 years that the Centre journeyed= with Nurlydiana and her family, their financial situation not only stabilised, but improved markedly.

In 2022, Nurlydiana and her family upgraded to a 5-room flat and bought a car. The couple, who welcomed their fifth child in June 2022, is also financially stable enough to shoulder the grocery expenses of her parents and siblings.

"I never expected this much progress. My family and kids are very happy with the changes too," said Nurlydiana.

MWS believes that vulnerable people also have inherent strengths and abilities. In empowering our residents, we can meet their physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs more effectively and provide a higher quality of life.

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Learn more about our initiatives in every impact area.
Seniors who are Socially Isolated
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Youths at Risk
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Children from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
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Chronically Ill and Destitute
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