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Illuminating Hope Amidst Pandemic Challenges

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

"Thanks to SHINE’s donors, my family and I have been able to get through the difficulties we faced during the circuit breaker, especially when I was out of a job."

With the sudden and unprecedented arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis unraveled Mdm Norashidah's life's essential support systems.

Her then seven-year-old twins, Irdina Batrisya and Irdina Barniyah, also faced their own uphill battle.

Struggling with reading and word recognition, they had just embarked on their Primary 1 journey when the pandemic forced them to stay home.

SHINE Students During The Pandemic

Adding to her challenges, her 80 plus-year-old grandmother, battling dementia and mood swings, could no longer attend her day-care center and was confined to their home.

As the sole breadwinner and a single mother, Mdm Norashidah found herself shouldering the burdens of Home-Based Learning and her grandmother's daily care.

The financial strain of providing three meals a day, along with essential supplies like adult diapers, further compounded her difficulties.

In the midst of this despair, your support emerged as a lifeline.

Through our donor-funded Actualizing Learning Potential Promoting Social skills Programme (ALPS) Elementary classes, a weekly language and literacy intervention program, Batrisya and Barniyah received the critical assistance they needed with their schoolwork.

SHINE's Associate Psychologist, Ms. Jolene, became their guiding light, offering weekly scaffolded assignments—structured tasks that gradually increased in complexity, tailored to the topics they were studying.

These assignments were complemented by one-on-one video calls, providing personalized support.

Additionally, the provision of supermarket vouchers played a vital role in alleviating some of the household's financial burdens.

The Twins Receiving a Good Bag from a SHINE Partner

When SHINE first encountered the twins in early 2020, their ability to read common English words was severely limited.

However, the last assessment revealed remarkable progress, with the twins advancing three levels in the Dolch Word List.

Today, their growth is evident as they tackle comprehension tasks instead of struggling with word recognition.

Mdm Norashidah expressed her gratitude, saying,

"Thanks to SHINE’s donors, my family and I have been able to get through the difficulties we faced during the circuit breaker, especially when I was out of a job. Ms Jolene’s video calls truly made a difference to my children, and I am extremely grateful."

Stories like this highlight the power of community support and the resilience of individuals facing adversity. SHINE, along with its dedicated donors and professionals, continues to illuminate hope in the lives of those who need it most.

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Together, we can make a difference and bring light to even the darkest of times.

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