She was only 8 when her parents got separated. Dayang’s mother walked out on her family when she was just a mere child struggling with the woes of development. Growing up without a motherly figure was indeed difficult for Dayang, especially in her growing up years. And her parents’ divorce was not the end of their struggles for the family of five.
Almost on the verge of poverty, her father struggled to make ends meet and to provide for the family. He was the sole breadwinner and often had to work long hours just to put food on the table. “My dad is the sole provider of the family. He takes care of us and works really hard just to make sure we have enough to eat. My aunt helps out a lot too, she is like a mother to me.” Having a supportive aunt since young certainly helped Dayang tide through difficult times and made her life a lot rosier.
Dayang is currently under Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) and receives money every week for her food expenses. Oftentimes, she has to scrimp and save every meal just to save up for things she yearns to have. Growing up was especially difficult for Dayang, particularly so when she saw how her friends were always buying the latest technological gadgets and merchandise. Unlike most peers her age, things don’t come easily for her.
To ease her family’s woes, Dayang is even contemplating a part-time job to offload her father’s burden. This is also why she is extremely grateful for the IEP bursary that Temasek Foundation Cares has given to her, which has helped to relieve father’s financial load considerably. Despite her disadvantaged situation, Dayang remains hopeful and has big dreams for the future.
“Every day that I have is a blessing to me. I take these challenges as motivation to work harder. I want to be successful someday, I want to be a renowned chef.” She believes in never giving up no matter what life deals her with, turning every adversity into a moment of strength. Her positivity is something that will definitely put her in good stead for the future.