A Mom and her children with special needs
For some people, Shila’s (not her real name) job might be seen as one of the toughest in the world, but the most rewarding one - because many would agree that there is no other job as rewarding as being a mother.
Shila is a mother to six children. Four of whom have special needs, or as we like to call them, ‘Little superheroes’!
When we met Shila, she shared her moving story with us.
"For people to understand, it’s hard. I don’t think anyone understands,” Shila expressed earnestly.
The couple’s plight
Shila is a full-time mother and housewife and takes care of the children while her husband, being the sole breadwinner of their family, works as a dispatch rider. Unfortunately, his salary is not enough to cover their monthly expenses, the children’s school fees and other necessities. According to Shila, their expenses on groceries alone could take up around $680 every month. Their monthly income also goes to buying milk powder and adult diapers for one of their children who requires the items due to their medical condition.
Besides the financial difficulty of getting by, Shila expressed the struggles the couple faced each time they go out as a family.
“Whenever we go out, sometimes the public doesn’t understand. In the past, my oldest child frequently suffered breakdowns in the MRT and it’s hard for us to explain to people what’s happening. So if people get angry, I tell them that my child is special. Even now when we go out, it’s hard for us to understand our own children. There are four of them with different behaviours for us to handle.”
Initially, Shila was very cautious to share her story with us. This is because in the past, she had been taken advantage of because of her situation. Some time ago, an individual had come forward to raise some money for her, but her family did not receive any of it in the end.
Due to the incident, Shila has been more cautious with who she shares her story with. She does not want to be taken advantage of again. Shila expressed that it was like being kicked when you’re already on the ground.
Moving on from the past
Shila worked hard to ensure that she is able to support her family in her own way - through her cooking skills and good food. Before the pandemic happened, Shila sold her home-cooked nasi lemak in bazaars and even at her neighbourhood community club. However when restrictions were put in place for public gatherings and events, Shila’s livelihood was greatly affected.
Currently, Shila is aiming to get a rental stall at a school canteen. Fortunately, she has gotten support from a donor to pay for the stall’s deposit, as well as to buy a few items needed for the stall. However, cooking equipment is going to cost her a lot and she’s working on getting the funds for that too.
“I am interested in this (cooking). Even before this, every year for Hari Raya I take in orders for food, like serunding. There are regular customers who order from me every year. That kind of job, I’m used to it.”
Praying for a better future
In the long-run, Shila prays for the best for her children and aspires for them to be able to lead an independent life in the future. She values education and pushes her children to do well in school - no matter which school they are in. Shila agrees that the current economic climate is growing more unstable, and she wishes that her children will be able to secure good jobs in the future, especially when she is unable to support or care for them as much as she is now.
“It’s a test, no one asks for their children to be this way. But we are chosen by Allah s.w.t. And this is our path to paradise. So I don’t care what people say. I don’t care, they can say what they want.”
Global Ehsan Relief aims to extend our helping hand to families and their children with special needs. We want to encourage inclusion in our community and support these children in their integration into society. Additionally, we hope to lighten the load on their parents so that they are able to focus on their child’s needs. Join us in our cause and support our Care for the Gifted project today.