AMKFSC Community Services - Don't judge a book by its cover
Can one truly give help when they are in need themselves? For Fazeli, facing struggles in life has only driven his desire to help the community even more.
Indeed, life has not been easy on the 35-year-old. As an ex-offender, he faced challenges in finding employment, which strained the socio-economic and emotional stability of his family.
Today, the beneficiary of AMKFSC Community Services works as a delivery rider. The job helps to put food on his family’s table, but remains too irregular for him to reach financial stability. Still, naysayers cast doubts on his situation – besides judging his tattooed appearance and chequered past, many accuse him of financial irresponsibility and hold disbelief in his will to change.
But things are never that simple. “This situation can make it hard for us to even think of the future,” he shares, explaining his struggles with financial planning. “It is not that we don't want to, as the future is important. But for now, tomorrow is more urgent – how do I settle that first?”
Over time, Fazeli has learnt to prioritise and manage his finances to ensure that his children never have to go hungry, but financial freedom is still a distant dream. “I do try, and I haven’t given up, but I’ve realised that trying doesn’t mean you succeed,” he says. Despite taking countless courses and attempting various jobs, Fazeli’s criminal record continues to affect his chances at a steady and consistent source of income.
Amidst an uncertain future, Fazeli has found purpose in giving back to his community. Beyond day-to-day food deliveries, he helps to bring food and necessities to vulnerable residents throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and works with AMKFSC to actively lead community initiatives and events. He is also driven by a passion to help the next generation stay on the right path in life, by instilling values like self-discipline and respect.
Why help others, when the time could be spent on helping himself? "I know how it feels to be in need,” he reflects. “I know the joy of receiving help, too - I want to share that feeling, without anything in return.”
Channeling his difficult experiences into supporting others like himself has given Fazeli greater perspective on his struggles. At the end of the day, he hopes to raise awareness and diminish the assumptions society has on those in poverty.
“Everyone wants a better life and wants to have financial freedom, it’s natural. Some people just fall out of place, like myself,” he says. “So don’t judge a book by its cover – if you don’t read it, you won’t be able to understand.”
Since 1978, AMKFSC Community Services Ltd (AMKFSC) has been committed to providing community-based social services to families and individuals in need. Through a full spectrum of developmental, preventive and remedial services, AMKFSC provides comprehensive support and intervention that is responsive to the community’s changing needs, helping disadvantaged children, youths, families, seniors and individuals to overcome life’s challenges and maximise their potential for a brighter future. An approved Institute of Public Character and a full member of National Council of Social Service, AMKFSC provides quality social services across 16 Centres in Central and North-East Singapore.
Here are some of our services that support disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in Singapore. For the full range of services, you may visit https://www.amkfsc.org.sg/what-we-do.
If you wish to support our cause to enhance and enrich the lives of disadvantaged communities in Singapore, you may:
Help us build more resilient communities by donating to empower beneficiaries like Fazeli at https://www.giving.sg/amkfsc-community-services/support_our_community
Operated by AMKFSC Community Services, the SG Cares Volunteer Centre @ AMK provides a wide range of volunteering opportunities, to help you better meet the needs of the community. Find out more at https://www.giving.sg/web/_regorg_amkvc.
Phone number: +65 6453 5349