“Dr Lee said I can go get rice at her MPS, but I didn’t go. I thought I would leave it for people who need it more. ”
When Uji Ana bte Mohd Rafee met us at her workplace, her ready smile made her look much younger than her 43 years. But she wasn’t always this happy and secure.
Uji used to be a firefighter, but became a homemaker when she had two sons. Life was simple but happy until her husband passed away unexpectedly in 2013. For two years after that, she struggled with depression and could not work full time. The family survived on their savings and income from her part-time jobs.
It was only in 2015 that she decided to work full time. However, perhaps due to her lack of work experience, she searched for four months and did not get called for any interviews. Just as she was about to despair, she learnt about Er Dr Lee Bee Wah’s visit to her block.
She recounted, “When the long-awaited visit came around, I asked Dr Lee what to do. She told me, ‘We can give you financial help, rice and vouchers, but the thing that will help most is a job’. I agreed wholeheartedly. I wanted to look for a job first, and not take financial help if I could help it. After all, there are people in much more desperate situations than mine. ”
“Dr Lee asked me to send my CV to her. Within a few days, PCF contacted me and soon hired me as an administrative clerk. ”
Uji now works at the PCF centre at Blk 277 Yishun St 21. Although she didn’t have much relevant experience, especially when it came to accounting, she pushed herself to learn on the job. Now, she handles all the administrative and financial matters at the centre.
She told us, “I’m really thankful for this job. It’s close to home, and I love seeing the centre’s kids every day. Both my sons are receiving financial assistance at secondary school, and I know because I have a job, it won’t be hard to apply for bursaries when they go on to poly or university. I can even save a little for my own retirement.”
Er Dr Lee Bee Wah explained that her PAP branch maintains a list of job vacancies. Many of these are from the company owners she knows. So when Nee Soon South residents are looking for a job, they can always visit the branch on a Monday night. Branch volunteers will help them look for suitable vacancies.