It has always been on the mind of Lee Siew Tin, a working mother of a six-year-old son to be involved in helping the less fortunate. “My husband always reminds me that we should do our bit for society. During a visit to SHELTER 1 in March 2002, we decided to sponsor a little girl.” She said with a smile. They chose a girl named Vin, then six years old.
Besides the cash contributions, Siew Tin and her husband went one step further to build rapport with the child. “Our main objective was to give her a sense of family life,” she said. With the consent of the Home Manager and Vin, Siew Tin and he family started by taking her out. Then Vin began spending weekends with them. They noticed how much she enjoyed those weekends, so they took her home on a regular basis, even during school holidays. Siew Tin always taken the child’s feelings into consideration – she does not want Vin to feel obliged to see them just because they are her sponsors. “She has the right to her privacy and I always ask if she wants to see us again after each visit,” Siew Tin continued.
According to Siew Tin, Vin is not the only who enjoys the visits. “We love having her and have accepted her as part of the family. My mother-in-law even prepares Vin’s favourite food. She is also good company for my son – by playing together, he learns to share his things. In fact, that leaves me more time to spend with my husband and catch up on my reading,” she enthuses.
Siew Tin and her husband are also rewarded with seeing the changes in Vin. From a shy and reserved girl, Vin has opened up over the past year and a half. She now laughs more often and sings spontaneously and she smiles for the camera, whereas in the past she would look away.
“We are just doing what we can and sponsorship is a lot more meaningful when you get to know the child,” adds Siew Tin.