The seven single mothers were waiting in a social service centre in Shatin when Crossroads staff visited to follow up on the furniture and electrical appliances they had received from our warehouse. Living on social welfare benefits, and with children to care for, these seven women don’t have an easy life, but when we met them, they were laughing and smiling, and eager to talk.
They spoke of how they have banded together, over the past eight years, to support one another, share with each other and encourage each other. Middle aged, with varied levels of education and training, some of them have found it difficult to find part time jobs that would allow them to earn enough to support their families without assistance, so they rely on social welfare payments to survive.
Instead of staying at home, though, and dwelling on their difficulties, the women decided they wanted to look outwards, at what they could do for the community. They regularly support a group of blind people, who live in even more difficult circumstances than themselves, and take them on outings giving friendship and support and helping how they can.
It was a joy to be able to support these women, who have such huge hearts for those around them, with some of the goods they needed for their own homes: computers, rice cookers, microwaves, towels, clothes and more. One woman was excited to now own a reading light, being able to read books in the evening without disturbing the family. Others were happy to receive a microwave, so they can prepare food quickly and save time to work or to take care of their children.
We’re inspired to see people in such difficult circumstances turn to support each other and their neighbours in need, even with what little they have. “Truly, these wonderful women in Shatin deserve praise,” said a Crossroads staff member who met them. “Thank you, ladies, for being seven silent heroes who are helping a world in need!”