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Somewhere we find warmth, love and belonging.
For those born into loving and functional families, the road to home is short, straight and easy. But for others, the road can be winding, lonely and never-ending.
In Singapore, there are currently more than a thousand children who have been taken away from their homes because they have suffered abuse or neglect from family members, or do not have anyone to care for them. More than a thousand children who are on a difficult road home.
While this may sound bleak, we have seen hope — hope in the form of families who have made room in their personal lives and opened up their hearts to give these children a temporary home.
These foster families, supported by social workers and volunteers, are trailblazers who have let go of what many of us hold to be personal — space, time, money and emotions — to make these children’s journey home an easier one.
Fostering not only helps these little ones, but their natural parents too. Often, they are not devoid of love for their children, but are broken, hurt and struggling. Fostering gives them the assurance that their children are safe and loved, as they heal and learn how to build a better home.
During the course of this project, we also stumbled upon many others who still have no place to call home.
These are mainly young adults who have been abandoned or mistreated by their families, or are orphans, yet are too old for the foster care system. We found that government systems, no matter how comprehensive, can only do so much. The rest is up to us, the community, to reach into the gaps.
What would our society look like if more of us chipped in to help? After all, it is not just in places that we find a home, but in people.
Our hope for our country is that we, from government bodies and community groups to families and individuals, will create a society where homes can be found at every turn.
A society where all roads, no matter easy or difficult, long or short, will always lead to home.