Raising Her Children with Kindness and Strength

Nathelie, a single mother to two boys, works tirelessly to provide for her family and inculcates the value of kindness through leading by example.
Nathelie Ong is a mother to two precocious boys – eight-year-old Kyle and five-year-old Kieran. It is clear that their energy comes from her as she speaks cheerfully about her story.
Juggling with full-time work and two young children, Nathelie makes ends meet as a welfare officer at non-profit organisation Free Food For All. Despite receiving the job offer one year after her interview, she said yes right away. Nathelie held a part-time role there for several months before taking it on full-time in June 2021.
“I knew I could do a good job because I could relate to the beneficiaries. Even though I may not be in the same shoes as they are, I know what it is like to struggle with putting food on the table.”
Outside of work, she is highly involved in her kids’ studies, evident as she shares with us her worries and her efforts to help them stay ahead in their schoolwork. Book smarts aside, Nathelie wants to ensure she raises her children to be caring and compassionate individuals. Besides bringing them along on food distribution runs, she frequently shares anecdotes and experiences about her work with them.
Her efforts are slowly paying off. She shares that the values she strives to impart to her children show up in small, everyday encounters. Nathelie laughed as she recounted a time she was “scolded” by her sons for not passing on small change to an elderly tissue seller.
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“Their health and happiness is what keeps me going. I’m so tired from work but when I pick Kieran up and he greets me with the biggest smile, all the tiredness from the work is just gone.”

In March 2020, Nathelie was referred to HCSA Dayspring SPIN (Single Parents INformed, INvolved, INcluded) by a close friend. Her case was successfully closed a year later. 

She reached out to SPIN a second time in March 2022 for further emotional and practical assistance. Presently, she receives support for meals, clothing, household items and tuition – for Kyle, who is in Primary 2 this year.

Regular events and workshops organised by SPIN also give her a chance to catch up with fellow single mothers and bond with her children over activities.

When asked of her goals for the future, Nathelie says she wishes to have her own place in five years. Other than that, she is content that her children are happy and healthy and that she has a stable, fulfilling job.
“Of course, there is the worry of whether they are doing well in school or not… but that is not my main focus. As long as they grow up knowing how to be good, kind and honest – that is already a mission accomplished.”
Article written by HCSA Volunteer Writer, Chui Choo Fong


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