Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021

Exemplary Mother Award Prize Presentation Ceremony

Join Jamiyah Singapore as we acknowledge and celebrate the sacrifices, determination, and resilience of Mothers in the 28th Exemplary Mother Award. Be inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and determination of our young Mothers, as well as their contributions to society, in the 3rd Exemplary Young Mother Award.

2 Mothers will be granted the awards to honour the impact they have made on their families and the community.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021
3.00pm – 5.00pm
Live on Jamiyah Singapore Facebook

Guess the Winners & win attractive prizes!
https://tinyurl.com/guessthewinner2021 

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021

EMA Finalists

Faridah Binte Ahmad

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Faridah Binte Ahmad

The mother of five children aged between 18 and 28 years has navigated the ups and downs of  motherhood.  With her husband often being away for work, she practically raised the children on her own, alongside her teaching job.  “It was all about giving them the space to grow and discover themselves, have their own voice and be able to articulate their opinion,” Faridah says about her mothering style.  Her children were admitted into the International Baccalaureate programme which fosters critical thinking and encourages students to ask questions.  “It is a double-edged sword.  They also begin to question you,” Faridah realised.  Unfortunately, it happened at the lowest point of her life, when she and her husband divorced. Today, Faridah is able to come to terms with the challenges in her life as a parent, thanks to the support from her family. Despite becoming a single parent, Faridah and her children have discovered new dynamics in their relationship, becoming more understanding and supportive in the process.

Mardiah Binte Mohamed Toufik

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Mardiah Binte Mohd Toufik

When her husband passed on in 2006, Mardiah was left to raise four children on her own.  She struggled to make ends meet.  Even while she took on two jobs, rented out room in her flat and went to several organisations for financial help to make ends meet, Mardiah would still find time to cook for her children, helped them with their studies and tutored them. Mardiah pursued her own dreams after her elder daughters graduated from university.  She obtained a diploma in baking and started a bakery business. From giving out her bakes for free as a strategy to build her clientele, Mardiah began to slowly learn the ropes of her business and ways to meet the demands of her customers, in the best way possible. The accumulated stress triggered anxiety disorder which temporarily debilitated Mardiah but she overcame it with help from her daughter and the Institute of Mental Health. 

Santhi D/O Kothandapani

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Santhi D/O Kothandapani

Santhi’s strength lies in her sense of empathy towards those in in. She has worked in the security industry for 30 years and is in charge of human resource at her current workplace.  Her job is complex, yet nothing hinders Santhi when she is determined to help staff.  “One time, a 60-year-old Malaysian lady walked in for a job because her employer refused to renew her expiring work permit.  It would be hard to renew because the age limit is usually 58 years. But I called the ministry immediately to say I wished to employ her.  They said I would have to put in a special appeal for her work permit renewal and it would take time.  That meant she would have to leave Singapore and return home to Penang to await the result.  I insisted for them to please reply in two days, which they did!  She was so grateful and said, ‘You did so much for me when I was not even your staff.  What more do you do for staff?!’ She has worked with me for 6 years now and I appreciate her blessings,” Santhi recalls. The care and concern Santhi demonstrates extends beyond her staff, to include her mother and children as well.  

Sapiah Binte Haron

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Sapiah Binte Haron

Sapiah married a foreign man and was pregnant with their first child when her spouse was denied entry into Singapore from 1995 until 2004. Due to this, Sapiah went through the labour of their eldest child alone in 1995.  “I had to be mother and father to my daughter, while updating my husband about her through letters,” she recalled. On top of that, their daughter was born with a cleft palate that took several surgeries to fix, and this depleted her savings. However, Sapiah remained steadfast and patient in raising her daughter on her own. She arranged for a babysitter to care for her daughter during the weekdays so she could focus on working and earning an income for her daughter, and only managed to spend time with her daughter during the weekends. It was only when her daughter turned 7 that they both lived together. Sapiah would take her daughter along with her when she sold kuih for a living. After years of being separated, Sapiah and her husband were reunited in 2004, and now live as a loving family of 6 in Singapore.

Tham Seok Huang Joyce

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Tham Seok Huang Joyce

Joyce mothers everyone who comes her way.  She has two sons but she is also referred to as “Mummy” by all her nephews and nieces.  She has an easy-going approach to motherhood.  “Being a mother is to be a friend, so they are able to share anything with me and I don’t have to probe,” Joyce says. Even though she works full-time, her children are her priority.  “I would spend my lunchtime taking my son home after school so that he could study at home.”  On weekends, she gathered her extended family at her home.  “In pre-Covid days, there were 20 to 30 people dining in my home every weekend.  Because I inculcated family bonding in the younger generation, they have meetings and outings among themselves.  I also instilled love for their elders.  My husband liked children and enjoyed seeing them and my mother was very happy to have all her grandchildren around every weekend.”  Due to her unconditional nurturing, the young ones trust Joyce implicitly as their confidante.  “I am like a mother to all my nephews and nieces.  When they have difficulties or even issues with their boyfriends and girlfriends, I’m the first person they come to.”  Her wise counsel helped many of them. Her approachable and caring manner is not limited to the home, and extends to her work place as well, to the extent that her colleagues refer to her as ‘God Ma’ in the office.

EYMA Finalists

Christine Kunasekaran

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Christine Kunasekaran

Her difficult and deprived childhood provided the motivation for Christine to build a far better life for her children.  Christine did not let her insecurities from a troubled childhood in which she lived in welfare homes hinder her from building a healthier and more stable life for her children. At age 23 years, Christine realised something was not right in her life and that there was a better future and hope for me, which prompted her to rethink her behaviour and values. With some guidance and advice from her mentors, Christine was able to comprehend her life better and made informed choices, of which her husband is one of her blessings. Reflecting fondly of her happy and supportive marriage, Christine says: “I was not bound by the past and old value system anymore”.  Today, Christine raises her three children with the strong will and abundance love shown to her by her mother, even after her parent’s separation. Christine looks back to her mother as the strongest mentor and role model. 

Far’ain Binte Jaffar

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Far’ain Binte Jaffar

When she was 29 years old in 2016, Far’ain achieved a burning ambition she had cherished for 10 years, which was to be a foster parent. Within one month of moving into her new home with her husband, she had applied to become a foster parent, the couple was given the opportunity to care for two infants the following year. The transition from having to only care for their 3 year old son, to having two additional infants in the house was rather abrupt, and she had to quickly learn to show love to more children, without having her son feel like his parents neglected him. Yet, with the strong support from her husband and her unwavering drive to provide a better living environment for her foster children, the family successfully navigated through the sudden transition. Far’ain has since fostered three more children and even had a second child. Even while juggling multiple roles as a mother, foster mother and a community volunteer, Far’ain manages to produce educational picture books. Of her book, she says, “My books fill gaps in the education system, for example, teaching children about money and finance.”

Suraya Zainul Abidin

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Suraya Zainul Abidin

On parental roles within her household, Suraya admits to being the strict parent to instill resilience and discipline in her children. “I use the ‘old-school’ style, same as my Mum’s,” she admits.  Suraya knows she risks being unpopular with her children, especially when her demanding job as an orthopedic surgeon leaves her so little time with them.  “But even if I don’t have much time with them, I want to instill the right values whenever I am with them.  I want them to have fortitude and not give up easily”. She is heartened to see her efforts paying off.  She relates how her daughter eldest persevered to overcome issues with studying Mandarin as a second language, even when both her and her husband do not speak Mandarin. Suraya intends to evolve her mothering style as her children mature. She intends to teach her soon to be teenage daughter about female empowerment and help her transition into becoming a woman.

Guess the Winners & win attractive prizes!
https://tinyurl.com/guessthewinner2021 

Special Recognition Awards

The Special Recognition Awards acknowledges the top 10 finalists of the Exemplary Mother Award this year. Jamiyah Singapore would like to thank these women for participating in the EMA, and for sharing their inspirational stories with us all.

Lilian Lai Yuen Lin

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Lilian Lai Yuen Lin

As a nurse, Lillian is well accustomed to dealing with difficult people and conditions.  So, she is usually unfazed by trying situations, including raising her children.  She developed open communications with them.  “I am like a friend to my children so there is no friction between us.  Even when they were small, I never caned them.  I gave them a stern warning when they misbehaved and talked to them about the issue.” Her job entailed irregular shift hours, but Lillian worked around it, and arranged her work according to her children’s school sessions to be at home with them. Thanks to her sacrifices as a working mother, the 77-year-old now can enjoy being in the company of her children whom have since successfully completed their studies.

Mumtaj Bivi Bte Abdul Kader

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Mumtaj Bevi Bte Abdul Kader

As a Tamil teacher, Mumtaj always felt the urge to instruct her children to complete their homework, but she admits she is aware when she feels this way, and explains to them nicely to do so instead. Teaching in a school that is a 45-minutes drive away from home poses its own challenges, but Mumtaj ensures that she makes full use of all the time she has with her children to impart values to them and listen to how they are feeling. As a result, Mumtaj shares a close and friendly relationship with her children, one in which they do not feel shy or intimidated to approach her, ask for advice, or just a listening ear.

Faridah Mohd Ali

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Faridah Md Ali

Faridah does not discriminate whenever the urge to help someone arises because, “My instinct is to help whomever needs help.  I will do my very best to help if they need it,” she says.  It has been her lifelong habit and she has not slowed down even at this stage of her life. This mother of four adult children has never worked before, and uses her time for family and community.  In 2020, even when she was busy caring for her husband who was hospitalised for a leg infection, Faridah still set aside time to care for a neighbour who was immobilised after a nasty fall.  She did all that on top of caring for her daughter’s children. It is no wonder her children associate the word ‘strong’ when thinking of their mother.

Rahima Binte Abdullah

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Rahimah Binte Abdullah

Rahima’s journey in raising five children was not easy, yet she describes it as, “full of interesting things and I enjoyed it”.  She had been working as an architectural draughtswoman but quit her job when her third child was born. With her husband as sole breadwinner, she worried about their finances, especially when their brood grew into five children.  The situation was exacerbated when they decided to school their children in the madrasahs.  The unsubsidised school fees forced the family to cut back on the luxuries such as reducing the number of times the family would go out to eat or entertain themselves with activities outside the home. Rahima has no regrets, saying “just do everything whole-heartedly and it will all come back to you.” Indeed, her children can attest that their mother is a sincere and loving woman, whose heart and mind is never far away from family.

Patimah Bte Abdul Rahim

Jamiyah Singapore’s 28th Exemplary Mother Award 2021
Patimah Bte Abdul Rahim

Patimah’s children are all adults so she spends most of her time volunteering in the community.  But it was different when they were growing up.   She stopped working when her eldest child was five years old to focus on motherhood.  “It was tough to raise my children.  Back then, we did not have courses on how to develop our children.  I was strict with my eldest because I simply followed what my parents had done with us.  I eventually learned through experience and picked up tips on how to treat them according to their maturity level as they grew up,” she admits.  She likens childrearing to handling a kite.  “You need to develop a feel for when to pull back and when to let go.”  Today, Patimah visits the families of prison inmates to give them hope, cheer and guidance. Her community spirit has even inspired her daughter to volunteer in prison too.