"I wished for someone who can help me learn."

Within the confines of a cramped one-room rental flat, 12-year-old James (not his real name) lives with two younger siblings and his single-parent mother, who toils three jobs for minimum wage. James trudges to school on an empty stomach. While the weight of failing the exams bears heavy upon him, hunger was foremost on his mind.

James met a teacher from Young Hearts

Singapore Red Cross Young Hearts programme provides academic support and mentorship for children and youth from challenging backgrounds. We uplift and empower them, helping them overcome challenges to realise their full potential.

With Young Hearts, James passed the PSLE.

Through tuition and enrichment, volunteer tutors and mentors work with children and youth to enhance literacy and academic skills, as well as character-building and decision-making. Young Hearts is a safe space for children and youth, enabling them to gain confidence to navigate life's challenges.

Young Hearts supports our youth to be responsible citizens.

Young Hearts aim to instil moral values in our youth, so they become responsible and socially-conscious citizens. Youth are encouraged to do good through volunteering opportunities with the Singapore Red Cross.

Credit: CNA

Every weekend, whilst she imagines other teenagers may be sleeping in...

...or going out with their families, Wan Nur Wardina will be doing all the household chores in the morning. Tidying up the house, sweeping and mopping the floor — the 17-year-old has been doing chores like these since she was young.

“This (is) considered my responsibility …

...because my mum (works at) weekends,” she said. Since she was 13, she has also been taking care of her brother, who is now five years old, while their mother is at work.

Credit: CNA

Credit: CNA

She sometimes also gets “stressed about finances”, for example when she has “no money to buy food”.

She started working during the school holidays two years ago, delivering parcels. She worries that she cannot go to school. “Or I worry (that) I can’t pay (for something) on that day,” she said, adding that all her responsibilities have affected her “a lot” at school.