How Beautiful People Journeys With Our Mentees
“She sat on the chair with her arms crossed and told me – I am not going to tell you anything about myself!” When Shindy met Shima for the first time at an ice breaker session with the Free For Good Programme, Shima had her arms folded tight as they faced each other and she told Shindy straight up that she was not intending to reveal or open up herself to anyone.
That was in July 2019. Since then, their relationship has evolved into one of love and appreciation.
Shindy understood that Shima had her reservations and that for their relationship to happen, it needed time and patience. Gradually with Shindy’s never-say-never attitude and persistence, things changed and Shima slowly came out of her shell, little by little. In the beginning, Shima usually held back her emotions and refused to reveal herself and her life to anyone. But Shindy persevered in action and words to make their relationship work and sparked this change in her.
“I appreciate her sincerity and love. She does not give up on me. Our relationship has been really good. I did not expect anything but she did a lot for me.” The time they spent with each other at every Free For Good session meant a lot to Shima. She learnt how Shindy was there to guide her while she was incarcerated. It made her realise Shindy’s sincerity in their relationship.
Shima was released in February this year. It was challenging for her and Shindy to meet in person due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This made them especially appreciative of whatever opportunities that came their way. One was the surprise party Shindy planned for Shima which Shima loved.
For Shindy, a makan (eating) session with Shima was a memorable experience.Through it, Shindy was able to better understand Shima not only as a woman with dreams but as a mother who loved her daughter very dearly and one who yearned for the best for her family. Shima revealed how much she misses her daughter whom she wants to bring back from India to be reunited with her in Singapore. Shima also shared how she hopes to help assimilate her daughter into the Singaporean community once her daughter does return to Singapore. This made Shindy, who is also a mother, want to help both mother and daughter in whatever way she could. Shindy hopes to continue making a difference in Shima’s life and to help Shima’s daughter when she is finally reunited with her mother.
Shima is also grateful to Shindy for everything she has done for her when she received her rental flat. The flat was in a complete disarray when it was handed over to Shima. The walls were chipped, the floor was cracked and the whole apartment was littered with trash. Shindy decided to raise funds for the renovation works to make the flat liveable. She contacted a contractor for the renovation work, and helped to source basic furniture such as a bed, sofa and stove. Shindy believed that for Shima to be motivated, her basic living conditions had to be in place. She also made sure that Shima was given authority over her own house. Shima chose the colors and materials. This allowed Shindy to get to understand Shima better as these choices reflected bits of Shima’s personality to Shindy. Shima now had a place to call home!
“I hope that you will always keep believing in yourself and be positive. You can achieve the things you want in life. I am and will be there with you and your family, in good and in bad.” Shindy promises Shima that she and the Beautiful People family will continue to help her achieve her dreams. After all, Beautiful People is a community working together as one big family to help fulfil the promises and dreams of its mentees.
Shima is now living her life to the fullest and best of her ability. She spends her weekdays working on her nursing course at ITE which she enjoys and takes great pride in. Motivated by the praises and encouragement of her lecturers, Shima is trying hard to further her career in nursing, knowing that others see the potential in her.
As for her family, Shima hopes to catch up on all those moments she has missed with her daughter and make more memories together as a family when her daughter finally returns to Singapore. Shima has changed her life and strives to be a good example for her daughter. She believes that by living her life well she can be an inspiration and source of strength to her daughter. “I want her to learn from me, if I can change and do it, so can you.”
“It’s not just words. I actually did it with the help of (mentors) Shindy and Soo Peng. They are there to advise and give me ideas. I am proud of myself. I would like to thank my mentors from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for me, being there for me. I truly appreciate your love and sincerity and how you’ve not given up on me. The words Thank You are never enough. I never thought I would come across such Big Sisters. They just never ever give up on you. If you go missing or lose your way they will call out for you and find you.” – Shima