A Movement of Leaders Inspiring Other Leaders
Shah and Shikin met four years ago at Pertapis Centre for Women and Children, where Shikin was staying when her parents were incarcerated. At the time, Shah was a stay-at-home mum who had recently relocated back to Singapore.
Shah recalls that Shikin was a very private and closed person when they first met. Looking back, Shikin reflects, “It’s about building trust; it takes a lot to trust someone outside of the family. But the more you trust, the more you can receive and give. The more you can journey together.”Their journey together proved to be a powerful learning journey for the both of them.
The emotional support and motivation Shikin received from the Big Sisters taught Shikin to express herself better. Shah underwent her own transformational learning through her friendship with Shikin as well. “Shikin is fiercely loyal to her family. Through her, I learnt what loyalty and family really is,” Shah says.
Positive and resilient, Shikin is now a mother of three beautiful children. The relationship between Shah and Shikin has matured to an extent that it is a two-way journey that defies normal expectations of what a mentoring relationship looks like. So much so that Shikin quibs, “Shah learns from me more than I learned from her!”
Shah herself is using her learnings to power her next big idea- growing the Young Leaders. “I had this epiphany. Why don’t we have the Little Sisters contribute back to their community? Why don’t we build leaders, challenge them a little bit? Then they would feel empowered.” “When you challenge them, they will rise,” Shah strongly believes. Her dream is that “eventually it is the Little Sisters themselves that come back to teach and volunteer.” They are the ones who will understand the Little Sisters best.
Shah and Shikin’s relationship of mutual support and challenge is beautiful in that it is creating a ripple effect, powering a generation of young leaders to come.