"It was then I realised how a person can only handle so much difficulty in life, before it completely breaks their spirit."
- Ms Cindy Loh, Divorce Support Specialist Agency counsellor
At one point of time, the future seemed bleak for Madam Adrianna (not her real name). Back then, she was juggling between a painful divorce and press financial difficulties. Madam Adrianna felt she was running out of options for herself and her daughter, Natalie (not her real name).
But life remarkably took a turn for the better when she met Ms Cindy Loh, a counsellor from Care Corner Centre for Co-Parenting under the Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSAs).
Madam Adrianna has been in the Casework and Counselling (C&C) Programme since April 2015. Natalie joined the programme in July 2015 and was referred to the Children-in-Between (CIB) programme, also under the DSSAs, during the September 2015 school holidays.
The C&C Programme focuses on helping divorcing or divorced parents and children develop insights into their situation and explore ways of handling and resolving their practical, social and emotional difficulties, while the CIB programme is a skills-based programme to help children better cope with their parents’ divorce.
FROM STRANGERS, TO FRIENDS, TO FAMILY
Recommended by a friend, Madam Adrianna took that leap of faith and approached Care Corner. It was there where she was introduced to, in her own words, the “kind-hearted and compassionate” Ms Loh.
Due to the circumstances in her life, Madam Adrianna made the difficult choice to proceed with her divorce. Ms Loh journeyed with her every step of the way and taught Madam Adrianna how to move on with life after her divorce. Through their weekly counselling sessions, Madam Adrianna eventually gathered
enough courage to set up a new life for herself and Natalie.
For Madam Adrianna, setting foot in Care Corner was “the best decision that [she] ever made”, because that led her to meeting Ms Loh.
Today, Ms Loh has become more than just a friend. “Cindy is like family to my daughter and
I,” said Madam Adrianna.
Having Ms Loh by Madam Adrianna’s side meant she was not alone and did not have to battle all of life’s hurdles on her own.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS
Pursuing her passion of giving back to the society, Ms Loh began engaging in the social work sector back in 2009. “The core of my duties is face-to-face counselling,” explained Ms Loh.
Meeting Madam Adrianna for the first time was truly an eye-opener for Ms Loh. “It was then I realised how a person can only handle so much difficulty in life, before it completely breaks their spirit,” said Ms Loh.
The divorce not only impacted Madam Adrianna, but it also greatly affected the young Natalie, who had to transfer to a different school several times as they had no fixed place to stay. They were on the brink of giving up.
Ms Loh became determined to help mother and daughter build a better future for themselves.
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE
Moving on from a heavy past requires a consistent effort to remain positive about what lies ahead. Madam Adrianna now focuses on working hard and giving Natalie the best life and future possible.
The road ahead still seems uncertain, but Madam Adrianna and Natalie know that they will have Ms Loh’s support throughout.
“I am extremely grateful for Cindy’s presence in our lives,” smiled Madam Adrianna. “With her encouragement and support, I feel lighter and happier now, like a great burden has been lifted from my shoulders.”
About The Divorce Support Specialist Agencies
Tote Board strives to support vulnerable groups through upstream programmes, such as safeguarding the welfare of the children of families going through divorce proceedings.
DSSAs provide services ranging from information and non-legal advice pertaining to divorce, case management, counselling and family dispute management.
There are three other centres running the DSSAs programmes, namely the THK Centre for Family Harmony @ Commonwealth, HELP Family Service Centre and PPIS As-Salaam Family Support Centre.