Strangers offer help to mum and 10 kids

Strangers offer help to mum and 10 kids

News of her plight made the headlines on The New Paper's front page yesterday.

Since then, Madam Rafeah Abdul Kadir, 36, has been answering phone calls and messages from members of the public who want to help her.

As of 5pm yesterday, she said that more than 20 people had contacted her and donated items including rice and about $300 in cash.

Madam Rafeah has 10 children, aged between four and 18, living with her. She gave one child up for adoption to a relative several years ago.

Two years ago, her husband, Mr Mazlan Abdul, 37, walked out on the family for another woman.

He also left behind outstanding loans from loansharks and legal moneylenders, and defaulted on paying maintenance to her. To add to her woes, her youngest daughter suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and has to be tube fed.

The family gets help from several organisations.

Madam Rafeah told TNP yesterday: "My friends have come forward to help me. Through social media, even their friends whom I did not know have also done the same. I'm touched by the actions of these donors. I really appreciate their help."

Others also contacted TNP to say they would like to help Madam Rafeah and her children.

As of last night, the report received more than 35,000 page views online (www.tnp.sg/news/man-dumps-wife-cope-alone-10-children).

OUTRAGED

TNP reader Ms Jasmine Koh, 40, said she was outraged by the behaviour of Madam Rafeah's estranged husband.

The banker said: "As a mother, I can empathise with her and I felt sad reading about what the children are going through. I intend to give her cash or talk to her to find what the family needs so that I can buy the things for them."

Another TNP reader, who wanted to be known only as Ms Tan, said: "I was touched by the mother's plight. My friends and I plan to see how we can help her."

Netizens also shared their thoughts on TNP's Facebook page.

Alice Han wrote: "Truly sad for this woman (who has) to look after 10 children."

Another post, by Jimmy Oh, read: "This would not have happened if the husband had taken up the responsibilities of raising the kids (instead of) partying with his girlfriend."

But not all were sympathetic towards Madam Rafeah. "Since she couldn't afford it, why have 10 children? I really don't understand!" wrote Elaine Cheong.

ashaffiq@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Nov 12, 2014.
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