Vincentians journey with the Pannerchelvam family
The Pannerchelvam family was adopted by SSVP in 2011 when Mr Pannerchelvam, the family’s sole breadwinner, became unwell and was not able to work. His wife Mdm Pusppa also had to stop work because of health issues. To help the family, their son Shanger who was then in secondary school started to work part-time. The situation soon took its toll and he did badly at the O-Level examinations. But with the encouragement of Vincentians he persevered and today is a poly graduate.
His younger brother Karthikgeyan also faced challenges trying to keep pace with his peers in school and was often bullied. He too did not give up and he is now doing his NS after his ITE studies. Shanger and Karthikgeyan are very grateful to the many Vincentians who have journeyed with the family through their trying years in addition to the cash aid they provided. They recall fondly, the breakfast buffet given by SSVP when their mother used to take them to collect their monthly financial aid at the Church of the Sacred Heart. It was a treat that they looked forward to each month as there were times the family had to make do with only biscuits.
When Shanger was juggling school and part-time work, he experienced stress and frustration. But he did not wish to burden his mother with his problems and issues. Support came from Robert, a Vincentian at IHM Conference, who was there to lend him a listening ear and counsel him. “It helped me a lot just to talk to Mr Robert. If not for him I would not be where I am today”, said Shanger who recently graduated from the Polytechnic. He is serving his NS and plans to pursue a university degree.
L-R: Shanger, mum and dad and younger brother, Karthikgeyan
SSVP FIN Shanti and her family on the lending hand given by the Community Services Office
Abused, divorced, and too poor to feed her children, Shanti (not her real name) didn’t believe she could take her family from hurt to hope, until she met the SSVP family and received support, guidance and aid.
Esther Tan on the support she received from SSVP
When my father passed away in 2012, my aunt highlighted our plight to the Vincentians at SSVP Christ the King Conference. With their support we managed to live a better life and did not have to worry all the time. Vincentians also extended the hand of friendship and I witnessed first-hand their ‘humanity’. They made an impact on our lives. They encouraged me to study hard and to live my life to the fullest. I received both encouragement and an educational bursary from the SSVP which motivated me to work harder in my studies. When my mum fell sick in 2018, I began to collect the rations for my family and was struck by the care and concern that the SSVP members had for us. They always followed up on our care. The experience also inspired me to help serve the young and old in SSVP when I started working. I now hope to create awareness about the wonderful work done by SSVP and inspire more people to help contribute to the community.