The Heartland

August 24, 2008 § Leave a comment

(work in progress)

Sembawang, Singapore – away from the bright lights of Orchard Road and within the heartland.


Ah Ching is 15 years old. She is bedridden with cerebral palsy and unable to feed, bathe, or move on her own. Ah Ching’s mother, Jackie, used to work nights at a factory and is now forced to stay at home to look after her daughter full-time, earning extra income through babysitting her 4 month old nephew and cleaning the apartment next door. Tommy works irregular hours as a security guard. 

Neither Tommy nor Jackie have gone beyond secondary education, a factor that pushes them both to the margins of Singapore’s meritocracy.  

Government subsidies in housing and education ensure an affordable home and also equal opportunity schooling for Vincent, Jackie and Tommy’s 14 year old son. 

Cultural prejudice over mental and physical disability keeps Ah Ching within the confines of her home and will most likely do so for the rest of her life.







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