HURDLES and hardships in life has not stopped Joshua Raqeequl Ilaah Muhammad Nur from excelling in school. Joshua, 12, lost his stepfather – the family’s sole breadwinner – three years ago due to high-blood pressure and cardiac arrest. The incident put Joshua’s family at a loss. As the eldest out of four siblings, Joshua felt the responsibility to help his mother wherever he could in taking care of his younger siblings and also doing household chores. “My mother was always sad, so I try to help wherever I can. “Alhamdulillah, now I am more independent. I know how to wash and iron my clothes on my own,” said Joshua, current a primary six student in Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al Islamiah. This was not the only heartbreak Joshua faced in his primary school years.

Two years after his stepfather’s death, his youngest sibling passed away in 2020 due to
a disability. His family went through another wave of sadness, this time amidst the COVID-19. With help from friends, family as well as members of the public, Joshua and his family are able to keep moving forward despite the many challenges faced. Being a Zakat recipient as well, his family received support from mosques and their social development officer (SDO) to help them through the difficult situation. “It felt lonelier because people can no longer come to visit now. But this does not stop us from moving forward. Thank you, Zakat payers.

“Alhamdulillah the assistance has really helped my family and siblings to have food on
our table every day.” “My mother too has also gotten a new job as a financial accountant last February,” he added. Since 2016, Joshua has been awarded Best in Quran four years in a row in his school. He joined the inter-school Azan competitions where he recently won 5 th position. “My hopes for myself is to do well for PSLE and make my mother happy. “I’m inspired by my teachers and I aspire to become like them one day – to help nurture people develop their fullest potential. “And I hope for a brighter future for my family and my siblings,” said Joshua.

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