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Meet the two inspiring mums who won this year’s

  • October 28, 2021
    Meet the two inspiring mums who won this year’s Exemplary Mother Award

    Two Singaporean mums were recognised for their tenacity, sacrifices and perseverance in the Exemplary Mother Award 2021.

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    The annual awards, organised by Jamiyah Singapore, a voluntary welfare organisation that supports the less privileged, celebrates mothers from all walks of life for their dedication to their families and values, no matter their race or religion. It’s now in its 28th year.

    “The awards pay tribute to the many accomplishments of mothers which often go unnoticed,” said President Halimah Yacob in her opening speech at the awards presentation held at Swissotel The Stamford on Oct 23.

    “The awards recognise the integral role that mothers play in building strong families, strong communities and a strong nation.”

    Sapiah Haron won the Exemplary Mother Award, while Far’ain Jaafar was presented with the Exemplary Young Mother Award. While the former award was introduced in 1993, the latter was established in 2018, and given to mothers below 40 years old.

    Sapiah Haron, now 53, had to raise her daughter single-handedly for close to a decade as her husband was then a foreigner and "denied entry into Singapore", said the press release. He was away from the family from 1995 to 2004.

    It didn’t help that her daughter Aliyah, was born with a cleft palate, a birth defect that affected her facial appearance. She needed several surgeries to treat it, and Sapiah had to take up several jobs to afford them.

    “She always cried when I dropped her off at the babysitter’s home,” recounted Sapiah in the press release, adding that she was only able to see her daughter on weekends.

    It was only when Aliyah was in Primary One that the mother and daughter got to live together. “I explained everything I was doing to my daughter. I told her we have to work together on things,” Sapiah recalled. “I used to sell ‘kuih’ and she would accompany me every time.”

    The winner of the Exemplary Young Mother Award 2021 is 33-year-old Far’ain Jaafar.

    Within a month of moving into her marital home in 2016, the author and educator applied to become a foster mum, a dream she has had since she was 19. Far’ain was 29 years old then.

    Her application went through the next year: She received a call one evening, asking her and her husband if they were able to pick up two foster infants the next day.