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When Priya was in secondary school, she used to hang out at CITY’s youth hub every day after school, where she would do her homework and study. The youth hub was a safe, secure and welcoming place for her, as staff were at hand to guide her and also offer an attentive listening ear whenever she needed to talk.
Yvonne and her younger brother, Edson, missed school often as their parents struggled to take care of them. Both adults were unable to work. Their father, who was mentally unstable, was a patient at the Institute of Mental Health, while their mother was struck down with cancer.
Hong Wei, who came from a large family with seven children, had problems controlling his temper. Upset with the arrival of a new baby, he resented being asked to help care for his younger siblings and to help with household chores. He would also play truant, running away from school often. His father was released from prison three years ago.
Karen, a special needs child diagnosed with mild intellectual disability, attended a mainstream neighbourhood school. Her mother, a divorcee, could not take care of her after school as she was working. Even sending Karen to school was a challenge; the girl would scream and shout every morning and refuse to attend class, even after the school’s counsellors tried to calm her down.