Nicholas, who comes from a low-income family, is a beneficiary of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF). The $95 a month he receives helps to cover many of his school-related expenses.

Nicholas’ 34-year-old mother suffers from a bad right knee, which makes it painful for her to walk and prevents her from working. His father, 38, works as a casket bearer, and brings home about $1,000 a month. His salary is hardly enough for the family of five, which includes Nicholas’ two sisters, aged eight and 17.

The monthly allowances go a long way to help the family make ends meet. “It really helps us with our expenses,” said Nicholas’ mother, Madam Cheng Poh Gek. “The money helps to cover my children’s transport costs.”

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