Generation Grit

Generation Grit: Once homeless, she now helps others

Ms Zulayqha Zulkifli, 24, is a child of divorce. After her parents separated, her mother suffered a stroke and later left her and her siblings. Her father struggled to support the family. Despite the difficulties, Ms Zulayqha never gave up hope.
Ms Zulayqha Zulkifli says she and her siblings managed to pull through the difficult times because they always had each other.
Ms Zulayqha Zulkifli says she and her siblings managed to pull through the difficult times because they always had each other.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

While she was homeless and forced to sleep at the void deck, Zulayqha Zulkifli never once gave up hope of a better life for her family. With the support of those around her, she made it through all the hardships, and is now dedicated to helping others as a social work associate and grassroots volunteer. This is her story, in a series by The Straits Times about inspiring millennials.

In less than a year, Ms Zulayqha Zulkifli, 24, went from a normal existence, living with her family in their four-room flat in Henderson Crescent, to sleeping rough in the void deck with her mother and three siblings.

In 2010, her parents went through a messy divorce, which came "out of the blue", said Ms Zulayqha, then a Secondary 4 student at CHIJ St Theresa's Convent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2018, with the headline 'Down but not out: How perseverance wins the day'. Print Edition | Subscribe