SINGAPORE - Thirteen years ago, Mr Sulaiman Ismail was given only six months to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumour.
Although the 55-year-old survived the ordeal, he has been struggling with a multitude of health problems ever since, including a recent diagnosis of kidney failure.
Mr Sulaiman has also been unemployed for six years because of the severity of his ailments and relies on his wife, a Seagate factory operator, for financial support.
On Tuesday (June 12), he was greeted at the door of his Housing Board flat in Yishun Ring Road by Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education, as well as representatives from Jamiyah Singapore, also known as the Muslim Missionary Society Singapore.
Mr Sulaiman is among the 1,000 Singaporeans receiving 3kg of mutton each for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which falls on Friday, as part of the Meat for the Needy initiative by Jamiyah.
He was tearful as he received the parcel, which came with a $100 cash voucher, from Dr Faishal and Dr H.M. Saleem, a senior representative of Jamiyah.
"I've been able to continue living thanks to the help of good people, like those at Jamiyah, as well as God," said Mr Sulaiman. "I'm so emotional because Jamiyah has noticed my struggle and turned up to help."
Jamiyah started Meat for the Needy as an annual initiative last year. Its beneficiaries comprise Singaporeans of all races and faiths.
This year, the society organised home visits for the first time, to present the gifts to less mobile and elderly Singaporeans.
Underprivileged residents from the Yishun, Sembawang, Bukit Batok and Tanjong Pagar constituencies will receive over 3,000kg of fresh mutton sourced from Australia.
The home visits on Tuesday covered five flats in Yishun, Sembawang and Bukit Batok. On Wednesday, volunteers will present the gifts to beneficiaries in Tanjong Pagar and at the Jamiyah headquarters in Geylang.
Mr Sulaiman, who is also a beneficiary of Jamiyah's bi-monthly food ration drive, said that the organisation's continued efforts at helping those in need are vital to the community.
Aside from its bi-monthly food ration drive, Jamiyah has established numerous welfare homes for children, the elderly, those in need of long-term healthcare and former offenders.