Growing Up with Less explores the hidden side of cosmopolitan Singapore where usually squeaky clean government-built apartment complexes are littered with trash and syringes and your neighbor next door could be a drug addict.

The documentary focuses on the plight of children from lower-income families where parents struggle to make ends meet leaving their children unsupervised, often hungry for food and affection and extremely vulnerable to bad influences.

Through the observing eyes of the cameras, the many facets of their lives and the accompanying dramas that rolled over from the adults’ lives are exposed, showing just how vulnerable the children are and how much they need a guiding hand to bring them out of the poverty cycle.


Benny is highly experienced in videography, as can be seen from the numerous accolades he has garnered, such as producing one of the top 11 films “Here, I’ll always be” in The New Paper’s First Film Festival, thereby clinching a $5000 MICA grant, and also producing the winning piece for Me & My Milo Story Competition 2011 “Journey, Home”, where it was subsequently screened in cinemas, MRT TV platforms, and outdoor and elevator screens all over the country.


Ly is an aspiring multimedia journalist whose recent assignments include reporting stints in Bhutan and North Korea. In Bhutan, she produced two short documentaries and a number of TV news stories about the country that were picked up by local and international broadcasters. Just the year before, she wrote an article for The Straits Times about propaganda North Korea after a reporting stint in the hermit kingdom.


Candice is an aspiring journalist trained in reporting for print, broadcast and online. During her internship at The Straits Times Enterprise desk, she has written several feature stories such as the Saturday Specials, on a wide range of issues ranging from human rights to science and social issues.


Xu YuanDuan is an avid photographer with a keen interest in documentary and street photography and enjoys the aspect of story-telling in these genres. He has received training in photojournalism under photojournalists Tay Kay Chin and Bob Lee.

DISCLAIMER: All background images on the homepage and inner pages are not representative of real settings, but they
are composite photos edited for aesthetic purposes only.


MacPherson Tuition Project
Life Edu Centre
Association of Muslim Professionals
Lee Foundation for their kind sponsorship
Bigbangfuzz for music
Western Digital for loan of hard disk
Pham Hoai Nam and Samiadji Falahanif Ranggagani for this wonderful website
Lisa Tan, Geraldine Ho, Junee Lim, Jaime Wong, Marcus Tan, Alvin Wong, Claire Chin for all their invaluable help
Our supervisor Ms Lau Joon-Nie for all her patience and guidance
And Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information,
Nanyang Technological University for financial and technical support

This work was produced as a final year project in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information,
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
© Benny Lim, Candice Neo, Trinh Hoang Ly, Xu YuanDuan, 2013.