1. What does thriving mean to you?
My idea of thriving is managing a delicate balance between work, family and friends. It’s not easy, but I feel like I’m thriving when I can balance all 3 parts of my life.
2. You have dedicated years working in the non-profit sector, helping people and changing lives. What do you think shaped you to become who you are today?
In my first year of study in UK, I had a french flatmate who was very curious about Singapore and started asking me many questions about our laws. Chewing gum ban, Death Penalty, Corporal Punishment, lack of press freedom were some of the issues he brought up. It was then that I realised that I did not know anymore than the “textbook” answers that I’ve been taught.
Civil society was strong where I studied. So I decided to get out of my comfort zone and joined the Amnesty International Society, a leading human rights organisation. The first thing that shocked me was the first nation-wide conference that I attended. I was the only “Asian” student there and it made me realise how closed off our community was. My time there exposed me to civil activism. When I came back to Singapore, I was determined to spend my life making an impact and giving back to the community.
3. Tell us why you have chosen your current career path in the non-profit sector
Social injustice remains a big part of why I work in the sector. When I hear stories of our beneficiaries treated unfairly, it irks me to no end. It drives me to make sure that we take care of those who have fallen through the cracks.
4. How different is your life now compared to before?
I count myself lucky to have been involved in different sectors of the social space. From my time at The Slient Foundation as a Grantmaker, to saving wild animals at ACRES and now raising funds for those who fell through the cracks. Being able to see different perspectives really enriches and adds to my everyday work.
5. What is your most memorable experience about working in Ray of Hope?
I enjoy home visits to our beneficiaries the most.
6. Why do you think it’s important to help those who fall through the cracks?
If we don’t help them, who will?
They will fall through a greater crack. They will still be stuck in poverty, they cant get back on their feet.
I feel for migrant workers the most: very little rights, fundamentally unfair, no different from our forefathers.
A case that stuck to me was of an injured migrant worker who couldn’t return home to meet his newborn who is already four-months old today. He is devastated but remains stuck here because his employer is uncooperative, and he is still awaiting compensation.”
7. If you can do/change anything in Singapore, or in life here, what would you do?
A union for migrant workers to protect their rights and give them collective bargaining power against corporate interest.