Friday, 15 April 2016

Building Hope Beyond Borders

A firm believer in the corporate social responsibility motto of ‘Doing Well, Doing Good’, Woh Hup (Private Limited) strives to be a good corporate citizen by providing opportunities for employees to engage in local and overseas charity work and give back to the society.

Spanning over the course of eight months from August 2015 to March 2016 from planning to execution, YMCA of Singapore partnered with The Chain Reaction Group (TCRP) to connect Woh Hup and YMCA Chiang Mai in the construction of a community facility for the elderly and youth. Named “Love and Care Centre”, the centre is located in the Sankhampeang District, approximately 25 kilometres from Chiang Mai city.

With cramped spaces in a temple and being unable to provide a conducive learning environment for the elderly and youth, the construction of the centre was timely and crucial as it serves as a space to run programmes and activities for the elderly which will help improve their quality of life.

The official opening ceremony took place on 25 March 2016 and was officiated by Ms Suphanimitr, Mayor of Sankhamphaeng, Mr Ngiam Siew Kim, Executive Director of Woh Hup Private Limited, Mr Rachan Maneekarn, National General Secretary of Thailand & General Secretary, YMCA of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Ms Samantha Seah, Assistant General Secretary (Programmes) and Mr Andrew Leo, Assistant General Manager, Programmes represented YMCA of Singapore at the ceremony.

In groups of 50, staff volunteers from Woh Hup worked alongside the local workers over four weeks in the month of March 2016 to build the “Love & Care Centre”. But it was not all work and no play, as the volunteers also interacted with the elderly beneficiaries through games, learnt how to cook traditional Thai dishes and had their meals together with the locals. This avenue of interaction allowed both the volunteers and the beneficiaries to communicate and learn more about each other through actions rather than words.

Mr Rachan Maneekarn said, “I would like to express my sincere thanks to YMCA of Singapore for your generosity, kind coordination and preparation in ensuring the smooth completion of the “Love and Care Centre”.  We will use this building as a training centre for intergenerational bonding for the elderly and youth in the Sankamphaeng district.”

The centre aims to be a community facility which will run programmes and activities for the elderly and provide opportunities for the youths living in the village to volunteer during the weekends. YMCA of Singapore and the partners in this project hopes that this will encourage the development of a volunteering mind-set among the youths in the village and let them become more attuned to the needs of the less privileged in their community, to “love and care”, and to pass it on.

Click here to watch highlights from the YMCA & Woh Hup - Love & Care Community Project Chiang Mai.

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