Singaporean entrepreneur and private educator Linus Lin brought his students to Yangon, Myanmar on 7 September 2015 to contribute to local orphanages and villages and spread the importance of community service among them.
By Renald Loh
On 7 September 2015, Linus Lin, our principal and founder, brought 3 of his students to villages in the northern outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, to contribute to local orphanages and villages for 3 days.
Cindy & Linda Kim, 17 and 14 respectively, are siblings and were students of our principal who studied in Singapore from 2006 to 2009. Together with their mother Becky, who learned Conversational English from Linus Lin from 2007 - 2008, they became the first group of participants of LTH Eduhub’s Overseas Community Involvement Programme (OCIP) organized to expose students to opportunities of giving back to communities and orphanages in rural areas.
Our principal has been a social entrepreneur for several years, bringing help to 7 villages and communities, as well as 5 orphanages, schools and children homes in Myanmar thus far. He intends to bring more of his own students and fellow educators from Singapore overseas to provide them with a new perspective.
He explains: “The whole idea is to expose the kids to a totally different, rural environment, and allow them to appreciate what they have in Singapore. It is also my intention for them to understand how they can help contribute to people of the less fortunate communities from a young age. Essentially, we want to teach them elements of problem solving from a philanthropic perspective.”
In the recent flooding and landslide catastrophe in Myanmar where close to a million people in the country were affected by the inundations more than 3 weeks ago, Linus kick-started relief efforts together with a group of friends, counting on word-of-mouth as well as a Facebook group to bring in donations from friends and family.
The social entrepreneur has raised close to a total of $15,000 over the past 2 years, with $10,000 to sponsor the construction of a community school, and paying the tuition fees of 65 children. $2,280 was allocated to buy food for the flood victims across 3 villages, and the remaining for various projects such as the setting up of a cow farm and mushroom farm, for children to gain a source of income from running them.
This social initiative is called Global Village for Hope (GVH), founded in June 2013, with the mission to brings donations directly to places in need, funding projects that benefit local communities instead of given to the people directly as cash handouts. It is not a traditional charity organisation, but rather a group of people that simply want to reach out and help those in need.
Linus has been travelling across the country in stints for the past 2 years – surveying areas in need and sourcing for solutions to help alleviate issues pertaining to education, health and poverty, together with like-minded individuals.
“By bringing the cash to Myanmar, we can help their economy and the local people. This time, we have a shipping company that is sponsoring us with 900kg of shipping space to Myanmar, which is why we are donating second hand goods as well.”
Our principal is still currently sourcing donations for the continuous funding of tuition fees for orphans, farming projects to create self-sustainability for orphanages and other philanthropic projects through the Global Village for Hope Facebook page (www.gvh.sg). More information on his past visits are posted there as well.
By Renald Loh
Intern of LTH & Student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic