Photo credit: CHNG RUI JIE


Chng Rui Jie, a student, has started 18 online initiatives, which raised over $250,000 for different causes. During the home-based learning period due to COVID-19 and under the guidance of her parents, she started raising funds through for the rabbits at SPCA, families in need of food, and at-risk and underprivileged children.

Here are nine things she has learnt from her experience of helping others.

1. No one is too young to speak up for what they believe in.

If you feel strongly about something, speak up and share what you think! It will change lives, be it the life of the person listening, or even yours. Age has nothing to do with the things you are passionate about.

2. You don’t need everyone to join you, having a few people who believe in the same things you do is good enough.

Don’t worry about rallying everyone to join you on your mission – you will never have the time to convince all of them. Instead, think about the people who are already there with you. They are the ones who support you and are more likely to support the causes you believe in.

3. Use proper English and simple phrases

If you want more people to listen to what you have to say, use simple phrases. But at the same time, use proper English so that they can understand you!

4. Life is complicated. If you believe in something, speak up and do something about it. If you choose not to, keep quiet and don’t complain.

Speaking up is better than complaining at the side. If you feel strongly about something, speak up and share what you think! And when you speak, say it to the person you want the attention of. Make it count.

5. People want to help, but can only do so when you tell them there is a need and explain what it is.

People are generally nice and helpful. But if you don’t tell them what is specifically needed of them, they are likely to go back to doing their own thing or will “sleep on” the problem you have raised, since you have not told them what action they can take to help.

6. Being cute and funny makes people happier and more willing to help

Saying “please” and “thank you” with a smile makes people happier to help you the next time, and it costs you nothing!

7. Sometimes, those who need help are like the rabbits I love – they are not able to speak for themselves. We must be their voice if we care.

Rabbits are so cute, but if we don’t care for them, there may be no rabbits left one day to brighten our lives. If you don’t help others, especially those who don’t have a voice in society, there may come a day where no one is there to help you when you need it too.

8. When you are unsure, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Ask the right people for help. If you do not know who to turn to, start by asking your teachers or parents. Young children like us need help because we cannot do some things by ourselves. We also do not know a lot of things yet.

9. There is no if, only when.

Just like exams, there is no “if there are exams”, only “when there are exams.” We must start preparing early before it becomes too late and we have no more time to get things right. The pain of preparation cannot be avoided.

This article was published on Oct 1, 2021

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