As Keppel Land’s Senior Accounts Assistant, Ms Liow Ai Wen is a whiz at devising complex mathematical formulae and crunching long numbers. But when she is away from the office, she has only one simple, uncomplicated wish: To help the less fortunate.

As a long-time volunteer with an international humanitarian aid organisation, Ai Wen is passionate about the charity work that she does after office-hours. After joining Keppel Land in 2012, she has found a new platform to do even more good – by participating in some of the company’s outreach activities in communities where the company operates.

Keppellandlive sat down with Ai Wen to find out more about her community service spirit, and what drives her passion in volunteering.

Hi Ai Wen, thank you for taking the time to talk to us more about your community outreach activities. To start, can you share with us some of the Keppel Land CSR activities that you have taken part over the past few years?

Ai Wen: I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in a myriad of activities which offered different aspects of volunteer engagement supporting community causes, such as the 2014 “Run for Life” charity run, where our company contributed a total of $10,000 towards educational  programmes to help disadvantaged children and youth.

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Keppel Land volunteers for WeCare@North West Service Weeks.

Another meaningful event was our collaboration with North West CDC and Republic Polytechnic to spread cheer to the low-income families in the Gambas district. I helped to pack and hand-deliver festive goodie bags and it was really heart-warming to see the smiles on their faces when we delivered the goodie bags. 

What a great day it must have been. You seem so full of joy when talking about your volunteerism work. What motivates you to volunteer?

Ai Wen: Volunteering enables me to view the world from a different perspective, including stepping out of my comfort zone to realise that there are others out there who face greater challenges in life and how they persevere to manage these challenges. Aside from extending a helping hand to those in need, I feel truly humbled to realise that I learnt so much more from them instead; such as how children in rural communities taught me to find joy in simplicity with their hunger to learn when they immersed themselves in books from the mobile library, to the strength in elderly coping with multiple adversities.

Volunteering also enables me to connect with like-minded individuals, empowering us to do more when we pool our resources collectively. 

What is the most memorable thing that happened during an event that moved you? Can you describe what happened and how it has changed your life?

Ai Wen: I was part of an international humanitarian aid organisation providing disaster relief to victims struck by the 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami which killed more than 30,000 and displaced more than 1.5 million people.  My duties included providing logistics aid to the disaster medical assistance team, providing psychological first aid to traumatised young and female victims and facilitating temporary shelter needs for the displaced. What I experienced left me completely overwhelmed and deeply humbled. This was a pivotal point in shaping and sharing my volunteer journey whenever I can.    

Thank you so much for sharing with us your life-changing experiences, Ai Wen! Before we go, one last question – is there any meaningful memory in your recent volunteer work that you would like to share with us?

Ai Wen: In 2016, we visited one of the villages in the rural districts in Yangon as part of Keppel Land’s Water for Life volunteer trip and gave a new T-shirt  to an elderly villager. He gave us a grateful smile and candidly told us that this was the only T-shirt he has ever owned. We were all shocked, because we are so used to having a whole closet of clothes, and were reminded again of how fortunate we all really are. Again, I’m grateful for an opportunity to see life from a different perspective; and that giving is far better than receiving. 

water for life, keppel land, csr, vietnam, volunteerism
Keppel Volunteer Trip - Water for Life in Yangon, Myanmar.

Keppel Land’s community initiatives, aligned with its focus areas of environment and education, allow Ai Wen to pursue her passion. 

I have friends who would like to, but are unable to volunteer regularly due to work commitments. I’m fortunate that Keppel Land supports my passion in volunteerism and enables me to serve the community in different ways with its multi-faceted approach to CSR.

In 2016, Keppel Land’s staff volunteers clocked in a total of 5,600 hours of community outreach activities both in Singapore and overseas.

Its Words on Wheels project, where Ai Wen is a regular lead volunteer, promotes a culture of reading and self-learning in suburban communities of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with a fully equipped mobile library reaching out to over 3,000 children aged between six and 15 with educational materials and multimedia tools.

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Keppel Volunteer Trip - Words on Wheels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

For more information on Keppel Land's community outreach programs, click here to refer to our latest Sustainability Report.