Keen to make change happen: Local celeb appointed World Vision ambassador

Keen to make change happen: Local celeb appointed World Vision ambassador
Belinda Lee, actress-host, has been named an ambassador of World Vision Singapore, the non-governmental organisation which helps destitute and exploited children.

As a travel show host, she has witnessed scenes of devastation that moved her to tears.

Among them: An entire village stricken with Aids, and masses of starving children.

Belinda Lee, 37, now wants to take her compassion for these children one step further by embracing her new role as ambassador of World Vision Singapore.

At a dialogue session yesterday, Lee spoke about her desire to garner support for positive change in the lives of the destitute and exploited children.

Called Saving Our Girls, the session, held at Black Bird Cafe, revealed hard truths about sexual exploitation, gender inequality, child marriage and child abuse in Asia and Africa.

At the event, Lee spoke to a World Vision-registered child, Gizework Seyoum. The 16-year-old from Ethiopia spoke about her struggles and the change World Vision has brought to her community.

Lee told The New Paper: "Some people will ask how this relates to Singapore.

"I want them to see helping these children as an extension of them helping other human beings, no matter where they come from.

"In Singapore, we're so lucky to have what we have and this is why we have the means as a first-world country to help third-world countries."

Lee, who, through World Vision, sponsors two girls, from Nepal and Cambodia, said she wants to change the misconception that the money goes only to the sponsored child.

Lee, who pays $45 a month for each child, said that apart from paying for school materials, the money goes to improving village infrastructure.

She had picked her two sponsored children - six-year-old Pramila from Nepal and five-year-old Vimean from Cambodia - from cards featuring pictures of children hoping to be sponsored.

"I wish I could sponsor more children and I would definitely be open to that if I am able to financially," Lee said.

She added that fellow World Vision ambassador, Taiwanese singer Lee Hom, told her about the 10 children he sponsors in Laos, and the joy he feels at making a difference.

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