It started in June of 2018 when my son told me that he wanted to go on a service trip to Cambodia. I knew he had joined a service club in Singapore American School called TASSEL, but had no idea that he had an option to go to Cambodia to actually serve. As a parent who believes in serving the community, I had no hesitation letting my son join the trip. My son almost didn’t make it to the trip at first since he could only stay there for 5 days due to a clashing schedule with his summer program, and I wasn’t aware that they TASSEL had very strict screenings: only students who are truly committed could go. Luckily, however, TASSEL was kind enough to let him join the trip.
After just 5 days in Battambang, my son went home with having different paradigm of poverty. He told us what he did and saw in Cambodia, the extremely impoverished living conditions of the people. They lived in a hopeless situation. Through this experience, he was called to help transform their lives and give them a sense of hope. Knowing that my son had a caring heart for the people of Cambodia, I was happy. At the same time, I was also excited to know more about TASSEL, the organization who had succeeded to soften my son’s heart. Without waiting any longer, I straight away contacted the founder and President of TASSEL, Joji Tatsugi—and that’s how our close relationship started.
In June of 2019, I finally had the opportunity to join the trip to Cambodia together with 21 other high school students and parents from SAS. Throughout the week, I was amazed to witness how these teenagers spent their time in Cambodia. They had just started their summer break, and although they could have easily just stayed in Singapore, they were instead in Battambang, serving the Cambodians. We were there not to sightsee, but to serve the community. It was full agenda everyday: teaching, visiting the families, distributing medicine, rice and clothes. We were not only physically tired but emotionally drained to see how devastating their lives were.
I have been a regular donor to Tassel since July 2018, and I wholeheartedly trust TASSEL to use my investment wisely. Similar to my son, I was called to transform the lives of these Cambodians. I want to give them hope and I’m committed to transform their lives through education and love. Together with my expertise and experience, I promise that I will make a change.