A Singaporean has organized a charity trip to an orphanage in southern Vietnam in the hope of bringing love to the children as well as encouraging young people to do good things.
Gabriel Kang visited the Thien Binh orphanage in Dong Nai Province on Sunday together with 30 young Vietnamese volunteers.
“I’m trying to encourage more young Vietnamese to do good things, so I invited them here with me on this trip. After I leave, hopefully I’ve created a ripple effect,” Kang told Tuoi Tre News.
“I hope the volunteers like what they do and enjoy playing with the children,” he added. “I also hope that some of them, maybe 10 or 20 percent, will come back without me and continue to do good things for the people here.”
Many members of the group said they had never met Kang before and just heard about his story, then deciding to join the trip.
Kang raised money to help Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai who got duped in Singapore in November last year, when he purchased an iPhone 6 in Sim Lim Square.
Thoai, who decided to pay S$950 (US$678) to buy an iPhone 6 at the store of Mobile Air Pte Ltd in Sim Lim, was asked to sign some worded invoice in English, a language he barely understood.
He was then forced to pay an additional S$1,500 ($1,071) for a one-year warranty before he could receive the phone.
The Vietnamese tourist then declined to pay the additional money, down on his knees, begging the store to return him the cash he had paid but then only got back S$400 ($285) and no iPhone.
At the end of November this year, Mobile Air boss Jover Chew Chiew Loon was sentenced to 33 months in jail for cheating 26 victims into agreeing to buy mobile devices worth $16,599 from January to October 2014.
After Thoai’s scandal, Kang called on Singaporeans to chip in to buy a brand new iPhone 6 to send to him with the initial raising target of $1,350 (S$1,804); however, he then received $12,431 (S$16,615).
Kang told Tuoi Tre News that the Sunday trip’s budget of around S$3,000 ($2,147) was from his own pocket and part of the amount he had pooled in the iPhone scam.
Some other donors also contributed food and clothes.
Gwen Ooi, who flew from Singapore on Friday night after knowing about the trip via Facebook, said she joined the charity trip to see what the children at the orphanage needed.
Ooi said that she and Kang were doing charity work at the personal level so that it could be long-term.
“I may look for more support from Singapore,” she added.
The volunteer group brought ingredients from Ho Chi Minh City to the orphanage to cook nearly 200 meals for the kids there, besides buying them ice cream for dessert.
In addition to the meals, Kang also gave away 20 drones produced by his company costing $60 each to the kids.
This was not the first time Kang had visited the orphanage.
Early this year, he brought S$2,000 ($1,496) from the auction of the iPhone he had intended to give Thoai, but the Vietnamese man refused to receive it, to visit the Thien Binh orphanage and bought a freezer, toys, and medicines for it.
The Singaporean man once helped a Vietnamese, as he bought a flight ticket for a young woman who had to work in a karaoke restaurant in Malaysia to return home.
Kang said the woman had kept asking for his help in every post on his Facebook.
As he has received thousands of messages asking for help after the iPhone fundraising and he cannot provide help in all cases, Kang is planning to launch a project called One Last Thing, in which people can share their problems and others could help after verifying all the information.