GWOT 2016 Fion Phua
Fion Phua, 46, Founder, Keeping Hope Alive

As a humanitarian, Fion and her team of volunteers went knocking on the doors of one- and two-room rental flats on Sunday mornings to see if residents living inside require help. On top of delivering porridge to the needy, the group has provided families in poverty with groceries, assisted with overdue medical or electricity bills, and helped school children with their bus fares. Be it the cleaning out of bed bug-infested homes, or helping elderly folks, who live alone, clip their nails, no task is beyond this big-hearted woman who takes it upon herself to seek out those in dire straits. Fion felt troubled by the thought of the needy struggling silently behind closed doors. In fact, it was this heart for those in need that led the mother-of-one to start Keeping Hope Alive. In 2012, Fion, a self-made club membership broker from humble beginnings, donated pre-loved designer bags in exchange for sacks of rice for the needy. Last year, she received the annual President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards, and also won The Singapore Woman Award 2015.

Their stories tell me not to give up…
“I’ve discovered many hidden stories behind closed doors… child and spousal abuse cases, in addition to challenges faced by needy families. We will do whatever we can to help. One bag of rice may not help needy families solve all their problems, but this gives them hope to carry on with life.”

I don’t welcome cash…
“I don’t want people to donate money. No, I want you to come down. I want people to come out of their comfort zone and roll up their sleeves to help the people who need help.”

Always approach people with a humble spirit…
“If you go around asking people if they need handouts, many of them will reject you. I now ask for help when I knock on doors… I ask to be given a chance to learn to do something for someone else.”

If Fion Phua inspires you, vote for her in The Most Inspiring Award here. You will stand a chance to win prizes worth up to $1,230!

The Great Women Of Our Time 2016 is presented by Skin Inc and co-sponsored by Swarovski.