Not many people know this but for the last five years, Ch 8 star Thomas Ong has been funding two schools he built in Cambodia. And now, the 48-year-old is running out of cash, and needs help from the public.
“It’s been quite hard for me to fund the schools on my own as the costs of sustaining them has increased from USD$200 (S$272) to USD$1600 a month now,” he tells us. “The roof is leaking, the laptops that I brought over initially are spoilt, and there aren’t enough textbooks for the increasing number of students.” He adds: “I have to pay my own bills at home, and I don’t take on many acting projects, so it’s been a little stressful for me financially.”
He currently spends about $30,000 yearly out of his own pocket so that 600 students can continue to have an education.
To keep the schools running, the 48-year-old actor has launched a charity project through his newly-registered company Project C where he will be selling 600 sets of citronella-based products at $35 per pack. All proceeds from the sales will go towards funding the schools.
For Thomas, the idea of selling these products came to him after he visited a citronella farm in Cambodia and thought it meaningful to sell products from the country to help raise funds for the kids there. Thomas also tells us that the products, which are organic, can be used to repel insects, while the citronella and peppermint rub can also be used to relieve headaches and muscle aches.
“I hope that everyone can do their part to help these kids,” says Thomas. “If this fundraising project is successful, I will order more products to sell so that it won’t be a one-off thing. If all goes well, I hope to do the same for kids in Chiang Mai. I want to be able to help as many kids as possible in the future.” Can we say Project C for Commendable?
For more info on the products and where to buy them, go to https://www.facebook.com/theprojectcsg
To donate to the cause, go to https://give.asia/story/project_c