Saturday, May 15, 2021

Singapore woman leaves over S$1 million to Africa’s poor children

She had started thinking about helping African communities after reading about Nelson Mandela.

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Doris Chua Kheng Geck was a methodical woman and her obituary, which she had paid for herself, was prepared months before her death on March 20 this year.

Her sister-in-law, Ivy Kuah, 60, told The Sunday Times, “Doris liked to plan ahead, and do things herself without troubling anyone if she could help it. The only thing she left blank in her obituary was her age when she died and the date of demise.”

Doris had been diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in 2018 which spread rapidly to other parts of her body.

Her will stated that she wanted her family to sell her three-room Seastrand unit and donate the proceeds, valued at over S$1 million, to non-profit organisation World Vision Singapore to help underprivileged communities in Africa.

Her older brother Eric, 65, said she had started thinking about helping African communities in 2015 after she read books on Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon.

She was divorced and had no children of her own and in 2016 she sponsored an Ethiopian girl, then aged 10.

In December 2017, she visited the girl in Ethiopia, and on her return, amended her will to say her home should be sold to help the underprivileged in Africa.

“This is in the hope that it will be able to help the children in Africa have a higher chance of receiving an education to help their country,” she explained in a video published by World Vision Singapore.

After the reading of her will, a World Vision spokesman told The Sunday Times: “We are humbled by Doris’ care for the poor and her desire to help vulnerable children. Her legacy will impact many children in Africa seeking to have a better education to step out of poverty.”

The girl in Ethiopia will continue to be sponsored until she turns 18, in accordance with Doris’ wishes.

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