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Some background about me :)  


Many of our sponsors, volunteers, readers have asked me to write something about myself. To unveil all the mysteries, misconceptions and gossips :)

Here we go.

I'm 27 this year. (This should shock some people already)

A very average chap which you would not notice if you do bump into me on the streets. (Read short and not handsome) Financially ? I'm very average as well. With no Swiss bank account to boast. (Yes. I'm not rich)

In fact, all I had in my bank account+secret reserves+piggy bank just made SGD9,000. And I poured these life savings into my work with the refugees. Its painful.

I've had a pretty exciting career in the military serving some 6 years with the Singapore Armed Forces in the capacity of Navigating Officer, Analysis Officer and in my final year Operations Officer. In fact, I was doing extremely well among my peers.

Military pay was comfortable! When I did resign, an irresistible job offering from a commercial company popped up, offering me a significant pay increase. But somehow, I found the strength to resist the offer.

I choose to opt out of a rat race and do something credible. If you ask me, what did this project cost me ? It cost me everything. My pursuits for money, recognition, luxuries all came to a halt.

Just so lives can be impacted. Thats why.


CNY Fund Raising Trip 15-18 Feb  


Recently, we received news that emotions are running tense in the refugee camp especially when they know that 2008 is the scheduled year for them to be deported back to Laos. My staff relayed to me that many refugee folk begun to tear as they narrated stories of their life in running. Hurts and insecurities are re-surfacing among this population of 8200 people.

CNY Fund Raising Outreach
This CNY, I'm organising a special outreach to this refugee camp from the 15-18 Feb. This outreach is special not only because of the MILK! Mission, but we will also be running a small medical (First Aid) outreach to provide simple care for these people.

This medical outreach is not a big thing, its a simple "clean wounds, put dressing" kind of work which anyone can do. But that simple act alone can re-assure these people that someone out there still cares for them.

The details are appended.

Date : 15-18 Feb 08 (Fri-Mon) Outreach : MILK! + Medical
Cost : SGD$900 (Including return airfare, meals, transportation)
*Includes a SGD$200 contribution back to the refugee fund

If you can make it, please join hands with us to make a difference !
Please contact me at eugene@radion-international.org for more details.


RADION Corporate Video 2007  



Keeping to our vision  


A hungry refugee boy gobbling down the biscuits given by RADION

Many NGO/NPO/Charities/Homes/Orphanages start off with a noble intent, but as they move along these intents fade and they slowly morph into self-seeking ones. Ones that use the money raised to lead cushy and luxurious lifestyles. How do I know ? I've seen it.

For our staff in RADION, I've always emphasized financial prudence so that my donors money is well utilised to bring the maximum benefit to the needy. In fact, this is what that continually attracts sponsors to us.

If you have kept in pace with the blog, you will note that we are expanding but our vision has never wavered. We stay stubbornly aligned to our focus of helping those who have no means of helping themselves and need that helping hand.

Let me throw out a challenge, come up and see what we are doing. And you'll know how far we stretch that donated dollar !


Whats your plan ?  


Many people have asked me "After these Hmong people go back, what do you plan to do ?"

Honestly, I don't know. I don't have a 5 year plan, I don't have even a 2 year plan. *grinz*
I'm a business graduate and its almost challenging not to be able to have an answer for these questions. It just goes against the grain of everything I've studied.

But this is a list of things I want to do this year... But of course its not possible without funding and support ! :)

1 ) Project Shophouse! - Teaching people to fish
This is a low risk business, where I plan to employ 2 village womenfolk from destitute backgrounds to work in a shophouse in the village. This firstly serves as a launch pad for our current refugee effort and secondly, this project aims to house these womenfolk and equip them with life skills.

2 ) Project SeekOut! - Fact Finding/ Help Feasibility Mission
We are also planning to visit internally displaced people groups along the Thai-Myanmar border. We understand that some of these people groups have dire needs for medical, clean water and food. Our fact finding mission will go into these areas in Feb/Mar to determine what can RADION do there.

3 ) Project Y-Gen! - Helping children out of child prostitution
We are planning to work with another Canadian family to go into the Myanmar/Thai border to help these children who have been coerced into child prostitution. We are also looking at ways which we can house them and give them a new lease of life.

Yes. We do have a extended plan but after seeing God speed up our efforts in the refugee camp, we gave up planning timelines- They are just too slow.

Now this is challenging :)


Planned Deportation In 2008  


Many people asked if we are slowly pulling out of the project in view of the planned deportation of these refugees this year.

In fact, here at RADION (NewLifeOutreach) we think otherwise. We will be re-doubling our humanitarian relief efforts with effect in February, bringing milk and nutrition to children every single week ! This is our effort to let these refugees know that there is someone out there who still cares for them.

To make a cheque donation in support of this relief effort :

Make cheques payable to : RADION International

Address :
RADION International
Singapore Post Centre Post Office
PO Box 53
Singapore 914002


Living Your Dream  


Many times in our busy lives, we go about running and rushing. With no end in mind.

Why do I say that, because that was me. In my previous job, I worked hard and did very well. That drove me to work countless hours in a day to better myself, write a better development concept paper and gain the approval of my superiors. But one day I just woke up and asked "What am I really doing ?"

I finally garnered enough courage to stop to review my life in stark honesty. I found my life to be empty and meaningless, despite the comfortable paycheck- I could not find my purpose.

After many weeks, I resigned and garnered courage to pursue my 12 year long dream. A crazy little dream to make a difference in people's lives.

This is what that makes it all worth it.


Back In Singapore  


After a 14 hour journey, I'm back in Singapore for another series of meetings and awareness talks.

For my readers who have group who are interested in knowing more about what we do, I'll be most glad to meet up with your group to share our experiences. After Chinese new year, I'll be heading back up to run another mission from 15-18 Feb and staying till April.

We still have some slots for the next mission from 25-28 Jan, please contact me quickly if you want to slot in.

The 25-28 Jan mission would be a MILK! (Children's Program) as well as FRUITS!(Nutrition Augmentation Program for families).


MILK! 11-12 Jan 08 - The First Countdown  


This would be the first MILK! mission of 2008 where we plan to reach another 1000 hungry children with milk and food.

This year is significant as is the dateline given by the Thai government for these 8200 refugees to be sent back to Laos. When exactly ? I'm not sure myself, thats why I treasure each trip like my last.

Saying that, its not only grieving but also a privilege to make a difference in these people's lives- bringing hope to hopeless. And walk this last mile with them.

Walk with me.

When you believe  


This was a song which a close navy buddy of mine dedicated to me during New Year Day. It was the day which I spent quietly in a small village room near the refugee camp.

There was no countdown, there was no party, there was no fireworks, but this song warmed my heart more then all the parties I've been. This is the song. Thank you Weiboon.

When You Believe Lyrics
Artist(Band):Mariah Carey & Whitney Huston

Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood

Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we knew we could

There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe

In this time of fear
When prayers so often prove in vain
Hope seems like the summer birds
To swiftly flown away

Yet now I'm standing here
My heart's so full I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say

There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe

They don't always happen when you ask
And it's easy to give in to your fears
But when you're blinded by your pain
Can't see your way straight throught the rain
Small but still, resilient voice
Says love is the relief

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who know what miracles,you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
somehow you will
You will when you believe

You will when you
You will when you believe
Just believe...in your heart
Just believe
You will when you believe

This song came as an encouragement.... and could feel my eyes welling up with tear as it articulated almost everything we have done....

How we made it so far is nothing short of a miracle.


Equipping Leaders For First Aid  


In the first quarter of this year, we are planning to equip 4 Hmong leaders in each group with basic first aid knowledge. This is important as first aid may be critical to saving lives especially in critical moments. Along with this training, we also hope to buy 2 sets of first aid kit for each of these refugee groups.

With each kit costing some SGD$50, we need to raise some $700 for these people.

In our meetings with the refugees, we have asked the refugee leaders what are the pressing needs and this is the list :

1 ) Mosquito Nets
2 ) Powder, Toothpaste & Toothbrush
3 ) Towel


Ups & Downs In Ministry  


I guess we all have ups and downs in our lives. I guess this is one of those which is down.

It was really discouraging as we are sparing no effort to make a difference to help others. Instead we have old friends who come up to discourage us with personal attacks and gory hearsay without concrete proof.

Some of my advisers have asked me to sue him for defamation as this has been a repeated torn in our flesh. More repeatedly, people have asked me to just give up on this friendship but I stubbornly choose to attempt to fix it by getting a hold on myself and try to make things work.

Many times, "evil thoughts" run through my mind on getting even but taking their dirty laundry out. But I reminded myself, if I stoop as low as them, what difference does it make of me.

Guess this is a good training for me as well.

Many times when we encounter such incidents, it makes you want to give up. But as I look at the 8200 lives which I'm making a difference.... I get a new burst of strength to continue.


Happy New Year  


Dear readers, wishing you a very happy and blessed new year (Yes i know....I'm 3 days late) but thats the best I could manage. Sincere apologies. The internet through GPRS is quite unreliable up in the mountains.

Right now, I'm in Bangkok meeting up with UNICEF and other NGOs to see how we can further aid. I will be back in Chiang Mai this sunday for a day of rest before another hectic week of meetings.