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Famous and for a cause: Belinda Lee

CelebritiesInterviewsSocial causes

This down-to-earth actress believes in bringing the message of hope, love and encouragement to the world.

She was rehearsing for the Star Awards on April 25 when she heard the news of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal. To Belinda Lee, it was not just saddening to learn of the severity of the damage. It was personally heart wrenching as she sponsors a Nepalese child through World Vision.

Belinda frantically tried to contact World Vision Nepal and was relieved to learn that her sponsored child, 10-year-old Pramila is safe. However, given the devastation caused by the earthquake, she does not know if Pramila is living in a safe environment at the moment.


BELINDA ON A PREVIOUS TRIP TO NEPAL, VISITING THE SCHOOL WHICH PRAMILA ATTENDED
PHOTO CREDIT: WORLD VISION SINGAPORE

During her visit to Nepal last year, Belinda and the crew from World Vision Singapore visited the school where Pramila was studying. However, the school was destroyed when the earthquake struck.  

"It was a great impact to me as I was there a few months ago," she said in a shaky voice.

She told Youth.SG: "It hit me very hard (because the school) is made of mud. The 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal and the school split into two." 

The veteran actress and host has been trying to help. She has been posting photo collages of her trip to Nepal last year on social media. Through her posts, she hopes to raise more donations for the rescue and recovery efforts, especially to provide shelter, distribute non-food items and protect the children.

"I think this is the least I can do at this point," she sighed.


PRAMILA (ON BELINDA'S LEFT) AND OTHER CHILDREN FROM THE SCHOOL
PHOTO CREDIT: BELINDA LEE

Belinda, 38, also sponsors another child in Cambodia and has been World Vision Singapore's goodwill ambassador since June last year. As a child sponsor, she donates about $45 monthly to each child. This allowance benefits the child by providing him or her with basic needs in five areas - food security, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, education and economic development.

At work, Belinda is also actively involved in social causes through television shows like RenovAID and Find Me a Singaporean.


AS A HOST ON RENOVAID, BELINDA EMPATHISES WITH LESS FORTUNATE FAMILIES AND HELPS TO RESTORE THEIR HOMES AND LIVES 
PHOTO CREDIT: J.PAW


IN FIND ME A SINGAPOREAN, BELINDA MEETS ORDINARY SINGAPOREANS LIVING OVERSEAS WHO ARE LIVING EXTRAORDINARY LIVES 
PHOTO CREDIT: TOGGLE.SG

The bubbly host admitted that she felt lost and unhappy during the first 10 years of her career as an artiste. 

"But when some of these travelogues came about, with a social angle, I was very certain and plunged into (them)," she said. Although these projects are challenging, Belinda has never felt happier with her work.

So, how did she develop a passion for volunteerism?

"I had a humble beginning, in fact my family was not well to do," said Belinda, who grew up in a one-room flat.

Despite her family not having much, she remembered how her mother used to pack extra and leftover food during Chinese New Year to give to construction workers, even though the food could have been kept for the family.

"I always believe that ministry starts from home and it started in mine," said Belinda with conviction.


BELINDA AND HER FAMILY VOLUNTEERS AT AN OLD FOLKS HOME DURING CHINESE NEW YEAR EVERY YEAR
PHOTO CREDIT: BELINDA LEE

Despite her hectic work schedule, the staunch Christian hopes to do more.

"At the end of the day, I believe in bringing that message of hope and encouragement," said Belinda, who is also working on a book about her encounters with people who left an impact on her.


WHILE FILMING FOR LITTLE SHOPS, SHE MET A BARBER WHO WORKED FOR 51 YEARS TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY
PHOTO CREDIT: BELINDA LEE

But for now, she is focused on Nepal. While trying to learn more about Pramila's situation, Belinda is working hard to raise more funds for the emergency and recovery efforts there. 


BELINDA IN A FINAL GROUP PHOTO WITH THE NEPALESE COMMUNITY AT THE END OF HER FOUR-DAY TRIP IN NEPAL LAST YEAR
PHOTO CREDIT: WORLD VISION SINGAPORE