Dr Tam Wai Jia has initiated several community projects and participated in more than 20 humanitarian trips around the world. The public speaker and author-illustrator of four books, she was presented the Young Outstanding Singaporean Award in 2011 and was lately named one of Forbes Asia’s 2016 “30 Under 30”.
Exposed to the pervasiveness of poverty through a Youth Expedition Project trip to Cambodia at age 17, Tam published her first book, Kitesong, at 18, raising $125,000 for a home for girls in Nepal. After her own recovery from depression and anorexia, she published A Taste of Rainbow to raise awareness for mental health issues. She launched I Love You with her husband in 2012, raising $50,000 to support social enterprises in Cambodia and Kolkota. She is set to pursue a Masters of Public Health.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“Serving in diverse cross-cultural contexts has been one of my greatest challenges. When we bring our Singaporean ‘fix-it’ mindset to a developing world, both sides face unique and unexpected frustrations. I learnt over the past 12 years that I cannot change the world in a night. That has reframed my perspective in not becoming disillusioned, but rather, to never weary in doing good, because every bit counts.”