PropNex Realty Pte Ltd is not just one of Singapore’s leading real estate agencies; they are also a philanthropic organisation who believes in giving back to the community. Besides numerous other sponsorships to local charities, including $10,000 as a Leading Enterprise Sponsor of the Singapore Children’s Society, they are also extending their helping hand overseas.
In 2009, PropNex staff and salespersons funded the building of a school wing, with toilets and water filtration system, at Kampal Village, in an impoverished area in Cambodia some two hours’ drive north of Phnom Penh. In 2010, they repeated this enormous charitable act in Trayong Pong, a neighbouring village of Kampal.
“Our trip up last year was an extremely meaningful one for those who went up for the opening ceremony, to paint murals and distribute donated items,” reminisces Mr Adam Tan, Corporate Communications Manager of PropNex. “That’s why we wanted to return and help even more students.”
Mr Tan reveals that while there was no shortage of teaching staff in Cambodia, school buildings were lacking.
“When we went to recce two possible sites earlier this year,” he says, “the villagers at Trayong Pong, the site that did not already have any school building at all, came out to personally ask us to choose Trayong Pong as the site.
“The reason for this was that many of their children had been involved in traffic accidents walking to the next nearest school up to 8km away. That tragic discovery convinced us that it was imperative that we choose Traong Pong. We would not just be educating the children; we would be saving their lives.”
PropNex proceeded to raise funds through staff, associates and partners, to build a new school wing for the PropNex-Trayong Pong Primary School. Donors who gave $50 or more got a coloured tile on which to write their well-wishes for the children. These tiles were then placed onto a large diagrammatic representation of the school wing outside the PropNex office at HDB Hub.
“As like last year, we wanted to create a very visible method of raising funds,” explains Mr Tan. “Through the coloured tiles, donors could display their contributions and send messages of love and hope to the Cambodian children at the same time.”
The entire wall of tiles was later installed in one of the school’s classrooms, when a contingent of over 30 PropNex staff, salespersons and their families went up from 6 to 9 December 2010 for the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony, graced by the Cambodian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Ouch Borith and Singapore’s own Ambassador in Cambodia, His Excellency S Premjith, and attended by some 400 villagers and another 270 children, took place in the school’s new quadrangle.
“We are extremely grateful to PropNex Realty Pte Ltd,” said His Excellency Ouch Borith, “for the contributions and time given to the people of Trayong Pong, and we wish them every good health.”
After the opening speeches, the ribbon was cut and both His Excellencies toured the school wing to see the colourful murals painted by the PropNexian contingent, the collection of well-wishes on tiles installed as an art piece in one classroom, as well as two water filtration tanks. Afterward, the PropNexian contingent distributed donated items such as stationery, school bags, sugar and salt, biscuits, medicine and toiletries to some 250 primary school children.
“All in all, I estimated that we donated about $85,000 worth of goods and cash toward the school and the students,” says Mr Tan. “But more importantly, I am glad that we were able to time off from our cosmopolitan lives here in Singapore to give aid to our less well-off neighbours. We are very heartened by the generosity of our staff and salespersons, who selflessly gave towards the betterment of those needy children. I am sure that the staff and salespersons themselves have benefitted from this experience.”
“I found the trip to be both enriching and eye-opening,” says Ms Leena Ng, an Associate Branch Director at PropNex. “I did not realize that such poverty existed in Cambodia and am glad to have been able to help make the world a better place.”
Ms Rain Goh, also an Associate Branch Director, shares: “We felt honoured and touched to be a part of the team, making a difference for others in need. Although we cannot do a lot for the children, at least we can do our best and that’s what matters.”
For enquiries, please contact:
Adam Tan (Corporate Communications Manager) 9006 8726