Rebekah Yeoh of Nimble Fingers Cambodia on helping underprivileged children
Personalities

5 minutes with Rebekah Yeoh, Nimble Fingers Cambodia

The first of our "Change The World" four-part series, we talk to the beauty and brains behind the Nimble Fingers Cambodia initiative.
Reading time 5 minutes

Youth is no handicap when it comes to helping those in need and this month, we decided to talk to four bright young minds, who are taking big steps in making the world a better place, for our "Change The World" interview series.

From Rebekah Yeoh, who helps underprivileged children, to John-Son Oei, who builds houses for the unfortunate, these individuals are the ones set to change the landscape of our nation.

For the debut of the Change The World series, we meet Rebekah Yeoh, the founder of Nimble Fingers Cambodia.

Rebekah Yeoh

[On Rebekah: Gucci blouse and H&M jacket]

 

Helping the less fortunate has always been a part of Rebekah Yeoh’s life (@rebekah_yeoh), thanks to her upbringing.

But it was only in 2013 when Yeoh joined Global Shapers, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, that she really started crafting and perfecting projects related to youth empowerment and ageing communities on a wider scale.

Four years later, she started her very own Nimble Fingers Cambodia, a business e ort to help underprivileged Cambodian children.

(Read on for our interview with Rebekah)

What did you want to achieve out of starting NFC, and why in particular did you want to help underprivileged Cambodian children?

I wanted to do something for a children’s home that had a personal bearing on me, and link that to a sustainable education/ empowerment programme.

In my time in Cambodia, I noticed the children at the children’s home I often visited – the FGA Child Care Centre (FGACCC) – were extremely gifted in arts, crafts and stitchwork.

They could spin hundreds of bracelets in the span of an hour and this was merely a hobby.

Their agility, both mentally and physically, was beyond me. us, Nimble Fingers was born!

What did you want to achieve out of starting NFC, and why in particular did you want to help underprivileged Cambodian children?

I wanted to do something for a children’s home that had a personal bearing on me, and link that to a sustainable education/ empowerment programme.

In my time in Cambodia, I noticed the children at the children’s home I often visited – the FGA Child Care Centre (FGACCC) – were extremely gifted in arts, crafts and stitchwork.

They could spin hundreds of bracelets in the span of an hour and this was merely a hobby.

Their agility, both mentally and physically, was beyond me. us, Nimble Fingers was born!

So what does Nimble Fingers Cambodia do for the children?

I wanted them to feel rewarded for their talents and skills, and at the same time teach them about accumulating disposable income and savings because many underprivileged Cambodian adults tend to squander incomes away.

Thus, I started a programme where I would sell their work for them at a 40% profit and they pocket 100% of the sales, but on the condition that it is reinvested into their “mini businesses”, so that they learn about capital spending, savings and value-add.

 

And how is it going so far for them?

Their propensity to take risks by reinvesting their profits into more complex raw materials has been multifold!

They must also book-keep and track revenue and spending so they are trained from a young age to monitor their finances and develop conservative financial etiquette.

Have you always been passionate about helping the underprivileged, even before Global Shapers?
Yes I have, but it did not come naturally. In the beginning, I had to force myself to help others because I was inclined to think, “it was the right thing to do”.

Upon repetition, it slowly evolved into “the human thing to do” and finally resonated to “the natural thing to do”.

 

If you could change the world, what aspect of it would you change and how would you do it?

I would change the mindsets and have one compass to perceive what is right and what is wrong so that the people are naturally aligned and are propelled to make good in whatever capacity they can.

To support Nimble Fingers Cambodia, you can find out more on nimblefingerscambodia.com.

Photography: Chintoo
Styling: Jeffrey Yan
Makeup: KF Bong
Hair: Cody Chua

 

 

This article is originally published in our L'Officiel Malaysia May 2017 print edition.

To read more exclusive stories, you can get your copy at newsstands and bookstores in Malaysia or subscribe to our digital copy here.

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