“I founded Euforia Singapore with the intention to help improve the lives of the needy and disadvantaged in Singapore. One individual alone is not enough to change the world. I hope that together with our customers, retailers, and other key stakeholders, we will be able to change the social landscape in Singapore.”
CONNECT WITH ME:
MELVIN HO | FOUNDER / MANAGING DIRECTOR
I graduated with a Bachelors’ Degree in Commerce, majoring in Marketing and Economics, from Curtin University in Western Australia. It was during the time I spent in Australia that exposed me to social-related causes, and piqued my interest in the area.
One of the projects that had the greatest impact on me, was one that I did for the Asthma Foundation of Western Australia. The semester spent on this project made me realise that Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) faced significant challenges that made it difficult for them to accomplish their goals.
It surprised me when I was told that the Foundation had an employee turnover rate of 80% in 2007, which improved to 1 resignation the following year, due to improvements made to their salary structure. I understood why qualified individuals would only take up a job if the remuneration was attractive, but it concerned me that not all NPOs could afford to do so, especially those in Singapore. I immediately grew a great respect for those working in the social and community sector. Not only are they individuals who are dedicated to the cause, they are also willing to take up jobs in this sector despite the lower remuneration.
After returning to Singapore upon graduation, I embarked on a career in marketing & branding consultancy. Despite enjoying the many different experiences that my career had provided me up to then, I was always on the look-out for an opportunity to help the social and community sector. This opportunity came in 2012, when I joined my friend’s social enterprise, Stirring Hearts, on a part-time basis as their Marketing Director.
At Stirring Hearts, I was exposed to the local social and community sector, where I met many other Social Enterprises, and NPOs. Being able to speak to people in the industry, I found that the problems that Social Enterprises and NPOs faced in Singapore, were not too dissimilar to their counterparts in Australia. In fact, I felt that it was worse off in Singapore, as support from the local community was weaker, due to a lack of resources and education on social issues.
I also had warm memories of the ‘Cards With A Heart’ workshops run by Stirring Hearts. These card-making workshops comprised of beneficiaries from the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore (MDAS) working together with employees from a private company. Many of the beneficiaries from MDAS were children, who required the use of wheelchairs to move around. Even the simple action of applying glue to paper with a brush, is difficult for them. But, yet, these workshops were always filled with plenty of smiles and laughter. This was because the children not only loved the activity, but also enjoyed the interaction and company of the participating adults.
My desire to help the needy and disadvantaged strengthened during this period, seeing how such a small and simple activity as card-making can bring so much joy and happiness to the children. It was evident to me that if individuals could gather together on a bigger scale to help the NPOs , the joy and happiness I saw in the children could be amplified and positively affect many more.
With my work at Stirring Hearts complete, I began consolidating my ideas, and planning for the future. I was looking for a holistic solution that could provide a positive long-lasting impact on the local social and community sector; and not a solution that would only provide short-term benefits and die off in 6 months. The result was an all-encompassing shopping platform for customers, where NPOs are able to increase awareness of their programs, gain donations, and be able to bring on board highly qualified volunteers.
This is the start of a journey that I envisioned all those years ago in Australia, and whilst there is excitement amongst us, we are aware that there is much work to be done. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we hope that you will support our cause for change.