Her Majesty Queen recognises Singaporean charity founder with Commonwealth Points of Light award

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, has today, 21 January, recognised Amanda Chong, representing Singapore, as the 212th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of her exceptional voluntary service improving literacy rates.

Amanda, aged 32, is a lawyer, poet and co-creator of ‘ReadAble’, a non-profit organisation that runs weekly literacy and numeracy classes for children and teenagers from low-income families, and for migrant women in the Chinatown area. The charity serves over 100 students each week and has built a community library holding more than 1,000 books for citizens to access, tackling poverty and illiteracy one word at a time.

As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week. By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.

Amanda said:

ReadAble’s work has always been a team effort, as we believe that the most effective interventions are delivered through strong teacher-student relationships. The wonderful volunteers in the ReadAble community bring the best of themselves, week after week, to do the crucial work of teaching, mentoring and believing in students. Our volunteers partner families to invest in the best outcomes for their children. This award belongs to all of them.

Volunteering for almost ten years has helped me to understand the lived experiences of children facing social inequality and myriad structural factors stacked against their success. The greatest reward for this work is watching the teenage students whom we taught to read as preschoolers, begin to tell their own stories and advocate for themselves.

Her Excellency Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore, said:

Amanda Chong’s passion for reading, writing and developing potential in others is truly inspiring. As a trained lawyer, who writes poetry, and has also presented a TV documentary, Amanda’s talents shine in many fields. But it is her commitment to helping others succeed, thereby making a lasting difference to society, that makes her truly exceptional.

I’m delighted that she has been chosen for the Points of Light award, and joins other outstanding Singaporeans who have been similarly recognised

The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 54 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting brought together leaders from all the 54 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.

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