Inspired by the Concept of Ubuntu – Meet Our Volunteer Gayle Ong

I recently read about Ubuntu, a beautiful concept from Africa. The modern dictionary defines ubuntu as “a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity”, but the South Africans translate it as “I am because we are.” A related story goes like this: An Anthropologist proposed a game to a group of African tribal children. He placed a basket of sweets near a tree and made the children stand a distance away. He then announced that whoever reaches first would get all the sweets in the basket. When he signalled for the race to start, the children all held each other’s hands, ran together towards the tree, divided the sweets equally among themselves, ate the sweets and enjoyed them together. When the Anthropologist asked them why they did so, they answered… “Ubuntu”, which meant “I am because we are. How can one be happy when the others are sad?”

Gayle has over 15 years of working experience in the legal sector. She started work life as a solicitor in a magic circle international law firm in London and subsequently transferred back to its Singapore office specialising in banking and finance law. She later assumed in-house legal counsel positions in various Banks and corporates. She is currently working as a legal counsel in a global healthcare company that owns hospitals and clinics around the world.

From a young age, Gayle has been exposed to community work by her parents. As a child, she participated in various community activities that her mother organised at Homes for Children and Homes for the Aged. These early initiatives took root in her heart and she continued to pursue such activities as an adult. She has helped to organise a Christmas event at the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home and a movie outing for a group of children from that Home on a separate occasion. As a mother, Gayle also tries to show her children the importance of giving back to society and has volunteered her family’s time at the Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift program, distributing daily essentials to the beneficiaries in recent years. She hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of those around her.

Gayle is very happy to be part of Innerstar and she believes that Innerstar’s programs to help underprivileged youths will achieve the positive impact that it is hoping for. In particular, she is happy to be working with a group of like-minded volunteers who show great commitment and belief in the cause.

In her spare time, Gayle enjoys working out at the gym and spending time with friends over a good meal. She hopes to read and travel more and to practise mindfulness and gratitude on an ongoing basis. As a Christian, she is reminded that “He expects us to be channels for Him to flow through, not reservoirs that hold everything we have for ourselves”.