Bringing smiles wherever he goes
There is more to Jianhao Tan than you think.
Being a full-time YouTuber often leaves him with a busy schedule but he always makes time for a cause that is close to his heart.
Having grown up in Cambodia and Vietnam for five and six years respectively, local YouTube personality Jianhao Tan formed a close bond with the physically and mentally disabled kids there.
Unknown to many, the 22-year-old spent most of his childhood overseas, as his father was a diplomat for Singapore.
He remembers taking a bus to Thuy An village with his friends from the United Nations International School of Hanoi to spend some time with the disabled children during the weekends.
He recalled an incident in Cambodia that changed his perspective on the world. It also reaffirmed his desire to change the world, particularly in poverty and education.
"Back in Cambodia, we had a big car so we bought 30 lunch boxes and drove down to the area near Mekong River. There (were) a lot of homeless people and children there. As we rolled down our windows to give away the food, people started swarming around our car, even the disabled, snatching the food away," shared Jianhao.
The desperate look in their eyes is something the YouTube star will never forget.
Following the success of his YouTube channel and his own digital advertising and video production company The Jianhao Tan, he started his charity foundation, aptly named The Jianhao Tan Foundation this year.
When asked why he chose to establish his charity foundation only recently, Jianhao, who has over 375,000 subscribers on YouTube, said that there is no better time to help than now.
"If I did it before this, I wouldn't have much to give. But now, I have something to offer them, make a change and I'm starting from the place that is closest to my heart," said Jianhao, who produces weekly videos about relationships and the different kinds of Singaporeans.
On Sep 13, the avid footballer returned to Hanoi, Vietnam to visit Thuy An Village with a team of 8, including his sister.
With local YouTube personalities Ridhwan Azman, Vincent Sin, Danial Ron and Kayley Tan, Jianhao embarked on a seven-day trip to distribute clothes, toys and other daily supplies such as food and milk at the Thuy An Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped Children.
"IT WAS VERY NOSTALGIC BEING BACK THERE, I EVEN RECOGNISED SOME OF THE KIDS THAT I USED TO PLAY WITH," SAID JIANHAO.
Instead of celebrating Christmas in Singapore this year, he will be heading back to Hanoi, Vietnam. He is planning another trip in December, where he will be returning to the village with more gifts, clothes and other supplies such as food and milk as it can get as cold as 8°C.
Jianhao said: "It's important to want to change the world but it's more important to change the little bit around you before you can change the whole world."
The Jianhao Tan Foundation is still collecting donations for their December trip. Head here to make a difference.
Nurfaizah Faizuwan (13 November, 2015)
Bringing smiles wherever he goes. Retrieved from https://www.youth.sg