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29 Jun 2023  (741 Views) 
Out of the box

Helping an Angolan family (2)
A few people said that the Angola girl, whom I gave a modest financial help, was "definitely a scam".

A few other people said that it was likely to be a scam, but it was worthwhile to take the risk and give the help.

Three people asked the amount. I described the amount as "modest for me, but a lot to the Angola girl's family". The amount was $500 SGD.

Was it a scam? This thought did cross my mind when I read her request.

I asked several rounds of questions, before I decided to help. This amount was sufficient to pay for the pastry course for one month. It would help her to get a job, as there is demand for trained workers.

I asked her to send to me the following:

a) Receipt for the course
b) Certificate of completion of the course
c) Her first pay slip

She agreed, and expressed her gratitude.

Did she send her appeal to many people? I believed that she did. It does take many emails to get someone to be willing to read it and to respond. The world is full of skeptical people, including most Singaporeans.

She did spend a lot of effort to get the $500 from me.

Will she be getting donation from other people? I do not mind if she succeeds with two other donors. I only gave her one third of what she asked for. Her family needs are more than the amount that I donated.

A more important question is - does she spend her time in getting donations, or while she learn the pastry course and get a normal job?

We will know in a month's time. I trust that she is honest and is willing to put $500 to that test. If I lose this sum, it does not hurt my finances or my trust in people. If she finally gets a job, I will be very happy.

I wish to share another story, so that my followers can get a sense of proportion. Four years ago, I invested $50,000 with a friend (whom I knew for 10 years) to help his struggling business. Shortly afterwards, I learned that he lied to me about the financial status of the business (i.e. that it was beyond redemption) and refused to pay me back. I could have reported him for cheating, but I decided not to.

If I lose $500 to this Angola girl, it would be a small sum. But I trust that she will not disappoint me.

Tan Kin Lian

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