During Week of Giving Clouderans across the globe took time out of their busy schedules to give back and support causes meaningful to them. For many colleagues, however, giving and volunteering during Week of Giving is just one of the many ways they support the causes meaningful to them.
We had the privilege of sitting down with Remus Lim, Regional VP of Sales in APAC who not only volunteered alongside his Singapore-based colleagues during Week of Giving but is dedicating an upcoming trip to philanthropy as well.
Over the Christmas holiday, Remus will be embarking on a 3-day trek in Taiga, Mongolia in support of Children’s Cancer Foundation, a well known organization in Singapore supporting cancer research and families impacted by childhood illness.
We thoroughly enjoyed learning about Remus’ passion and connection to CCF, the details of his upcoming journey and most of all ways we as Clouderans can support his fundraising efforts for this important cause.
Tell us a bit about this journey – what will you be doing? Who will you be traveling with?
This December I will be joining a team from Beyond Limits and embarking on a 3-day trek in Taiga, Mongolia, an obscure but mystical part of the world that straddles the Mongolian-Russian border. It contains diverse terrain and stunning landscapes – think majestic steppe-taiga valleys and rugged peaks to breathtakingly dense boreal forests. Its beauty is unparalleled in most of the world).
Despite the beautiful scenery, the trek will not be easy. We’re expecting extreme weather that dips below -30°C as we traverse through 30-50 km of rolling hills and rugged, mountainous terrain. I have done many treks but not in nearly such extreme cold conditions. This physical intensity is to parallel the daily challenges our young cancer patients face daily.
Who else will you be traveling with?
My wife and I will be trekking alongside other people who have been touched by cancer one way or another – teachers, students, businesspeople, caregivers, executives and people out of the workforce in need of a meaningful break.
The organizing company, Beyond Limits, focuses on charity expeditions and does an incredible job assembling a diverse group of volunteers.
What will a “typical day” look like?
Honestly, I’m not sure but this is what I was told:
I’m excited to see how it is in real life!
This is such a momentous experience, what motivated you to sign up for such an intense physical challenge?
Truth is, my wife signed me up! And the last time we did something meaningful together was during the Nepal Earthquake in 2015. I attended the briefing and was astonished to learn that approximately 140-150 children were diagnosed with cancer each year. In a small country of close to 6m people that number astounded me. I felt like it was something I could help address.
I chose to support CCF specifically because they are a well respected organization here in Singapore and they do such meaningful work. My first involvement with them was exactly 10 years ago when I participated in their event, Hair for Hope which is Children’s Cancer Foundation’s signature outreach event. It is the only head-shaving event in Singapore that serves to raise childhood cancer awareness and funds. (Every shaven head represents an understanding by an individual of the ordeals that a child with cancer is subjected to.) That year was also the year I lost my mum to cancer so participating in this event like this was particularly meaningful to me and I stayed involved in the organization ever since.
What inspired you to do this?
The passing of Pak Erwin (our GVP for Indonesia) reminded me of the impermanence of life. My objective of going for this trek is to raise awareness and funds for CCF to support Children with cancer and their caregivers – and embrace life. Our fundraising goal is SGD100k and I know we can achieve that!
It is also motivating to me personally to go back to basics, to nature – tracing the steps of Gengis Khan.
What are you hoping to learn or experience while on this journey?
Every trek is different and I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I like the challenge of overcoming obstacles and most of the time, the challenge is mental. Be it for work or in life, the most important thing is attitude. I have never experienced sub 20 or sub 30 degrees so I anticipate this will be a challenge but I am looking forward to it! I see it as mental training.
Have you ever done something similar to this? If yes, did anything surprise you or inspire you to do this again?
I did the Everest Base Camp trek in 2015 and fortunately for me, I left Nepal 5 days before the major earthquake. I called up my guide to find out if he and his family were safe. They were safe but lost their home and I donated some money to help him out.
The following year, my wife and I reached out to raise funds for the school children impacted by the earthquake at his hometown, a place called Dhading. It is in between Kathmandu and Pokhara connected by one road. We did a small trek at Poonhill with the same guide and moved on to Dhading to deliver School supplies to the school children living some 2,500m up on the mountain. Long story short, we escaped a landslide and had to get the supplies up the mountain by foot. We engaged a few porters of course. It was a tough trek up the muddy road, more for my wife but we found it really rewarding when we got up there seeing the smiles and deep appreciation from the children and their family.
Are there ways for Clouderans to get involved in this or follow your trek?
Absolutely – I am still fundraising for my trek supporting CCF. If you would like to donate – please do! Every donation helps these Children and their families. It will be the best and most meaningful holiday gift.
Also, Beyond Limits organizes charity expeditions regularly. The next one is for the Breast Cancer Foundation.