Felicia Chin on why she chooses to be vulnerable & share her past experiences with youths

GDLL: The actress told us why she helps youths and sponsors underprivileged children in various regions around the world.

Lee Wei Lin | Hayley Foong | December 25, 2022, 03:01 PM

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GDLL stands for Give, Donate, Laugh, Love. Trust us, we know how that sounds.

With the amount of "Who cares?" in our comments sections, we thought, “Hey, we know people who do.”

For every weekend during this festive period, we are featuring local personalities who care, and the ways they do so.

Felicia Chin is no stranger to Singaporeans, as she was one of the Seven Princesses of Mediacorp in the noughties.

If you're not familiar with the term, the seven princesses referred to the most promising starlets at the time.

Or, Chin's name might have come up when she announced her departure from Mediacorp to start afresh at the faith-based platform, Hai Hao Ma, earlier this year.

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A post shared by Felicia Chin 陈凤玲 (@iamfeliciachin)

Otherwise, you most probably would have heard about her marriage with fellow actor Jeffery Xu in October.

If you've ever been lucky enough to meet the actress, however, you'll know that beyond that, she's like a ray of sunshine who truly wants to change lives for the better.

Advocate for youths

Chin does a myriad of things to give back to society -- youths in particular.

Photo by Hayley Foong

More recently, she has been giving talks, addressing topics such as fears and self-love.

She tells Mothership:

“Young people speak a lot to me and I just wish to love upon them and just share how precious they are as well.

In this generation it is very easy to compare. It doesn't help with social media [...] And if feeling alone was something I felt when I was younger, what more now?”

Photo by Hayley Foong

During these talks, Chin has touched on her insecurities, fears, and has been open enough to speak about her battle with an eating disorder which she had in her early days of showbiz.

“I feel like if we choose to be vulnerable first, people tend to open up a bit and I try to listen as well because I feel that in this world, everybody just needs a listening ear," she says.

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A post shared by Felicia Chin 陈凤玲 (@iamfeliciachin)

Chin recalls how a participant approached and thanked her after her sharing at TEDxYouth talk held at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), before breaking down in tears.

She told the actress that her speech at the event gave her the courage to "face up to what she had been running away from".

"One of my fears is of not being good enough, [and] that was something I felt acutely [on] the morning of my TEDx sharing," Chin reveals.

"Over the past few years, I’ve grown more aware of my emotions and instead of fighting the fear, it’s more of acknowledging what I feel and considering why I feel so. I’ll pray and talk to someone about it. In the past, I would have hid from this emotion and crumble at times."

Chin reflected: “In retrospect, I feel that it's easier to run away from certain emotions and certain situations, but when we face up to what is difficult, it builds us up as well. So I feel like I just want to give back to the community.”

Apart from these talks, Chin has been supporting a Singaporean lady who provides transportation and lodging assistance to families of sick foreign children seeking medical care in Singapore.

The actress does her part by covering some of the children’s medical expenses.

“It speaks to me. Like, I'm not rich rich, but when I can help, I try to help,” Chin explains.

Beyond Singapore

It comes as no surprise that Chin is a World Vision ambassador. "I've sponsored children from [almost] every continent," she says with a grin.

Out of all the kids she has sponsored, she has met five of them -- two in Myanmar and three in Zambia.

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A post shared by Felicia Chin 陈凤玲 (@iamfeliciachin)

“Ming Jie (Jeffery Xu) said that we have like a soccer team," she laughs. "We have a lot of 'children' now, although we just got married."

“I feel like loving and giving back doesn't have to be limited to certain... just your country, you know?”

For each child, Chin provides a monthly sum of S$45.

She explains that every sponsor’s contribution is pooled together to help a particular village. Over six to 10 years, this collective sum will be used to cover the village’s basic needs, before providing social support and other essential resources.

However, the connection between the sponsor and the child is one-to-one, which has allowed Chin to be in contact with the children she sponsors.

Another interesting feature of the initiative that she is involved in, the Chosen programme -- is how children are given the opportunity to choose their sponsors.

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A post shared by World Vision Singapore (@worldvisionsg)

Chin recalls crying after watching a video of her sponsored child in Bangladesh explaining why he chose her to be his sponsor.

“I think sometimes -- I mean this for me -- deep inside, everyone wants to be loved and accepted... But you don't really see yourself sometimes, so maybe that's why it spoke a lot to me lah,” she acknowledges.

Gift of giving

To Chin, giving isn't all about, well, giving.

With giving comes receiving a lot in return -- at least for her.

She continues:

“I feel like it is normal to think that ‘I might not be in the best position to give’ because sometimes, we might be in the season of receiving.

But at the same time, I also feel that when we turn our focus away from our pain and sometimes reach out to other people in small ways, it helps heal you inside as well.”

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A post shared by Felicia Chin 陈凤玲 (@iamfeliciachin)

On her trip to Zambia in September, she met a single mother of six young children.

While the two were speaking, Chin told her that she was about to get married. Upon hearing this, the woman told her she wanted to gift her one of her 10 chickens as a wedding gift.

Chin accepted the generous present, and later regifted it to another family as the hen could lay eggs.

This interaction reminded her of the importance of a very valuable life lesson:

“When you meet different people, it might help you change some perspectives in life.

I think it's very important not to always keep to yourself, especially when you feel down. Sometimes when you are open to meeting, reaching out and helping other people, in turn, you might feel better.”


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Top images from Felicia Chin's Instagram & by Hayley Foong