Mr. Phoon Soon Liang: A Sponsor Who Left a Lasting Legacy

Vision News , June-2021      5 min read

As we get older, it is natural to think about the legacy we’ll leave behind when our lives draw to a close. Whether we changed the life of one person or the lives of thousands, we can rest easy knowing that we made a lasting, positive difference.

 

Here, we’d like to celebrate Mr. Phoon Soon Liang, a child sponsor who made a difference for children throughout his life. Despite his untimely passing in August 2020, the impact he made for his sponsored children will last a lifetime.

 

A child sponsor since 2013, Mr. Phoon was passionate about child sponsorship, sharing about it with his friends and colleagues. He once spoke about his vision of sponsoring a new child every year.

 

Mr. Phoon would visit our Area Programmes in South Africa, Vietnam and Thailand to witness the impact of World Vision’s work and meet his sponsored children in person. Through letters, he stayed in touch with his sponsored children, offering them words of encouragement. He kept all correspondence from his sponsored children, and learned languages like Thai and Tagalog so that he could interact with them better. On a Sponsors’ Visit to Kapur in 2019, he even put on a magic show in Thai!

Thinnagorn’s story

One child Mr. Phoon kept in touch with was 14-year-old Thinnagorn from Kapur, Thailand, who he first sponsored in 2014. Mr. Phoon and Thinnagorn met each other during the Sponsors’ Visit to Kapur, an experience which has stayed with Thinnagorn ever since. When he heard of Mr. Phoon’s passing, he offered these heartfelt words:

“I was shocked and speechless when I learned that Mr. Phoon had passed away. I was still thinking that I would get to see him again, but… that day will not come anymore. [Mr. Phoon] was kind, lovely and very good to me. I was so fortunate that I could meet Mr. Phoon. I hugged him, and… it was like being embraced by my family members. I talked, laughed and played with Mr. Phoon. I was so happy that day.

 

“I’m so thankful… I had Mr. Phoon to take care of and support me. I have not only participated in various activities, but I have also been supported with school uniforms, shoes and socks, physical education uniforms [and] school supplies. I appreciate the times Mr. Phoon thought of me and sent me letters and gifts… I will always keep him in my memory.”

 

To Mr. Phoon’s family, Thinnagorn said “You don’t need to be worried about me. I’ve grown up strong and go to school every day.”

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A legacy to be proud of

When he passed, Mr. Phoon was sponsoring 10 children. All of them are now being sponsored by Mr Phoon’s colleagues Mr. Lam and Mr. Muthiah. This way, his legacy will live on as the lives of these children are transformed. We are forever thankful to Mr. Phoon for supporting children in need, and his family is in our prayers. For Thinnagorn and Mr. Phoon’s other sponsored children, his memory will no doubt stay close to their hearts.

 

If you would like to learn how child sponsorship leaves a lasting legacy for children in need, click below.

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