Singaporean who helps needy in Vietnam seeking financial aid after accident

Mr Poh Wei Ye, who has been helping orphans and the needy in Vietnam for the past eight years, suffered hand and leg injuries after crashing his motorcycle into branches lying on a road in Dong Nai province last Saturday.
Mr Poh Wei Ye, who has been helping orphans and the needy in Vietnam for the past eight years, suffered hand and leg injuries after crashing his motorcycle into branches lying on a road in Dong Nai province last Saturday.PHOTO: GIVE.ASIA

A Singaporean man, who has been helping orphans and the needy in Vietnam for the past eight years, is now seeking help to pay his hospital bills.

Mr Poh Wei Ye, a social entrepreneur, dislocated his left hand and broke his left leg last Saturday night when he crashed his motorcycle into branches lying on a road in Dong Nai province.

The 36-year-old, who is in a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, had raised more than $17,000 from online fund-raising platform Give.asia as of last night. He is targeting $25,000 to settle his medical expenses, including for surgery. He has no medical insurance.

Mr Poh told The Straits Times yesterday that he was on his way home to collect materials needed for a group of National University of Singapore students who will be arriving soon to continue a project organised by the varsity's undergraduates.

"It was totally dark. I was riding for two hours and I think I lost my concentration when I crashed into those branches," he said.

He was bleeding from the head when motorists took him to a nearby provincial hospital. His brother-in-law later transferred him to the Ho Chi Minh City hospital, some two hours away.

Mr Poh co-founded the Thi An Orphanage with a Vietnamese nun in 2011, and it now cares for 29 children, with the youngest being 18 months old.

His social enterprise, Blessed Discoveries, helps to pave the way for people to volunteer in Vietnam, and also coordinates trips for overseas students and companies that want to help.

All the earnings from such work fund the orphanage, he said, explaining why he has no money for medical insurance.

Currently undergoing physiotherapy, he said the doctors have told him that it would take some time for him to recover as his hand has to heal before he can use crutches.

"I want to be discharged as soon as possible. It is a busy period now, with students from Singapore coming over to do their volunteer projects. I want to make sure that everything is as safe as can be for Singaporeans coming here to help."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2019, with the headline 'S'porean who helps needy in Vietnam seeking financial aid after accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe