Yoke Mooi, Rowena Leong – 2019 SG Silent Hero

1 September 2019  •  3 mins read


Yoke Mooi, Rowena Leong
Pioneers of Promise Category Winner – 2019
Nominated by: –

Ms Rowena Leong Yoke Mooi started volunteering with May Wong Sheltered Centre at Bukit Merah in 1995, providing counselling, cooking and event organising services. Since 2006, she has also been voluntarily looking after the old folks at rental flats in the Lavender area, cleaning their homes, cooking for them and at times, simply providing a listening ear.

While she has had many opportunities to take up much bigger roles in the volunteering circles, she has turned them away, as she believes that assuming leadership roles in initiatives would mean less time to spend with the elderly folks she cares for. Rowena is an illustration of how it is the little things that really matter.

One particular individual that Rowena has been caring for is Mdm Margaret Yu. Rowena first met Mdm Yu in 2010 during a chance encounter when she offered to assist her with her groceries. Mdm Yu was a total stranger to her then. Rowena later found out that Mdm Yu, who stayed nearby, was suffering from dementia and has been alone since her husband passed on in his eighties.

It was then that Rowena decided to become Mdm Yu’s full-time caregiver and companion. She visits Mdm Yu almost daily, bringing her homecooked food and regularly cleaning her house. She also accompanies Mdm Yu on excursions and trips around Singapore to help maintain her physical and mental well-being.

As Mdm Yu got older, Rowena appealed to the local MP for financial assistance and arranged for her to get a helper. Whenever Mdm Yu needed to visit the hospital, Rowena will accompany her. Once, when Mdm Yu was unwell in the middle of the night, Rowena rushed over and brought her to the hospital.

On special occasions such as Lunar New Year and on Mdm Yu’s birthday, Rowena makes sure that she is surrounded by good company. On the eve of Lunar New Year, Rowena, along with her children would organise a reunion dinner for her. Rowena would also visit Mdm Yu on the first day of the Lunar New Year every year and cook a feast for her.

At the age of 72, Rowena shows us that age is no barrier to volunteerism.

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Yoke Mooi, Rowena Leong was nominated for the “Pioneers of Promise” Category for the SSH Awards 2019. She was the selected winner and received award from Guest of Honour: Mr. Desmond Lee – Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister in the Ministry of National Developmentat Shangri-La Hotel on 31st August 2019.

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Other 2019 Silent Heroes

Jeremy Tong – Inspiring Youth Category Winner
Dr. Bhavani Sriram – Hearts of Humanity Category Winner
Aminur Rasyid Mohamed Anwar – Inspiring Youth Category Winner
Foo Say Thye – Oustanding Adult Category Winner 



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Recognising humanity with an award that expresses gratitude of our society for their kindness towards fellow individuals, families, community and environment. Through this award, we look forward to inspiring more to become Silent Heroes. Someday soon, everyone shall be a Silent Hero, not only in Singapore but globally.