What I've Learnt: Wee Boo Kuan

The co-founder of Extra•Ordinary People shares the challenges and biggest impact behind the philanthropic effort and its upcoming fundraiser.
 Esquire SG
Published: 10 November 2023
Mr Wee Boo Kuan.

Established in July 2017, Extra•Ordinary People has been enabling and supporting individuals with special needs. In striving towards an inclusive society, the registered charity operates as a performing arts centre, even for the little ones. Come 1 December, the organisation will host its inaugural star-studded activation, Extra·Ordinary Stars concert. Co-founder Wee Boo Kuan talks us through the purpose, challenges and biggest impact of the philanthropic effort and its upcoming fundraiser in his own words.

Commemorating my father was the reason I co-founded Extra•Ordinary People. I hope to essentially contribute back to society what I have been blessed to receive from my country and family.

The courage to ask "Why?" and to innovate for solutions is something I bring from my corporate experience. Extra•Ordinary People is always challenging the limits of what is possible.

In terms of sustainability, we have begun to look into having carbon neutral efforts for our events. We will be working closely with Evercomm Pte Ltd for this, as well as to establish a sustainability framework for Extra•Ordinary People. The company's CEO, Mr Ted Chen, is our newest board member.

Charities must strive to create value for their supporters and donors. If we can show that corporations can do good and benefit their business at the same time, then this would encourage the business community to look beyond the CSR lens and encourage more engagement and participation.

We look for individuals or businesses prepared to make a difference and have the heart to go the extra mile. That is, when they have the "little" dot within the logo of Extra•Ordinary People.

The psychological barrier of imagining what is possible remains the biggest challenge within all communities. We often take it for granted that everything we see around us actually started with an idea. So we take the first steps to create and do the proof of concept. We continue to do so after An Extra•Ordinary Celebration, Extra•Ordinary Campus, Sponsor-A-Star and Extra•Ordinary Stars.

Nothing beats seeing hope being re-ignited in the eyes of our beneficiaries and their families through coming in touch with Extra•Ordinary People's team and programmes. That has been my proudest achievement out of the many moments.

As a catalyst, Extra•Ordinary Stars actually carries three layers of meaning. Firstly, bringing together international celebrities and A-listers. Secondly, [uniting] our beneficiaries and dreamers. Thirdly and probably most importantly, banding communities together to help our beneficiaries achieve their dreams.

Everyone gets to unleash their light and shine. In short, [Extra•Ordinary People aims to] create genuine human to human connections and build community resilience.

The ultimate goal is to work myself out of business. Five years from now, I hope to see more regional collaboration between charities and the rest of society.

Extra·Ordinary Stars will be held on 1 December 2023 at The Star Theatre.

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