• Habitat for Humanity Singapore

We Are HopeBuilders: Ashok Menghani

Updated: Mar 20


Ashok (3rd from left) at a HomeWorks Champion training session last year

"In India, you find a lot of people who don’t study. They’re out in the streets doing nothing

and then they turn to crime,” reflected Ashok Kumar Menghani, an Indian expatriate who’s

made Singapore home these past three years.


“I come from an electrical engineering background, so I try to train these kids to become

electricians. They can then help others in their community fix electrical connections and

charge money for their services. It’s better than being out in the streets and doing nothing

productive,” he continued.


Ashok brought this selfless spirit and desire to serve with him when he moved to Singapore

in 2017 for a job opportunity. Today, he does general marketing for Schneider Electric where

he’s actively involved with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.


A significant part of his CSR involvement sees him being a regular Project HomeWorks volunteer

with Habitat for Humanity Singapore, an undertaking he finds great meaning in.


“A few years ago, I visited a house where an elderly couple and four kids were staying. Their

parents had abandoned them so these kids became the sole responsibility of their grandparents,”

he explained.


“The house was in a very shabby shape and had six to seven rats – big rats – but the kids didn’t

care at all. So I talked to them and persuaded them to help out with the makeover. Since they

were all living in this house, they should take responsibility for it. They actually listened and were

very motivated to help us clean,” Ashok recalled fondly.


Not satisfied with just being a regular volunteer, Ashok eventually became a HomeWorks

Champion, a recognition given to dedicated volunteer leaders who help oversee and manage the

houses, volunteers and homeowners assigned to them.


“I started off as a volunteer and I’d use to go for various HomeWorks sessions with Champions

guiding us; but, there were many things like painting, cleaning and even hole-filling that we

weren’t doing right. There was always someone who had to coach us,” he shared.


“I’ve always thought that if you’re going to do something, you have to do it the right way. That’s

why I became a Champion and went for a day of hands-on training. Now I feel more equipped to

do the job and help others,” he said enthusiastically.

Ashok (standing 3rd from right) with our HomeWorks Champions team

But finding time to physically attend a HomeWorks session can be a challenge considering the

demands of his job. Putting that into consideration, Ashok made the decision to be a Habitat

HopeBuilder last year. HopeBuilders are a special group of Habitat supporters who believe in the

organisation’s cause and donate on a monthly basis.


“You really have to find the time to attend a volunteering session. But what happens when I

can’t find the time? That is why I try to balance. I try to go physically and at the same time, I

contribute financially,” he explained.


When asked about the impact he wishes to make as a HopeBuilder, Ashok emphasised the

importance of regular contributions to ensure longevity in the good work that Habitat does.


“There are so many individuals and families suffering from so many different conditions.

Maybe someone is sick; maybe someone is old; maybe someone is financially vulnerable.

These people can’t receive a one-time donation and then be expected to continue to survive

for a year. It has to be a regular thing,” he shared.


“These people need a full-fledged programme, and programmes cannot be built and

sustained if money isn’t regularly coming in. There are also many smaller companies or

NGOs that do good work but you’re not sure how your money is used, but that’s not a worry

with Habitat,” he said reassuringly.


After everything that has been said and done, one can’t help but wonder where this desire to

constantly give back to society – regardless of where he calls home – stems from.


“No one compelled me or asked me to do anything. When I was a young boy living in India, I was

used to community living. Later on, everyone shifted to apartments; but, I still maintained that

compound living mentality where everyone helps each other out. There is really nothing special

about what I do,” he said humbly, not acknowledging just how special his approach to life truly is.

Our HopeBuilders are the true visionaries. They provide the consistent and reliable support we need to make sustainable and long-term commitments to families and help them get back on their feet. They believe that vulnerable Singaporeans can be empowered to independently build a better life for themselves with the right kind of help. Join our extraordinary community of visionaries now & transform lives with just $1 a day: https://habitat.give.asia


Everyone deserves a decent place to call home.

Habitat for Humanity Singapore is part of an international housing charity dedicated to eradicating poverty housing worldwide. Convicted that safe and affordable housing provides a path out of poverty, we have been working alongside low-income communities to increase their access to improved living conditions.

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