AT NINETY-FOUR YEARS old, petite Buddhist nun, Venerable Shi Chin Yam stands tall. For the past 33 years she has been the main driving force behind the Man Fut Tong Nursing Home that takes care of the old and sickly. What started as the first humble Buddhist old folks home for females in Hougang is now a $10 million home at Woodlands. It was inaugurated in January this year.
"I am so happy that my dream has finally come true. I am deeply indebted to all of the people who have made this possible," exclaimed Venerable Chin Yam.
A recipient of a Public Service Medal (PBM) at last year's National Day Award ceremony in recognition of her dedication and devotion to her mission, Venerable Chin Yam is not resting on her laurels. Her one wish now is to place the home in good running order before passing it on to her successors.
"Now I can devote my efforts to developing the home to be more geared to providing tender, loving, high quality nursing, rehabilitation and geriatric care for Singaporeans."
No mean feat, especially for a person whom by normal standards would either be at home or a home nursing some old ailment.
"Many people ask me why I don't relax at this age. I tell them it's important to keep active all the time when you can still do it."
Venerable Chin Yam would not have it any other way. Her philosophy in life has always been 'to accomplish a task with your own hands if you are able to'.
"The goal has always been the same; to give back to society for the good things that it has provided for me.
"And it is because I am old myself, I understand perfectly the kinds of geriatric problems and needs of an old person," explained Venerable Chin Yam.
Note: Man Fut Tong Home is a government supported charitable organisation for the sick and aged. It is located at
No: 20 Woodlands Street 82,
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