Taiwanese singer Rachel Liang Wen Yin has signed on to be the 30-hour famine ambassador 2017 for World Vision.

Liang, whose real name is Lehea’ne, is an indigenous singer from Taiwan’s aboriginal Rukai tribe, and was propelled into the limelight after emerging runner-up in Taiwan’s reality star search TV show One Million Stars in 2008.

She was recently in Kuala Lumpur to lend her support to World Vision Malaysia to launch a campaign to raise RM2.7mil for its 30-Hour Famine 2017.

When she was in Malaysia, Liang paid a visit to ElShaddai Refugee Learning Centre, a local beneficiary of the 30-Hour Famine. There, she spent time with Year 6 students where they learnt about healthy habits through singing and playing games.

“From the visit and interaction with the children, I was moved by their cheerful outlook. These children are already so hungry, yet they still have the energy to sing and dance and do so much.

“I felt like crying, but I held back my tears. I did not want to scare the children; they don’t want your pity,” the singer said.

“As someone who has experienced a difficult childhood after being orphaned, I know what that feels like. Children have pride too; they are not looking for handouts. What they need is a positive outlook and to know that there is hope and they can find love.”

The soft-spoken singer from Kaohsiung told of how she herself had benefited from World Vision’s international child sponsorship programme as she had lost her parents when she was only 10 years old.

“I was also one of the kids who were waiting for a foster family; I remember filling in the form to apply for child sponsorship programme. It was almost 20 years ago.

rachel liang

Liang understands how children at refugee centre feels as she was orphaned at the age of 10.

I was around 12 years old. It was a very turbulent time in my life. And, it was agonising because it was such a challenge for me to even be able to accept help,” she recalled.

“Not everybody understood that even as a young girl, I had my own dignity. And, I didn’t want sympathy, or have them think that I was begging for help,” continued Liang, who is working on her new album

As a singer who specialises in love songs, Liang explained: “Love is a two-way communication. There is a sender and there is a receiver. Through interaction with children, we show them the value of being able to give as well as receive love.

“Together, we can make any contribution that will make a big difference in the lives of these children.”

Liang’s active involvement in many charitable activities in Taiwan is also part of her desire to inspire others to pay it forward.

“I learnt to make charity part of my lifestyle, and it is very heartening for me to see it becoming a trend as many others are doing the same,” said the singer, who will be back in Malaysia to help cheer on the participants of the 30-Hour Famine Countdown as they go through the last four hours of their 30-hour fast.

World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine 2017 will culminate in a countdown at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam, Selangor on July 30. The event has a new theme – One Future: No Hunger – and is expected to attract 35,000 participants.