The Chain Reaction Project

Born and bred in Singapore, Zhang Tingjun’s father is Chinese and mother American, she’s organised events at Standard Chartered and did television reporting for Channel NewsAsia before starting The Chain Reaction Project ( with three other friends – Alexandra Toh, Anina Boshoff and Jasmine Wong.  Calling themselves a social enterprise, the fantastic four traversed the world undertaking adventure races for adopted charities and now have a network of more than 1,000 volunteers.

Their maiden voyage was the 2009 Tour de Timor in Timor-Leste, a 450 kilometer mountain biking expedition across rough terrain and rugged countryside.  This raised $44,500 for HIAM Health, a children’s malnutrition centre.  Since then they have scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Apo in The Philippines, contributing a total of $140,000 to Amani Children’s Home and Visayan Forum Foundation respectively.

The dynamic Chinese-American is the second of four daughters in her family.  She muses on how her family has been just as supportive in her causes, “Both my parents and sisters came to help out on the trips.  It’s difficult to be in my unconventional line of work but they want me to pursue something I am passionate about.”

All the physical challenges paid off, as Tingjun came in first runner up in July at the Yahoo! Singapore 9.  Nominated in the social entrepreneurship field, this came as a surprise to her, ”The Chain Reaction project is a young organisation and there is still a lot for us to learn.  I am very grateful for this pleasant surprise.  The increased recognition in turn allows us to do even more for our adopted charities.”

This December, Tingjun and company will be going to Siem Reap with a target amount of $40,000 to aid against human trafficking.


Adapted from Lifestyle Magazine, October 2012




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