I Did Not Buy the iPhone 5, Yet I Feel Good

Ditched the Plan of Buying iPhone 5 for Clean Water

Today, I was supposed to buy my very first iPhone – the iPhone 5. I was thrilled with the idea of having the hottest phone in town. Just like everyone who wants to get their hands on the latest Apple product; I woke up early in the morning so I could walk in to one of the phone centers here in Singapore to join in the long queue.

Just when it was my turn, I was told to just go back again after a couple of hours (Yes, after the long wait, I have to wait again).

Instead of going back and queuing again, I completely ditched the plan of buying the iPhone 5. Instead of getting pissed at the queuing system, I contemplated at how the society developed a thin line between needs and wants to the point that we often mistake the one with the other.

We had become so absorbed with our own wants that we fail to notice what other people need.
Instead of buying the latest iPhone, I will stick with my current ever dependable non-smartphone (an old Samsung phone). It provides me with the real basic necessities such as the ability to send and receive SMS, call and be called and alarm clock. That’s it! No need for any fancy app.

Instead of getting locked in with a phone service provider, I am locking myself to community service by donating the money I’m supposed to spend monthly to pay for a fancy phone to help provide clean water for Rwanda through CharityWater.

I Do Not Need the iPhone 5, Many Countries Need Clean Water

I’ve always wondered how – in my own little ways – I could help make a difference or at least do something more than trying to fulfilling my own needs. That’s when I learned about the people in Rwanda.

To help them, my plan is simple: every 5th of the month, I will be donating $39 to a CharityWater campaign so I could help bring water in homes in Rwanda.

For this month, I am donating my money as a birthday greeting to Pete Cashmore of Mashable. While I have learned about CharityWater before, on his 27th birthday last September 18th, Pete requested that people don’t send him gifts and donate for clean water instead.

I’m not donating millions because just like most people, I’m not able to. I can only donate a small amount of money monthly, for a couple of years, yet I know that somehow a kid gets the basic necessity in life – clean water.

Charity: Water  spends 100% of what people donate to building facilities that will help distribute clean water to individuals and families in developing nations so that gives me an assurance that no matter how small my donation may be, someone’s life is improved by it.

I have stripped myself with unnecessary expenditure so I could help provide a necessity for someone. After all, living is not about getting all that we want; it’s about making our lives count – not just fulfilling our dreams and goals, but making a difference in someone’s life other than our own.

So, you know what’s sexier than the slimmest iPhone yet? Donating to Charity:Water.

May we start to get rid of our expensive habits and unnecessary purchases to help more people in Africa get clean water. Join me – together, let us ditch expensive habits for clean water.

Update: Some people told me I could just have both. It’s nice to hear some people have those ability :) For me, it’s just one or the other. I could live without a smartphone. Those in Africa can’t live without clean water. 


  1. vinzonmaryanne says

    It is nice to know that even the rising of high technology you still prioritize other people than yourself.You did a good job, instead of buying a new phone you think  to help others for their own sake.

  2. iaadamlim says

    Congratulations Jonha for making an educated decision for yourself and the people of Rwanda. May your action inspire more people to re-assess between their needs and wants.  

  3. says

    wow dear! congratulations! the same here.for some reason that i love apple products, i am not like those tons of people wanted to have that iPhone 5. i think its just for vanity or show off. PS: I still have the very first iPhone 3g haha! very proud of you babe!! x0x0

    • says

      Thanks dear. It was one of the decisions which I really felt good doing afterwards. I could survive without a fancy phone. Those people in Africa couldn’t survive without water. 

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