Looking to do good this Ramadan?
A time for Muslims to devote themselves to faith, the holy month of Ramadan also invites followers to be empathetic and lend a helping hand to the less fortunate.
Whether you’re a practising Muslim or otherwise, the community is rallying to give back and you can lend your support. The Pride looks at five Ramadan-inspired ground-up charity initiatives started right here in Singapore.
From donating around 20 sets of new furniture to needy families last year, OneHeart Charity is returning this Ramadan to make a bigger and bolder difference.
A project by local education and training provider EduAlly Holdings, OneHeart Charity means much more to founder Dr Mohammad Nizam than just a corporate social responsibility initiative.
As a delinquent student in his youth who was almost sent to the juvenile home, Dr Zam had been fortunate to meet teachers who steered him onto the right path. Their kindness inspired him to become a teacher himself, and keen to lend a helping hand to the underprivileged even after leaving public service and starting his own business, Dr Zam decided to start OneHeart Charity in 2016.
This Ramadan, OneHeart Charity wants to raise $60,000 for care packages to help 100 needy families that will comprise food, clothing and some spending money for Hari Raya. Apart from holding online crowdfunding, OneHeart Charity is also organising virtual and physical flea markets, where donated pre-loved or new items will be sold to raise funds.
The beneficiaries are found through OneHeart Charity’s partners like social enterprise TEAG Pte Ltd, which trains and re-employs disadvantaged women, and Trybe, a group that works with at-risk youths.
A firm believer that in giving, one receives, Dr Zam hopes the initiative will encourage the gotong royong (Malay for togetherness) spirit. He said: “We will learn to love more, feel blessed and grateful, and overall, bring good not only to the beneficiaries, but also to ourselves, and everyone else that is part of the initiative.”
Keen to help?
OneHeart Charity is holding a pop-up flea market at The Tropica, located at Tampines Avenue 1, on June 17 and 18. Donate, patronise or sign up as a vendor for the flea market. Alternatively, you can donate to fund the care packages here.
What happens when a group of free-wheeling truck enthusiasts are inspired by the idea of doing charity?
As it turns out, a heartwarming initiative that will soon see food rations delivered to some 300 underprivileged households this Ramadan.
Founded in 2007 by three brothers who share a love for truck modifications, NamaikiTora is a community in Singapore for four-wheel enthusiasts. Its members come from all walks of life, and apart from being united in their appreciation for dekotora, which is Japanese for the art of truck decorating, they are also keen supporters of helping the less privileged.
Three years ago, the close-knit group decided to start their own charity drive, where they mobilised themselves to raise funds, pack and distribute rations to the needy. For this year’s event on June 11, NamaikiTora is working with the Taoist Organisation and Teck Ghee GRC, and the rations consisting of items like rice, canned food and biscuits will be given to beneficiaries living in Teck Ghee regardless of their race and religion.
Keen to help?
To help fund the food rations, NamaikiTora is accepting donations. Learn more here. Volunteers for the event day are also welcome at Teck Ghee GRC Zone H Residents’ Committee between 3pm and 8pm on 11 June.
SimplyIslam’s Ramadan Charity Basket
For just under $200, most of us would readily spend it all on a fine dining experience or a Great Singapore Sale shopping spree.
To some of the beneficiaries of SimplyIslam’s Ramadan Charity Basket though, $175 worth of groceries and rations is the assurance that they will not go hungry for a couple of months.
A private organisation that provides a range of services from education to community development relevant to the Muslim community, SimplyIslam is now in its 10th year of organising its Ramadan charity drive. This year’s beneficiaries are 200 needy families associated with the Muslim Kidney Action Association and Masjid Darul Aman at Jalan Eunos.
After a decade of organising its Ramadan Charity Basket, the group has a solid base of volunteers, but are currently still some way short of their fundraising target of $40,000.
Keen to help?
Learn more or donate to their fundraiser here.
A Simply Sinless Charity Flea Market
Local bakery Simply Sinless may be well known for its delectable desserts, but it also has a great deal of heart to show for under its sugary exterior. Together with Halal Goods Do Good, Simply Sinless is kicking off a charity flea market, Syawal Shoppes, this Ramadan.
Back for the second year, Syawal Shoppes will see entrepreneurial vendors selling products that range from food to fashion, and will take place every weekend from now leading up to June 23.
While shopping for your favourite Raya goodies or picking up a fashionable find, you’ll be doing good at the same time, as vendors will contribute at least half of their sales proceeds towards the adopted charity of the week. Beneficiaries are rotated every week and they include Pertapis Home, a registered charity that runs a range of welfare homes for the underprivileged, and Project Goodwill Aid, a local volunteer group that goes door to door to help low-income families and elderly folk.
Some notable vendors include Songket Shawls by Rodiva, a homegrown label for shawls, and Aroma Kampong, which has gained a following for its burasak, a unique coconut rice dish served with rendang that is not commonly found in Singapore.
Keen to help?
Drop by and lend your support to the vendors at Simply Sinless’ shopfront located at 103 Beach Road, Marrison Hotel. More details on the flea market here.
Carpool with Terawhere
OK, you won’t find a crowdfunding link to donate to or a charity drive to volunteer for here, but Terawhere is proof that for all its pros and cons, technology can be harnessed to do good for the community.
The brainchild of a team of youths from the Malay-Muslim community in Singapore, Terawhere is a free carpooling mobile application that hopes to make it a breeze for visitors to mosques during the Ramadan. A play on “Terawih”, which refers to special prayers offered during the holy month, Terawhere is in its final stages of development and will be available to Android phone users from Friday, May 26.
Other than just providing a convenient ride to a fellow mosque-goer, the app provides an opportunity for its users to bond with others in the Muslim community and encourages eco-friendliness at the same time.
Learn more here.