On 20th January 2010, Mercy Relief (MR) sealed  its partnership with the National Youth Council (NYC) to up the ante for youth volunteerism in Asia.

Hassan Ahmad, Chief Executive of MR signed the LOA alongside NYC's Director, Koh Peng Keng. The signing was witnessed by Mr Teo Ser Luck (Chairman of NYC) and Mr T K Udairam (Chairman of MR)

Hassan Ahmad, Chief Executive of MR signed the LOA alongside NYC’s Director, Koh Peng Keng. The signing was witnessed by Mr Teo Ser Luck (Chairman of NYC) and Mr T K Udairam (Chairman of MR)

SPEECH BY MERCY RELIEF CHAIRMAN T K  UDAIRAM AT THE LETTER OF AGREEMENT SIGNING BETWEEN NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL AND MERCY RELIEF – WEDNESDAY 20 JANUARY 2010

  1. Today marks an important step forward in the relationship between the National Youth Council and Mercy Relief, and also for overseas volunteerism for the youth sector.  I thank Chairman Teo for having Mercy Relief as NYC’s partner to expand and enhance its Youth Expedition Programme.
  2. Through this partnership, youth volunteers will now be able to be part of the larger Singaporean philanthropic jigsaw to help improve the lives of poor and disadvantaged communities in Asia.  MR is currently implementing fourteen non-crisis poverty-reduction and disaster risk mitigation projects in China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam focusing on water & sanitation, shelter, livelihood, education and healthcare.
  3. As Mercy Relief implements the ‘hardware’ such as rainwater-harvesting, irrigation and sanitation facilities for these Singaporean-funded projects, I am certain that the NYC-funded youth volunteer teams will be able to enhance the humanitarian service through the engagement with their counterparts by providing ‘software’ such as introducing basic business concepts and improving teaching methods, conducting personal and public hygiene workshops etc.  This combination of services will help reflect effectively the ‘heart-ware’, of Singapore and Singaporeans, in a more holistic fashion.
  4. Sharing a parallel vision of youth development, I have no doubt of the positive impact this collaboration will have on the volunteers.  We have always subscribed to the mandate that the way forward in developing the humanitarian sector is through exposing and educating youth.  With 15 expeditions tabled for the year, this collaboration is set to bear fruit soon.
  5. Mercy Relief has been sending out youth expeditions to the Asian countries since our establishment in 2003, albeit on an ad-hoc basis.  That however is set to change with the inking of today’s agreement with NYC as our partner, plus the recent setting up of the Mercy Overseas Volunteer Expedition programme, or MOVE.
  6. Comprising two primary platforms for volunteer deployments (1) Mercy Expedition and (2) Mercy Youth – MOVE personifies our vision of more structured programmes for volunteers to develop themselves as regional humanitarians.
  7. Mercy Expedition or simply called MX is where we engage adult or corporate volunteers in general for overseas expeditions.  Mercy Youth on the other hand, or MY in short, is the platform which makes perfect sense of the partnership between NYC and Mercy Relief.
  8. We also have in place a volunteer alumnus known as the MOVE Network, for the continued engagement and development of the returning volunteers.  The members will be known as MOVERS, for the roles they will be playing in the volunteer and youth social movements overseas.
  9. And to drive the MOVE Network, a simple slogan which reads – ‘It’s Good to Feel Bad’.  In humanitarian service, feeling bad is good as it makes us feel that we could and should be doing more for the less fortunate.  This is an important mentality which should reach deep into the psyche of every volunteer, and that is precisely what we strive to inculcate amongst our returning overseas volunteers.
  10. I am confident the partnership between NYC and Mercy Relief would enhance the overseas volunteer and youth sector in Singapore and incidentally cultivate a more grateful and gracious society.
  11. Once again, I would like to thank NYC for this partnership.
  12. Thank you.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org