As an infant charity at that point, MR was determined to develop its muscles and it did this through the formulation of a volunteer network, engaging and drafting youths into its fold. Collaborating with the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) and Perdaus, MR assembled a team of youth volunteers from different backgrounds, blending their skills and strengths, to help the less fortunate children in Cambodia. Named ‘Riding the Rapids 2’ and supported by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), the team landed in Takeo, where it worked at the Aspeca orphanage. The task: to refurbish the dilapidated dormitory buildings and construct a new drainage system in and around the orphanage to prevent the recurring problem of overflowing floodwaters which occur during the annual monsoon seasons. The project included economic sustenance programme and skills training course. Incidentally, the expedition helped expose the youth volunteers to a new learning environment and experience through educational and cultural exchange activities.


MR partnered Muslim Aid Australia (MAA) and completed the construction of two schools in Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham provinces. The partners also introduced skills training programme in Phnom Penh through the setting up of a computer laboratory and a sewing school. The courses were supported by the local Ministry of Education which endorsed the certifications.

Building on its previous efforts in Cambodia, MR deployed a team of 24 youth volunteers to Siem Reap to expand on an existing handicraft centre (Proleng Khmer) through the construction of a pottery house, a high-temperature kiln and a kiln studio. The aim of the project was to equip local Khmer youths with relevant pottery and weaving skills to provide them with better employment opportunities. Singapore’s own Master Potter Iskandar Jalil provided his inputs on the design of the kiln, later named as the Singa Kiln. Together with MR’s Advisor Abdullah Tarmugi, Master Iskandar Jalil travelled to Proleng Khmer in October to share his natural gift with the young and aspiring local potters. The project was part-funded by Master Iskandar and other reputed Singaporean potters such as Ahmad Abu Bakar, Thomas Cheong and Alvin Leow, all of whom had earlier donated their unique art creations for sale. The remainder of the project costs was provided by a group of Singaporean philanthropists.

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