Singapore’s own and only implementing humanitarian relief and development organisation, Mercy Relief, had its flagship local outreach programme –the Cultivating the Grateful & Gracious Spirit (CGGS) 2012 –officially launched near the Yishun MRT station today by Minister K Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law and Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC (Chong Pang). The Singapore-born humanitarian NGO collaborated with the Nee Soon GRC to showcase Singaporeans’ compassion and its neighbours’ resilience in times of regional crisis, through a 3-day public exhibition which included first-hand images of devastated habitats, distressed communities, relief responses, selfless giving and human bonding. Singaporean-designed technological innovations, which are appropriate for disaster relief and rural applications, were also on display for public viewing and testing. The exhibition was opened to the public from 6 –8 July.
Launching MR’s flagship local outreach programme, Minister K Shanmugam cycled on the PedalPure to allow blue running water pass through the ‘True Blue’ board which was presented to Nee Soon GRC.
As a humanitarian organisation that is active in regional disaster response, Mercy Relief (MR) often witness gracious acts, usually bound by the spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism during its overseas relief missions. Its volunteers, donors and partners who have sacrificed their time, energy, money and comfort to help cushion the pains of others, are the inspiration behind the NGO’s works. This included some of the incredible beneficiary communities who despite being victims of disasters, chose to set aside or overcome their own agonies to reach out to others who were worse off than themselves. These are the stories and lessons that MR shares with Singaporeans through the CGGS.
Started in 2008 as a outreach campaign, the CGGS has evolved into MR’s flagship local outreach programme, which means that it will be an ongoing effort versus a seasonal campaign. The CGGS seeks to inculcate the attitude of gratitude and the spirit of sharing amongst Singaporeans. The Programme’s slogan – If we could care for strangers(around us), then caring wouldn’t be strange (amongst us) –calls on Singaporeans to reflect on and react to their blessings and others’ burden respectively.
MR CE Hassan bringing Minister Shanmugam through the stories of compassion and resilience at the exhibition, accompanied by MR Chairman Udairam.
MR has placed many of the stories and lessons learnt, acquired in the course of its regional humanitarian service, into different baskets with distinct themes, for better focus and easier appreciation:
1. Global Citizenry – promote the spirit of overseas volunteerism;
2. Singapore Spirit – showcase how normal Singaporeans have gone beyond their means to care for others;
3. A Nation Resilient – share on how disaster-stricken communities have displayed strength & unity amidst adversity
4. Servant Leadership – share on the philosophies of leadership in relation to community service.
In his speech, Minister Shanmugam said, “Mercy Relief’s works remind us to look beyond our borders – what we can help to offer and what we can learn from the trials and tribulations of others. As we steer a course for Singapore in this uncertain global environment, these are important questions for us to ask. And I’m glad that this is a ground-up initiative.”
Interestingly this year, the CGGS has been incorporated into the Ministry of Education’s Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) curriculum. Commenting on this, Mercy Relief’s Chairman, T K Udairam said, “We are quietly optimistic that the compassionate hearts of the people will one day turn Singapore, from being just a successful global city to a nation of distinction. However, we are also realistic optimists, hence we do realise that while we all sometimes would like to have that facility of “fast-forward”, some things do take time and we would need to build on it together, step by step.”
Minister K Shanmugam complimenting and encouraging MR volunteers for their wonderful spirit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org