Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Saturday November 2nd 2019

Fighting poverty through sharing and caring – a forum on ground-up charities on 26th October

In the course of helping the poor and needy here, I discovered – much to my pleasant surprise – many ground-up charities going about alleviating the various multi-faceted needs of poverty through their own small but effective ways.

Many are of course registered but not necessarily funded by the government, they look for funds privately through their own ingenious ways and curve out a niche for themselves in our heavily-congested charity sector. There is currently now at least 10% of our population living in abject poverty ie. for households earning less than $1000/month mostly affecting the elderly, single parents and disabled.

On a conservative estimate, we are looking at a minimum 100,000 families of four members which require a helping hand from the government and our different charity groups.

Though they are heavily assisted by the many government welfare schemes found in CDC, Comcare, Meet-the-People MP sessions, race-based self-help charities such as CDAC, Sinda and Merdaki, their needs seem insurmountable – made worse by the ever-increasing cost of livelihood and also more significantly a lack of a minimum wage to moderate the living cost.

Poverty is now a popular word used by both the government and populace, ironically reinforced by the fact that we are considered a rich country – developed and modern in infrastructure but once if we dig down deep there are pockets of poverty lying around often much hidden from the eyes of the common people.

Take the example of the push-cart elderly who peddle cardboard for a living – also the focal charity group of Happy People Helping People. They will go out early in the morning to collect cardboard from provision shops and stack their cart full with cardboards to sell them at a pittance in order to ekk out a living. Many struggle to survive in our modern society which places a premium on retirement with our own savings through the CPF minimum sum and cash annuity products.

However, those who are in their seventies and eighties will have very little to retire on as CPF is still very much unheard of during their era and our nation seems to have forgotten about this group of elderly who have toiled through blood and tears since independence.

Thank you Happy People Helping People for giving back some form of humanity to this elderly group of strugglers through your charity outreach!

We also have Free Food For All speaking at the forum -a charity group which specialises in proving basic food on the table for those who are struggling with livelihood – either those who are chronically ill or those that is left astray by unfortunate circumstances.

It is a God-sent charity group as food is a basic need for many poor families and the ability to leave this worry aside is a huge relief for many out there.

Ground-up charity groups meet a unique distinct need which the government or big government-funded charities could not or will not want to reach out to. For example, the push-cart elderly is a specific group of around 250 which requires alot of volunteer outreach and also strong hands and legs to source them out first before engaging them on a regular basis. It’s no easy feat and my salutation to this group of hard-working individuals who call this target group their own.

Ground-up charity groups usually mean more volunteers are involved and they decide on a consensual basis how they are going to approach the target within their own resources with very minimal interference from the authorities as all the efforts and funds are ground-up.

Two other speakers from Sathya Sai International and Rainmakerz Ptd Ltd will also be speaking at the event and I will be thrilled to know more about these group’s charity activities.

It is such a rare occurrence that we are seeing ground-up charities speaking together on a single platform and we hope to be inspired and motivated by these fantastic individuals who led the charity groups.

Please register to gilbert@transitioning.org or goh_gilbert@yahoo.com for places to attend the free forum.

The details of the forum are:-

Date: 26th October (Saturday)

Time: 3.30 to 6pm

Place: The Mahota 808 Kitchener Complex 3rd level S(200809)

Format: Speeches by speakers follow by panelist Q & A

The forum will appeal particularly to those who are keen to learn more about the different ground-up local charities and those who are looking for specific charity to volunteer their time with.

So hope to see you soon!

Written by: Gilbert Goh

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