This whole of October we at halalfoodhunt.com are putting good causes up in the forefront! $5 from every sale of every FRIENDS Cards goes to five causes. This time, we get to know Project Goodwill Aid (PGA), a self-volunteer group consisting of like-minded individuals giving back to society. Dila, the admin officer from PGA tells us more the community organisation. We’d love to help them out a bit because we believe in this cause too!
Why did you start your organisation?
It started by accident when I came across a child abuse case in 2013. I went into action to help stop the abuse by trying to organize help for the child and I realized that I could not do it alone. Hence, I began sharing the case and seeking help through my contact and friends on social media platform. It turns out there are many who felt the same way that I do and we came together as a team. Project Goodwill Aid was hence born. We realized that there are many needy families and especially the elderly who are suffering behind closed doors. Hence, it became our mission to seek them out and help to address their plight in giving them access to food, proper education, proper living conditions and show them avenues for seeking financial and other aids.
How long has it been running for?
We have been befriending & supporting needy families since 2013. We call those families under our help our carelist and it has been growing from 300 in 2013 to up to 1000 currently.
Tell us about your team.
Our team consist of about 25 people coming from different walks of life, we all have the same mindset: to put a smile to those we help. In our events, we try to utilize each of our strength and skillset. We became volunteer friends through participating in the numerous charity projects that PGA organizes . Each projects has its own challenges and from there close relationships were forged and strengthen as we face and surmount the difficulties, sharing the first hand experience of the underprivilege life behind close doors or tears of joy when we manage to help them out.
As a group, we also respect each other’s privacy & we always remind each other that our family comes first. We are proud of the volunteers who bring their family members along to volunteer.
What would you use the funds for?
We have a month long program called the “Back To School Project” occurring every Nov-Dec . This project aims to ease the burden of needy families with school-going children in preparing for their basic necessities when school reopens in January. The funds collected would go into buying items such as new school shoes & socks, school bag and stationery sets for the new school term at a budget of $100 per student. Our PGA volunteers would be bringing the kids out “shopping” for these items so that they can have the experience of choosing their own bags and stationery for their new school term. We hope that this initiative would give the kids some motivation and confidence in starting their new school term. Donors are welcome to bring them shopping too!
What is your favourite food in Singapore?
Nasi Ambeng is one of my favourite food. Nasi ambeng is a rice cuisine served in a tray consisting of white rice accompanied by mouth-watering dishes such as chicken cooked in coconut gravy, beef rendang, fried fish , fried potato cutlets, fried marinated cow lungs, mixed vegetables (sambal goreng), raw vegetable salad in marinated coconut dressing or urap and salted fish. The dishes are served around the rice mound on a round tray suitable to be eaten together by four to five persons. This cuisine when served to guests at festivities in the olden days symbolizes the idea of coming together and sharing and eating together amongst friends or strangers fostering camaraderie and strengthening friendship bonds. As people sit down they will call upon those around to complete the sets of four to five packs before they begin eating with their hands. Rarely does food served as a nasi ambeng goes to waste as everyone chip in to eat their share!
What does friendship mean to you?
I believe that friendship knows no boundaries, has any specifications or restrictions. It is a connection between 2 individual based on trust that each can be their trueselves without any judgement. That friends will be there when you need them most despite our faults. I feel that friendship to me is as important as family ties.
What does food mean to you?
Individually, food is important because it keeps us alive. Because food is a basic need for everyone to survive, food is often time a unifying factor. It serves in bringing people together. In sourcing it, in making it and especially in enjoying it. That is why we normally end our charity or voluntary work by eating together.
What is the one thing your organisation would need more support in?
Donors & volunteers. We currently have the support of 25 regular volunteers. Depending on the charity work that we do, we may activate more volunteers through publicity on social meadia platform or activating our adhoc volunteers.
As our carelist grows so will we need more funding and donors to come forward to help us run our events like groceries distribution , buying diapers, paying for utilities and daily necessities for the elderlies.
Follow Project Goodwill Aid on Facebook to find out how to volunteer with them.