Charity Fiesta 2001 raises $42,000

by MERVYN SEK

Twenty-four voluntary welfare organisations were touched by the generosity of NUS. Among the 24 beneficiaries participating in the fund-raising event were the Hospice Care Association, the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, the Students Care Service and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Charity Fiesta 2001, with the theme Live Our Vision, was held on 27–29 August 2001. Organised by the NUSSU Volunteer Action Committee (NVAC), the event was the biggest fund-raising bazaar, carnival, exhibition and recruitment drive in NUS. It aimed to raise funds through the sale of handmade handicrafts, stationery and food at stalls set up alongside information booths manned by the beneficiaries.

Speaking at the official opening, Mrs Tan Chee Koon, executive director for the National Volunteer Centre, encouraged undergraduates to embrace the spirit of volunteerism, “There are many people who still need your care and support, and you can make the difference for them.”

Prior to the event, coupon sales at junior colleges and other tertiary institutions were organised. A flag day was also held to publicise the fiesta and raise additional funds for the beneficiaries. “We hope that more people will start helping those less fortunate than themselves,” said Goh Kee Lee, project director for Charity Fiesta 2001.

Lunchtime concerts were held during the three-day event. The overwhelming turn-out was treated to vocal acts by the Hark Music singers from The Ark Lounge and the NUS Voices, as well as dance performances by the NUS Synergy dancers and the Retired Seniors Volunteer Programme.

A resounding success, Charity Fiesta 2001 promoted volunteerism in NUS. It raised the profile of the participating beneficiaries and opened the hearts of the undergraduates to charity. More than $42,000 was raised and channelled to the participating beneficiaries adopted by NVAC. This record achievement was definitely timely to celebrate the International Year of Volunteers 2001.

NVAC wins first prize for students community service

The NUS Students’ Union Volunteer Action Committee (NVAC) was awarded the first prize for the 18–25-year-old group category of the students community service awards. Supported by the National Youth Council and the National Council of Social Services, the award was instituted by the Rotary Club of Singapore to encourage students to become conscientious and caring members of the community. A total of 72 nominations and entries were received by the awards committee last year.

Its activities include befriending and tutoring the children at the Boys’ Town, providing care, companionship and assistance to the lonely, elderly residents under the Lions Befrienders scheme in Bukit Merah, volunteering at the Institute of Mental Health and the Moral Welfare Home, assisting in providing individual nursing and social care, as well as helping out at MINDS Guillemard and MINDS Yio Chu Kang.