On 3 February 2018, Caritas Singapore hosted more than 180 guests and partners to a Chinese New Year (CNY) lunch at Agape Village (AV). The guest of honour for the event was Mr Saktiandi Supaat, MP and Adviser to Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
The Caritas Singapore Chinese New Year Lunch with Friends aimed at providing beneficiaries a scrumptious meal during this festive season. The event was organised through the collaborative efforts of our member organisations – Catholic Welfare Services and Society of St Vincent de Paul, together with community partners, Care Corner (Toa Payoh) and Potong Pasir Resident Committee, and corporate partner, MasterSeals International Pte Ltd.
Guests came from different walks of life; the young, the old, individuals or with family. Mr Supaat and grassroots representatives were met by the Board members and senior management of Caritas Singapore.
To kick off the event, a Lion Dance performance welcomed everyone with a dazzling display. The ’lions’ presented LOVE formed with mandarin oranges and a scroll with CNY wishes, to Ms Teo Jin Lee (Chairman, Agape Village Management Committee) and Ms Bernadette Lau (ED, Caritas Singapore).
In her opening address, Ms Teo expressed her gratitude for the support received from the different partners and stressed, “All this is possible because there is collaboration, and we are very, very blessed and privileged to be working with the government, social services organisations and corporations.”
The energy of the event was further heightened as guests were led through a lo-hei session, where each wish was complimented with a Bible verse.
Ms Janet Ang, Chairman, Caritas Singapore presented a token of appreciation to the representative from our corporate partner, MasterSeals, and to Mr Saktiandi Supaat for his support.
In his speech, Mr Supaat stressed the importance of “neighbourliness” and collaborations between partners. He shared, “I’m glad to see a lot of collaborations between the partners, within the Catholic organisations and also within the PA (People’s Association) network being involved in Caritas activities. We all have a duty, not just from the grassroots and myself as an advisor, to build a better community, to strengthen all and actually to leave no one behind, regardless of race.”
Guests were then presented with NTUC gift vouchers as the GOH and representatives of Caritas and its partners moved from table to table in the hall.
Performances for the day were cheerful and varied. This included a CNY sing-along led by Caritas Singapore’s staff, a recital by talented six-year-old violinist, Andrei Slobodyanyuk, a Ukulele ensemble by UkeWaves from Siglap South CC, an energetic Zumba workout from the ‘Spice Girls of Agape Village’ and for the finale, Romito Mendoza (aka Singapore Elvis) belted out powerful renditions of popular rock and roll songs which prompted staff and guests to the dancefloor for an impressive finish to a wonderful afternoon.
We are touched that this first-ever collaborative effort was met with overwhelming support from generous donors (via a fundraising campaign on giving.sg), and from a corporate partner. We look forward to more collaborations where we can serve the community better, through the synergy with our partners!