Published: 11 March 2023
Mr Nassar Mohamad Zain, President of 4PM,
Mr Danish Mohd Hisham, Organising Chairman of Ramadan on Wheels 2023,
4PM Management Committee Members,
Guests, Partners and Volunteers.
A very good afternoon to all of you.
1. I want to thank 4PM for inviting me to the launch of Ramadan on Wheels cum Family Day 2023.
2. I understand that this is 4PM’s first big scale event since the pandemic, and I am heartened to see so many of you here today.
3. We thank 4PM for organising this event. Please give them a big round of applause.
Ramadan on Wheels and Family Day 2023
4. As you know, Ramadan on Wheels aims to support two groups of beneficiaries – the low-income families and the needy elderly.
5. The theme for this year’s Ramadan on Wheels is ‘Growing Our Future Together’.
6. It encapsulates our goal for an inclusive society – a society where opportunities for growth are available, and assistance will be rendered to those in need.
7. Ramadan on Wheels started in 2001. Since then, it has reached out to more than 25,000 individuals, with the support from more than 5,000 volunteers.
8. This year, Ramadan on Wheels aims to reach out to about 400 families. Beneficiaries will receive food hampers and supermarket vouchers. They will also be engaged through various channels such as family bonding activities, befriending and skills training workshops. These activities will be held over a six-month period, from March to August.
9. This year, Ramadan on Wheels also seeks to promote the spirit of "gotong-royong", or the kampong spirit. It is evident in today's event where families and individuals from all walks of life come together and participate in the various booth activities.
10. I had a tour of the booths earlier. I am happy to see so many fun and engaging booths, such as terrarium-making and face-painting, for families to bond over with their children. I am also pleased to see booths set up by the Lifelong Learning Institute and the National Kidney Foundation to promote continuous learning, and healthy living.
Contributions by Volunteers and Partners
11. I would like to take this opportunity to give a special shout-out to our volunteers and partners.
12. Each year, over 800 volunteers have come together to support the running of the activities. The organising committee for Ramadan on Wheels 2023 meet with the staff of 4PM twice every week, over at least five months, to plan and execute the various programmes and workshops. You have been such strong pillars of support for Ramadan on Wheels.
13. I would like to share the story of “Daniel” (not his real name), a volunteer with the project. “Daniel” used to be a beneficiary of Ramadan on Wheels, where he and his family received assistance such as food rations and grocery vouchers.
14. “Daniel” fondly remembers the friendships and support extended to him by the volunteers. His experience has inspired him to volunteer with Ramadan on Wheels too. “Daniel” is now paying it forward as a driver, distributing food rations and grocery vouchers to others in need. He is also part of the organising committee this year.
15. Thank you, “Daniel”, and thank you to all the volunteers here today. Ramadan on Wheels would not have been possible without each and every one of you. Well done!
16. Collaborating with partners is crucial for Ramadan on Wheels. It is a platform where schools, higher learning institutions and community partners give back to the community in their own ways. This includes direct volunteering, sponsoring of rations, and donating to the various programmes and services.
17. One example is PCF Sparkle Tots at Pasir Ris. They have been participating in the Ramadan on Wheels project every year. With the help of their teachers, students as young as three years old create campaigns about Ramadan on Wheels to garner more donations of rations. Thank you, PCT Sparkle Tots at Pasir Ris.
18. And, we have other schools such as CHIJ Toa Payoh Primary and the School of Science and Technology, Singapore, have played a very important role and also adopted the project to nurture the volunteering spirit in the young.
19. Today, as you can see, we have given out tokens of appreciation to recognise the efforts of the donors and the partners.
20. Please join me again to give them a big round of applause.
21. As you know, we will be entering the month of Ramadan in the next two weeks. Ramadan is a time of trial and reflection, and a month where the rewards for good deeds are multiplied. The trials that each of us face may be different, but the strength that we call upon is the same. Initiatives like Ramadan on Wheels, give us hope and encouragement that we are not alone. It shows us that the community is there to help us move forward and overcome our challenges.
22. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank 4PM for being part of the Malay/Muslim Organisations (MMO) Rehabilitation Network, set up together with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The MMO Rehabilitation Network brings together the efforts of the MMOs to provide better support to prevent offending and reoffending.
23. 4PM has developed a preventive programme that aims to reduce intergenerational offending by building youths’ resilience through curated developmental activities. This is an important cause, and MHA works very closely with the MMOs because we cannot do it alone. We need all hands on deck, so that we can better the lives of each one of us. This is very important, and we are very appreciative of your contributions.
24. Some of these youths have played a part in making Ramadan on Wheels possible and sustainable by volunteering their time and talent. Some of them are involved with the packing and delivery of the food rations, and others will be helping to document the event through taking photos and videos.
25. These are very meaningful and important efforts. Once again, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to all the volunteers, donors and partners for your unwavering support throughout these years. I urge you to continue to support this cause.
26. I wish all of you all the best, and thank you very much, once again.
27. Thank you for having me this lovely afternoon.