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February 2020

50 volunteers from the interfaith community and the Hubei community in Singapore came together to share their solicitude and support for the ongoing brave efforts of frontline healthcare workers in Hubei which faces the biggest challenge of the Covid-19 public health episode.


Kickstarting the response with a small team of volunteers, the initiative grew organically through word of mouth to include local interfaith youth volunteers and students and workers of Hubei and Chinese origins to sort, pack and load relief supplies comprising of surgical and medical gloves; N95 and surgical masks, and adult diapers for delivery to Hubei together. 


The items, worth over SGD100,000, seek to support the safety, comfort and dignity of healthcare personnel working round-the-clock across 8 identified Hubei hospitals.


Spearheading the ground-up initiative, Mr Chung Kwang Tong, Executive Director of Humanity Matters, shared on the rationale behind the project "What we seek to do is bringing common people with common values and concerns onto common grounds for the common good.  By that, we mean that we become that common vehicle where people can enliven and set their common value – compassion, into collective motion, hence our corporate philosophy – collective compassion in motion.”


Due to the global shortage of medical supplies, the relief response also activated HM’s Faiths@Work regional interfaith humanitarian network to source, verify and procure supplies across Southeast Asia and India. The relief supplies will be flown to China this coming Tuesday and scheduled to reach Hubei within days.


Mr Chung also emphasised on rationality, good sense, trust and calm in dealing with the public health situation, “While everyone must be alert and prepared during any crisis, we urge Singaporeans to purchase only items which are of appropriate quality and price.  One example – not all of N95 masks can provide effective protection against this current virus.  Some models are made merely for protection from dust particles or smoke.  So, research is important before buying anything.  Panic buying is not helpful.  It merely leads to inflated prices."


The Hubei Relief 2020 effort is coordinated by Humanity Matters (HM), a unique Singapore-born regional interfaith humanitarian organisation, with institutional support from Ng Kim Suan Foundation, Mahakaruna Buddhist Society, Dredging International and Aquayana.  HM is partnering Xinhua Net (XHN) and Strange Universe Technology (SUT) which have extensive reach in China for the ground clearance, delivery and distribution of the relief supplies to and across Hubei.


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