City Harvest Church’s donation to the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board will enable more needy students to receive bursaries and scholarships for their education.
Contributed by Daphne Lee
By the end of 2010, close to 17,000 students across various walks of life would have benefited from the bursaries given out by Lembaga Biasiswa Kenangan Maulud (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board), amounting to a total of over S$12 million.
Playing a part in this worthy cause is City Harvest Church, which recently donated S$20,000 to LBKM. Founded in 1965, the scholarship fund board helps needy Singaporeans in the area of education, regardless of their race or religion. CHC was recognized as a donor to LBKM’s fundraising efforts on its 45th Anniversary Dinner Celebration, held at Mandarin Orchard Hotel on April 16.
Tan Ye Peng, vice-president of the church’s management board, says: “This is the first time that CHC is donating to LBKM but it is not our first time making a donation to non-Christian organizations. CHC has been giving to non-Christian organizations that are doing a good work in our community, and we will continue to do so as part of our commitment to inter-faith collaborations and unity.”
At the celebrations, guest-of-honor President S. R. Nathan presented Tan with a coffee-table cookbook titled Lazatnya … Recipes Of Love. The 150-page book, which was officially launched by the President, is in Malay and English, and contains culinary recipes contributed by the Istana and various embassies and ethnic associations. Fifteen thousand copies of the book will be sold to fund LBKM’s bursaries.
LBKM awards bursaries to students pursuing religious and secular education starting from primary up to post-graduate level. The value of each bursary ranges from S$200 to S$3,000. This year, it aims to step up its efforts to provide more quality-based and prestigious scholarships, alongside its bursaries to needy students.
CHC also hopes to support the new LBKM Fellowship, which was announced at the celebrations. The Fellowship is a tie-up with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy to offer a master’s degree.
This is the first time that LBKM has received funds from Christian organizations. Its president, Haji Wan Hussin Zoohri says, “I am very happy that we have a mutual respect for each other, and hopefully you will continue to support us in all our scholarships.”
Tan says that the move is a welcomed one as different religions in Singapore are actively involved in serving the needs of those less fortunate and underprivileged in the community.
“This is a common space between all the religions in which we can further grow and work together,” he adds. “We believe these community service partnerships will further enhance inter-racial and inter-religious understanding and reduce the risk of misunderstandings.”
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CHC has been involved in several such partnerships, collaborating with Buddhist welfare organizations and mosques on blood donation drives, and making financial donations to non-Christian charities since 2004.
Over 800 people were present at the dinner celebration. There were representatives from various faiths who also helped LBKM raise funds, including Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society and New Creation Church. The evening was marked by musical performances, a cake-cutting ceremony, a slideshow depicting LBKM’s history and live music by the Singapore-Malay Orchestra.