When it comes to giving life, no religious difference stands in the way for this group of Singaporeans.
Contributed By Yeo Zhi Qi
The drive, which was a tripartite collaboration between City Harvest Community Services Association, Assayafaah Mosque and Jelutong Community Club, saw people from different walks of lives streaming into the mosque to donate blood. Lim, who was the guest-of-honor for the event, was also there to donate blood, leading by example.
The MP praised the groups of different faith for their joint effort in promoting racial and religious harmony. It was all the more significant given the nature of blood donation—it is an act of saving lives.
“I am heartened by the efforts of all parties,” said Lim, before explaining the importance of keeping Singapore’s blood blank replenished.
Established in March 1996, CHCSA, which is run mostly with the help of volunteers, has demonstrated practical care and help to society regardless of race, language and religion. Since 2000, more than 30 blood donation drives have been organized by the association.
|CN PHOTO: Aaron Low|
CHCSA hopes to partner with institutions of differing faiths in various community projects (blood donation drives being one of them), to enable volunteers to foster communication and understanding with others of differing beliefs, while contributing positively to the community.
The donors, from different faith groups, age groups and walks of life, streamed in to do their part in giving to the community. With over 60 registrations in just one-and-a-half hours into the drive, the response was good and the queues moved swiftly. Volunteers, staff and medical workers went about efficiently tending to the logistics, administrative and medical needs of the entire operation.
Sitit Khadijala Ali, a social development officer of the Assayafaah Mosque and one of the co-organizers of the blood donation drive said that this was not the first time the mosque has worked with CHCSA. The two groups had co-organized similar blood donation drives in previous years.
Vice chairman of Assayafaah Mosque, Mohd Saleh Bin B. K. Moideen, explained that one of the aims of the event was to build relationships with other religious groups. He expressed his desire to see more of such inter-faith events being organized.
One of those who donated blood for the first time that day was Ahmad, a flight steward. He only knew about the blood donation drive the previous day. “I happened to hear about the blood donation drive and decided to drop in to participate. I will definitely donate blood again in future because it’s a very good thing to do.”
Vincent, a student whose blood falls under the AB+ blood group, explained that his blood type is not common and that he was happy to donate his blood to save lives as “blood is precious.”
Speaking to City News right after she had finished donating blood, Muhd Hasmi, a regular blood donor said, “I have donated blood quite a few times already. It’s painless and fuss-free. It is the most basic gift a human being can give to another.”
Encouraging more people to do their part in saving lives was IT engineer, Poh Yong Huat who is a seventh-time donor. He likened the blood donation experience to an “ant bite,” reiterating that it is not a painful experience.
By the day’s end, 110 individuals showed up to register for blood donation, with a total of 79 units of blood collected for the Health Science Authority of Singapore.
For more information on CHCSA, log on to www.chcsa.org.sg
Every Drop Counts
Number of blood donation drives organized/co-organized by CHCSA in 2009: 10
Number of blood donation drives planned for 2010: 8
Number of targeted registered blood donors with CHCSA in 2009: 2,700
Number of actual registered blood donors with CHCSA in 2009: 2,708
Organizations that CHCSA has partnered with in blood donation drives:
• Joo Chiat Citizen’s Consultative Committee
• Assayakirin mosque
• Darussalam Mosque
• Assayafaah Mosque
CHCSA has registered a total of 15,257 blood donors in the last nine years, and has been a recipient of the “Champion Blood Mobile Organiser” recognized by the Health Science Authority of Singapore every year since 2002.