HIA Recognised in Parliament for Contribution Towards Singapore’s Response to COVID-19
Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA) appreciates the standing ovation in the Singapore Parliament session on 20 March 2023 for front liners and everyone who contributed towards tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Rev. Ezekiel Tan, President of HIA, was amongst these guests seated in the chambers of Parliament during the debate. He was with healthcare professionals, representatives from public agencies, private sector companies and social service organisations that worked hard to fight the pandemic.
During his speech, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, said that “everyone did our part in the interests of the common good”. HIA echoes this statement and takes this opportunity to thank all individuals and organisations who helped Singapore’s fight against COVID-19 in the past three years. As Minister Wong said, "this
is a crisis of our generation”. HIA is grateful to everyone who played their part in dealing with this unprecedented situation that tested the resilience of our people.
Minister for Manpower & Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Tan See Leng, acknowledged and thanked HIA for our support towards the care of migrant workers (MWs) in the dormitories following the outbreak in 2020. He also mentioned HealthServe and Migrant Workers Centre, with whom HIA partnered to provide welfare services to the MWs. Minister Leng highlighted that the support, labour and sacrifices of these and other partners weathered the situation of migrant workers through the storm.
HIA is humbled by this recognition in Singapore Parliament which we credit to our partners, government agencies, inter-religious and inter-racial communities, social service organisations, corporates, non-governmental organisations, and grassroots groups. Behind HIA’s service towards the COVID-19 pandemic is the strong backing of our partners and volunteers. For instance, Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO), a movement of HIA, provided over 1 million care meals and essential items to more than 21,000 guest workers across more than 300 dormitories through their support (click here to read more about this initiative).
AGWO also rolled out an “adopt-a-dorm” programme inviting various partners to provide dedicated attention to MWs in factory-converted dorms. Then, in September 2020, AGWO launched iFriend, a befriending programme to show care and appreciation for the MWs. Volunteers were trained to identify signs of depression or stress among MWs and refer
them for counselling.
HIA’s interfaith partners also stepped up to provide spiritual support for our MWs. In May 2020, more than 3,000 prayer mats were distributed to Muslim workers from India and Bangladesh in 66 dormitories. Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Manpower, and Ministry of Defence supported this initiative by joining AGWO partners and volunteers in visiting the dorms during this distribution exercise.
The trusted partnership between the public, people and private (3P) sectors is a key contributing factor to Singapore’s response to the pandemic. During the early outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, HIA organised the SG United Amidst Adversity initiative. This nationwide effort was to provide care packs to more than 5,000 needy individuals. HIA provided them with surgical masks and hygiene items to protect themselves from the virus when supplies ran short everywhere. The beneficiaries also received food packs. More than 50 charities and organisations, along with individual donors, stepped up to help within very short notice, overcoming their challenges in coping with the pandemic.
"HIA is blessed to have individuals and organisations who believe in our mission to serve the lesser privileged, marginalised, and vulnerable communities who need more care. We were able to respond to the need of our beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the long-standing relationship with our partners. Our government partners, such as the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), worked closely with us to keep us updated about the policies and measures as well as support our initiatives.
We are also grateful to our inter-religious partners such as the Taoist Federation (Singapore), the Islamic Council of Singapore (MUIS), the Singapore Buddhist Federation, the Hindu Endowments Board, the Jewish Welfare Board and many others for their unwavering support.
HIA, with its partners, will always be ready to serve our nation anytime.
We thank everyone for being part of mission to improve lives."
- Rev. Ezekiel Tan, President of Hope Initiative Alliance