On 3 April 2021, more than 30 representatives from various civil groups, social service organisations and the public sector came together to launch SowCare Together, a youth interfaith initiative that aims to bring young people together to do good. It is the first-ever interfaith charity initiative for youths organised by Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA) and co-organised by SowCare. This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), the Ministry of Manpower, the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and also in collaboration with the Inter-religious Organisation, Singapore, Inter-racial and Religious Confidence Circles and the Singapore Kindness Movement, among other organisations.
Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry, launched the SowCare Together initiative with representatives from the various partnering organisations.
The story of SowCare Together started with MCCY’s Mission:Unite Hackathon organised in December 2020. A team from SowCare had the opportunity to join the hackathon, which brought together people of all ages to come up with ideas to build social cohesion and harmony. The SowCare Together team showcased their solutions in front of the panel of judges and proposed an initiative that encouraged more partners and volunteers to join hands in doing good, and at the same time foster mutual respect and positive attitudes between religious communities. The SowCare Together team eventually emerged as one of the top ten finalists out of 41 teams and received a grant of up to SGD$20,000 under MCCY’s Harmony Fund on 5 December 2020, to implement its plans for bringing people of different religions together to do good.
As part of the initiative, volunteers will be recruited to attend a talk about a religion different from their own, and then get together with other volunteers of different faiths to plan and execute a charity project for beneficiaries such as the homeless, guest workers, ex-offenders, youth-at-risk and the marginalised. The initiative aims to engage around 300 volunteers consisting of youth aged 15 and above. From April to June this year, the volunteers will plan and execute relevant activities to meet the needs of beneficiaries from our partnering charities, such as Care Corner Singapore and New Hope Community Services.
Speaking about the relevance of such an initiative in today’s climate, President of HIA, Rev. Ezekiel Tan, said, “In a multi-racial, multi-religious society like Singapore, understanding the basis of different faiths will go a long way to help us live in harmony. With recent incidents of self-radicalised youths planning attacks on places of worship, there is increasingly a need to foster religious harmony, especially amongst our young people. Through SowCare Together, we hope to channel the passion and energy of the youth towards good works and interfaith engagement, all while improving the lives of underprivileged communities in Singapore.”
Members of the public who would like to find out more or register as a volunteer can do so at https://www.sowcaretogether.sg.