Singapore: 2 years ago, a group of professional women came together to form a goodwill project known as Project Bring a Smile.
They are working as an independent body, complimenting the Singapore Indian Association (SINDA), to help the less fortunate women of Singapore.
Led by LISHA (Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association), Project Bring a Smile aims to raise funds in order to provide financial support and rehabilitation to the many under privileged women in Singapore.
Though there are many help groups such as SINDA, there are some cases that fall through or are not eligible to request for support from these organizations due to various reasons.
This body of helpers, or befrienders, as they prefer to call themselves, ensure that help is available to those special cases that do not qualify for help from the other charitable organizations.
Project Bring a Smile has been adopted by Oli 96.8, the local Indian Radio Station, from July this year, for a duration of one year. Since the adoption by Oli 96.8, Project Bring a Smile has been getting a lot of publicity.
They currently have 50 women in need of special care or support who have registered with them. However, due to the fact that they have only a small group of befrienders and 2 professionally trained councillors, after screening these 50 women, they have decided to work closely with 29 women whom they believe need the most urgent attention.
These challenges these women face are due to low-income, disabilities, single parenthood, social exclusion and depression just to name a few.
All the cases they are handling now are Singaporean Indian cases. They have decided to start off by helping Indian women first, and slowly expanding to help women from other walks of life.
LISHA and the women behind Project Bring a Smile work together to organize fund raising events on an annual basis.
Last year, they organized a Charity Gala Dinner at Meritus Mandarin Hotel, which was supported by Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs & Trade and Industry. They managed to raise SGD 100,000 for their cause from this event.
Their success at raising that amount for their cause was translated into rare smiles seen on the faces of the women under their care.
This year they are working together with the Singapore Indian Orchestra & Choir (SIOC) of the People’s Association, to bring forward a unique performance as a second fundraiser. This will be held at the Kallang Theatre on September 30th, 2012.
It is called “Taj Mahal – The Romance of India”. This one-of-a-kind presentation will feature a silent movie made in 1928 by German film-maker Franz Ostermay based on the romance of the Taj Mahal in the Mughal era.
The one and half hour screening will be accompanied by live music by the SIOC, transforming this experience into a mind-blowing and memorable one for the audience.
The music, composed by renowned Indian music director Mr. Baradhwaj, will showcase a 80 member multi-ethnic ensemble with inputs form local media personalities.
LISHA and the Organising Committee members of Project Bring a Smile hope to reach out to a multi-ethnic audience with this performance, in order to garner support for our cause, and raise at least SGD 500,000 this year.
When asked what they plan to do with the amount that they will raise, the committee members said all proceeds from the fund raiser would be channeled to the women under their care, in order to holistically address their specific needs and to provide for follow-up education and awareness programs.
They are also planning to open a shop in order to provide jobs for the many women who have come to them for help.
These women are unable to find work outside, due to little or no educational qualifications and / or their physical inabilities.
Project Bring a Smile is also working on a plan to allow a donor to adopt one woman under their care and be a befriender or provide her with whatever support that they may be capable of.
They are also seeking volunteers, donors, or professionally trained councillors who might be interested to work with them for the cause.
For further details, ticket reservation or to make a donation, you may contact:
LISHA : Tel: 6392 2246 Email: [email protected]
Mrs. Uma Balji : Tel: 9661 3741 Email: [email protected]
Mrs. Lalitha Vaidyanathan Tel: 9658 7441 Email: [email protected]