Non-Muslim organisations donate to Syrian refugees

SINGAPORE — Two religious organisations — the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and the Taoist Federation of Singapore — have made a donation of an undisclosed amount to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.

They are the latest non-Muslim religious organisations to step forward, after Abbot Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng from Bright Hill Temple pledged support for the Aid to Syrian Refugees in Turkey (ASRIT) initiative last month. ASRIT is a joint initiative by two Muslim organisations, SimplyIslam and the Muslim Expatriates Network.

Mr Tan Thiam Lye, chairman of the Taoist Federation of Singapore, said both the Taoist and Buddhist organisations enjoy a “close working relationship” with their Muslim counterparts.

Their donations came on the heels of a call by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean last month for all Singaporeans to extend aid to Syrian refugees. So far, ASRIT has raised more than S$420,000 from donations collected in mosques, during roadshows and from online contributors. The money raised will go towards building a school for refugee children and buying food packs, school and healthcare supplies for the Syrian refugees, who number almost a million.

Meanwhile, ASRIT will be sending more than 10 volunteers to the Syrian refugee camps in Turkey in September in its first overseas mission. ALFRED CHUA

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