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Singapore Students Donate Over S$1,000 Through HFH Singapore For Yogyakarta Quake Victims

Money raised as a result of a school project using Habitat coin boxes

SINGAPORE, 18th August 2006: A little loose change can go a long way, as a group of Singapore students have discovered. What started out as a project to determine if donor fatigue had set in among Singaporeans garnered more than S$1,000 in donation to victims of the Yogyakarta earthquake.

The result: HFH Singapore national director Yong Teck Meng (left) receives the students’ donation for Yogyakarta earthquake victims. Next to him are Saili and Jamie, part of the student team who collected the money using Habitat coin boxes.

The test: More than 70 Habitat paper coin boxes were distributed to Singapore students in a school project to determine if donor fatigue had indeed set in among Singaporeans.

Inspired by an article on donor fatigue, Saili Tan and her schoolmates Jamie, Eugene and Willis from Victoria Junior College, decided to test it out with a simple project. The article, “Shadow Boxing with Donor Fatigue”, was written by Usha Menon, resource development director, Habitat for Humanity, Asia-Pacific.

With the help of Habitat for Humanity Singapore, they distributed more than 70 Habitat paper coin boxes to students from another local school. This group of students signed up to take the coin boxes home after visiting a Habitat booth. Saili and her friends set up the booth to highlight Habitat’s mission and the devastating effects of the May 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake in Indonesia.

After two weeks, when the coin boxes were returned to HFH Singapore, the total sum collected came up to S$1,180 (about US$750).

The money collected may either be donated to a school or be used to help disabled students affected by the earthquake. Or it may be contributed to Habitat’s reconstruction efforts in Yogyakarta. HFH Singapore and HFH Indonesia are discussing about planned uses.

The VJC students’ enthusiasm has caught on and now HFH Singapore is keen to adopt the team’s concept. HFH Singapore’s national director Yong Teck Meng lauded the VJC students’ efforts. They “exemplify a rare breed of students who can show care and concern in helping others across national boundaries and going beyond the scope of their project work as a mere academic exercise”, he said.