Virus relief: Mining firm BHP donates $160k

Global mining giant BHP Group has donated $160,000 to 11 Covid-19 relief programmes in Singapore.

These programmes range from those that support cancer patients to the vision-impaired to environmental causes.

Through BHP's "two-to-one" staff donation scheme, where it matches employees' donations by twice the amount, the firm donated $26,000 worth of care packs to more than 300 beneficiary families under the Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF). The care packs include materials for home-based learning as well as sanitising products for the children, who are at higher risk of infection due to their compromised immunity as a result of their illness.

BHP also donated $25,640 to supplement the lost income of 74 vision-impaired people who hold freelance jobs including kitchen helpers. They were identified as needing help by the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped.

"To be able to see the smiles on the faces of the children at the CCF, the elderly at the senior citizen homes or the visually impaired people we support is a great gift," said Mr Rashpal Bhatti, vice-president of maritime and supply chain excellence and lead of BHP's Singapore community that organises the programmes.

BHP also donated $5,000 to non-profit group Waterways Watch Society to help offset the loss in income faced by the society's staff after events were cancelled during the circuit breaker.

Said Mr Eugene Heng, chief executive of the society: "We would like to thank BHP for its generous contribution and support. The funds received will definitely be put to good use and assist us in environmental mentoring and show-and-tell activities going forward."

Besides cash donations, BHP had also come up with other interesting ways of fund raising.

In March, the firm's Singapore team challenged their Australian and American colleagues to exercise for charity. For every 15 minutes of exercise, BHP Singapore sponsored a bento box for social enterprise Project Dignity. It provides training and career support for people with disabilities as well as those who struggle with finding jobs.

With the sponsorship, Project Dignity was able to distribute more than 2,000 meals to hospitals, polyclinics and nursing homes across Singapore.

"These programmes are a small way of us giving back to the community in Singapore," said Mr Bhatti.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2020, with the headline 'Virus relief: Mining firm BHP donates $160k'. Print Edition | Subscribe