More than 7,000 students set aside their own pocket money to give to ST School Pocket Money Fund

SINGAPORE - For three months, more than 7,000 students diligently took portions of their school pocket money and deposited them into special donation cans.

Most of the students, aged five to 16 from mosque madrasahs and kindergartens here, also set aside some of what they received during the Hari Raya celebrations.

Together they collected $150,000, which was donated to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund on Monday (Oct 30). The fund helps needy students.

The initiative by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), Tabung Rahmah, was started to instil values of sharing and giving, and to empower children to start a savings culture early, said chief executive of Muis Abdul Razak Hassan Maricar.

"Many of our children are receiving from the ST School Pocket Money Fund, so why not those who are more fortunate help those who are less privileged in the wider community... and in doing so, they can also rally their family to do it together," he said.

ST editor and chairman of the fund, Mr Warren Fernandez, said: "We rely on the good work of many in the community to help us meet the needs of our beneficiaries, so that they get to go to school with a bit of money in their pockets.

"Our beneficiaries include those from the Malay-Muslim community. So it is wonderful to see the community rallying together to pitch in to help out too."

"We appreciate their thoughtfulness and efforts," added Mr Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/ Malay/Tamil Media Group.

Nur Quraisyiyah Abdul Jabbar, 11, a Primary 5 pupil at Telok Kurau Primary School, said she feels happy that she has helped someone in need.

"I hope the person who gets the money will feel happy."