New app matches volunteers in Moulmein-Cairnhill with other residents in need

A new mobile application - dubbed Mo-Ca Cares - will be launched later this month to connect residents keen on volunteering with those in need of assistance, said Mr Melvin Yong, MP for the division.
A new mobile application - dubbed Mo-Ca Cares - will be launched later this month to connect residents keen on volunteering with those in need of assistance, said Mr Melvin Yong, MP for the division.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Community help will soon be few taps on the smartphone away for residents in Moulmein-Cairnhill.

A new mobile application - dubbed Mo-Ca Cares - will be launched later this month to connect residents keen on volunteering with those in need of assistance, said Mr Melvin Yong, MP for the division, which is part of Tanjong Pagar GRC.

The types of help offered include giving tuition or haircuts, and befriending those in need.

Those who lack access to smartphone apps can approach local community centres and residents' committees, which will assist them in putting up information on the app.

"We are blessed with 88 per cent of our constituency being residents in private properties who are able to help and are willing to help. So we try to play a connecting role, linking them with people who need the help," he said, at a press briefing on Wednesday (Oct 11) to announce upcoming plans for his ward.

Jobseekers can also turn to the app, which will list available jobs within the constituency.

Five organisations which oversee food centres and businesses in the area have agreed to offer job opportunities through the app, said Mr Yong. They are Orchard Road Business Association, Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, Pek Kio Merchants Association, Newton Hawker Centre Stallholders Association and Kandang Kerbau Market Dealers' Friendly Association.

The app will be launched on Oct 29, when Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is set to visit the constituency.

Another initiative that will be launched during the visit is the Moulmein-Cairnhill Wellness Fund, which will waive health screening costs for residents.

Screenings, said Mr Yong, will be conducted at the ward's three community clubs for greater convenience. There are also plans for free post-screening consultations with physicians from Sian Chay Medical Institution, so that residents can discuss their results and sign up for tui na - Chinese therapeutic massage - sessions.

A meal voucher scheme that began nine years ago will also get a relaunch when Mr Heng visits the constituency.

Since 2008, needy residents have been given $2 vouchers every weekend to buy food from participating stalls in Pek Kio Market, as well as two nearby coffee shops.

But residents are sometimes unsure which stalls accept the vouchers, said Mr Yong. This will no longer a problem, as stickers will be put up at the more than 40 participating stalls. He added that they may look at raising the value of the voucher as well.

Mr Yong also gave an update on the constituency's Five Loaves programme, which residents can donate to. It provides free loaves of bread to the needy.

Each $6 donation means five loaves of bread for those in need, and since the programme's launch in August, over 20,000 loaves have been paid for.

Out of the constituency's 29,000 units, just over 11 per cent are in Housing Board flats. There is one rental HDB block of 200 mostly one-room units, said Mr Yong.

"I have more people coming forward to help than asking for help," he said, about the happy situation in his ward.

"It's just about letting them know how they can help."