Voluntary drive in conjunction with the fasting month of Ramadhan aims to benefit more this year

An annual voluntary drive to reach out to Muslims and non-Muslims in conjunction with the fasting month of Ramadhan aims to benefit more people this year.

Dubbed Ramadhan on Wheels and organised by the Malay Youth Literary Association (4PM), the project involves hundreds of volunteers fanning out to deliver food and other daily necessities to needy families.

They also help families buy groceries and spring clean their homes.

This year, the organisers have decided to extend the helping hand for six months, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Tharman Shanmugaratnam who attended the launch on Saturday.

The volunteers feel that one month is too short and want to have a greater and more meaningful impact on the community, he said.

A new initiative this year is the Family Befriending Programme (FBP) which will go beyond providing just material or financial assistance.

This will benefit especially the elderly who live alone and needy families with young children.

Mr Tharman said of the elderly: "Befrienders can help to check on their physical well-being, provide a listening ear and help them stay connected to the outside world."

Since it started 14 years ago, Ramadhan on Wheels has helped over 2,000 families from all races and faiths, and has built up a 7,000-strong volunteer network.

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