Singaporean expat charity fund acts as a mobile workforce for good

Published:  15 Jun at 6 PM
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Singapore’s Expatland Giving Back Fund channels expats willing to give their labour
to help those in dire straits in the wealthy city-state.

Started by John Marcarian, the volunteer organisation is composed of expat residents in what Marcarian refers to a ‘Expatland’ an imaginary country whose citizens are all part of the 21st century exodus from home countries worldwide. The organisation is the philanthropic arm of his international tax consultancy and attracts a good number of expat volunteers, some of whom are his staff along with others who’re working as employees of his clients’ companies.

Marcarian believes many expats are more than happy to take from the community, with the Giving Back Fund providing an opportunity to literally give back by helping those who’re not part of Singapore’s wealthy elite. His registered fund opens a window of opportunity for the like-minded by encouraging expats to donate around four hours of their time every three months or so to volunteer for charitable work. The Fund is seen by its creator as a mobile workforce searching out charities looking for labour, with non-profit soup kitchen Willing Hearts one of his favourites.

Other initiatives his volunteers have helped include last year’s Wheel, Walk or Jog Singapore, organised by the Handicaps Welfare Association and involving students, beneficiaries, members of the public and corporate volunteers parading with wheelchair-bound members. Forty-five of the volunteers came from the Expatland Giving Fund. One regular corporate expat volunteer told the press he’d far rather be volunteering to help the needy than staying home glued to the television.
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