We believe that a key indicator of an excellent and an inspiring community is one that strives to progress socially and economically, and also has a clear and conscious plan to assist and care for those who are less fortunate within the community.
In carrying out its purpose to help support the needy and less fortunate, Zakat is utilized to provide assistance in different ways. Playing a complementary role vis-à-vis the national social assistance schemes, Zakat assistance is enhanced through strengthened etworking, collaborative partnerships as well as the information and referral efforts.
Through Zakat, assistance programmes are sustained for the poor and needy and its service delivery enhanced to those in need. Zakat is spent to help the poor and needy beneficiaries across various programmes and schemes in Muis, including monthly zakat financial assistance as well as the Ramadan Bonus and the Year-End-Grant, Core Programme, the Empowerment Partnership Programme (EPS) and the Social Development CommFund (grants to organisations).
By working closely with Ministry of Social and Family Development through the Social Service Offices (SSO), Zakat recipients are also referred to national assistance schemes such as ComCare and the Family Service Centres, to ensure that these families receive comprehensive support. This integrated approach is facilitated by the interagency referrals between Social Development Lead Mosques and the respective SSO.
The Empowerment Partnership Scheme (EPS) is an intensive two-year scheme for zakat beneficiaries to undergo skills and knowledge upgrading under the supervision of agency partners and Muis-appointed caseworkers. Families under EPS benefitted from training grants for approved courses, educational assistance for children as well as Islamic learning and life-skills programmes throughout their EPS journey. The effective delivery of EPS is critical as it enabled programme participants to increase their knowledge and skills which will in turn help them secure better jobs and higher income to support their families.
The Befriender Scheme is one of the key initiatives of the Enhanced Mosque Cluster (EMC). The system has a current strength of over 600 Befrienders, trained and ready to conduct home visits. The EMCs will continue to recruit more volunteers under the Befrienders’ Scheme to provide the necessary support for our long-term zakat beneficiaries. Over the years, more focus was directed to Muis befriending services for high risk and long term zakat clients such as the elderly staying alone and those chronically ill with weak support networks. Clients in this Category are most at-risk and require monthly visits. Thus an inter-cluster deployment initiative was adopted where Befrienders from other mosques can help clients with higher needs of care beyond their cluster.
Zakat helps to provide crucial training for its befrienders with close collaboration with experienced and trained social work practitioners to. Workshops are conducted in the area of mental illness awareness and support for caregivers. Partner agencies working to help enhance support for Zakat recipients included Singapore Muslim Women’s Association, Health Promotion Board, Muslim Health Professionals Association, Club Heal and Alexandra Health System. Befrienders provided feedback that the knowledge attained from these agencies helped in their assessment of the condition and wellbeing of clients in the high risk categories. Zakat will continue to help build the capacity and competency of befrienders.
Aside from the various support through Core Programmes at mosques, formal and informal resources and expertise on the ground are also leveraged on to support the larger vulnerable segments of the community. The Social Development Community Funding (SD CommFund) funded by Zakat supports projects and services rendered by the Social Services Agencies (SSAs) for specific segments of the socially disadvantaged Muslim community. It aims to reach out, empower and promote positive values and knowledge to the beneficiaries, who foster affirmative milestones and self-reliance in the long run. Disbursements include that to Assyakirin and En-Naeem for in-care programmes conducted in the Boys & Girls Homes. Other recipients include organisations such as ClubIlya, PEACE Community Resources, Muslim Health Professional Association, Muhammadiyah Health & Day Care Centre, Persatuan Persuratan Pemuda Pemudi Melayu (4PM) and Muslim Kidney Action Association.
Last updated on 16/1/2018