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Humanitarian Forum and Fair 2019

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About The Activity

  • date 01/06/2019
  • time09:00 AM – 06:00 PM
  • locationCatholic Junior College, Performing Arts Centre
* Registration ends by 31/05/2019.
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Event Details


The Humanitarian Forum and Fair is a biennial event of dialogue and engagement in humanitarian initiatives within the region. 

The Humanitarian Forum brings together eminent local and international speakers, to share their insights and experience on various humanitarian topics. Join them and be inspired by their energy and ideas from the field.

The Humanitarian Fair provides a platform for CHARIS Member Organisations and partners to showcase their humanitarian projects and volunteer opportunities. Come see, inquire, explore and learn from exhibits put up by organizations in Singapore and Asia involved in humanitarian work.

About the Speakers


 The Emmaus Journey via Kenya

Gabriel Teo
Founder, Tana River Life Foundation

Leaving behind a promising future in the accounting profession, Gabriel ventured into the faraway unknowns of the Tana Delta in Kenya. Driven by a deep desire to find his answers in life, what started as an adventurous holiday in Kenya turned into a vocation that has lasted 25 years. Based in Kenya, Gabriel’s work involves building individual lives, and thereby entire communities through Tana River Life Foundation, a local NGO he founded. Listen to the powerful story of his Journey!

The Vision To Serve

Reena Rajasvari
Founder, Ambassadors of Christ 

Reena lost her sight more than 30 years ago but has the vision to help the less fortunate. Despite her disability, she makes trips across the Causeway a few times every month, to work with more than eight different organisations in Malaysia to serve the less fortunate. There, she reaches out to the disabled, the elderly, orphans and delinquents. Reena will share how we are called to serve despite our circumstances.

Afternoon Plenary (2pm)

Fleeing to Uncertainty

James Gomes
Regional Director, Caritas Chattogram, Bangladesh

A man who handled and experienced the influx of forcibly displaced Rohingya from the very beginning, James Gomes was one of the first front line leaders who came forward to respond to this humanitarian emergency with Caritas Bangladesh. He has been the Regional Director of Caritas Chattogram for the last 12 years, and is currently leading Caritas Bangladesh’s work in six refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar. He will share his experiences, inspirations, and untold sufferings of the Rohingya living in the world’s largest refugee camp.

The Poor, Our Masters of Joy

Fr. Matthieu Dauchez
Executive Director, ANAK-Tnk

Fr. Matthieu is the Executive Director of Fr. Matthieu is the Executive Director of ANAK-Tnk, an organisation that strives to improve the lives of the slum children in Manila. Listen to his story of how he has built a support structure for the children by mobilising a global network of well wishers and how he sees Christ in his encounters with the children.

Inclusive Love: Journeying with the Underprivileged People and Communities

Bishop Enrique Figaredo Alvargonzález, S.J. (Kike)
Battambang, Cambodia

Based in Cambodia, Bishop Kike’s involvement with the works for the underprivileged began with his work with the Jesuit Refugee Service in the 1980s, where he served people displaced by war. In Phnom Penh, he founded Banteay Prieb (The Dove House) where children maimed by landmines receive education and people with disabilities can make wheelchairs following the Mekong model (a wooden wheelchair with three wheels). In Battambang, he founded the Arrupe Centre and the La Paloma Textile Centre, which help educate, train and provide jobs to people with disabilities and those struggling with poverty. Listen to Bishop Kike as he talks about the communities he serves and how we each need to desire that personal encounter with those who look to us for hope.

Breakout Tracks


Track 1: God's Love in the Midst of Natural Disasters

Moderator: Dr. Gamaliel Tan, Board Member, CHARIS

Christopher Yit & Christina Lee, Volunteers, ACTS
Fr. Jilson Mathew, Provincial Superior - Vincentian Order, Kerala, India
Benjamin William, Secretary General/CEO, Singapore Red Cross

What is it about?
This track focuses on the incredible loss and societal damages incurred by natural disasters, stretching from a local to a global perspective.  Find out from the speakers on what actually happens in disaster sites through real-life personal stories and how we can all help to alleviate the sufferings of those who have been impacted.

Who is it for?
For those who would like to understand the "on-the-ground" realities of disasters and would like to know more about what kind of help is needed following these events and how they can contribute.

Track 2: The Way Of The Cross of Refugees & Migrants

Moderator: Karen Ho, Board Member, CHARIS

Naoko Maruyama, Regional Coordinator, Refugees & Migrants Section, Vatican
James Gomes, Regional Director, Caritas Chattogram - Bangladesh
Mary Lee, Volunteer, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
Victor Ngo, Managing Director, Banker 

What is it about?
This track emphasizes how easily one becomes a victim of violations of human rights as they are unable to make their voices heard. They are invisible because they are undocumented or unaccompanied. Listen to the stories of people working closely with refugees and migrants as well as that of a former refugee offering glimpses into the lives of these often forgotten communities.

Who is it for?
For those who want to make an impact to step out to Welcome, Protect, Promote & Integrate the strangers, the travelers and sojourners into our space and time.

Track 3: Encountering God In The Face of The Poor

Moderator: Elizabeth Quah, Deputy Chairman, CHARIS

Gabriel Teo, Founder, Tana River Life Foundation
Fr. Matthieu Dauchez, Executive Director, ANAK-Tnk
Steven Tan and Anthony Tan, Country Council, Focolare Movement

What is it about?
This track looks at the circumstances and needs of the poor in the region. Listen to people who are affected by dire circumstances as well as those who reach out and help them despite the challenges. Find out about avenues of getting personally involved with the gifts and talents we all possess and encountering them in true reflection of Christ's love.

Who is it for?
For those who want to go forth in the human response to God's love in reaching out to the poor oppressed communities, not just by helping at a distance but getting our hands dirty and personally involved.



8:15 am


9:00 am

Opening Prayer

Monsignor Philip Heng, Vicar-General

9:10 am

Welcome Address

Stephen Raj, Chairman, CHARIS

9:30 am

The Emmaus Journey via Kenya

Gabriel Teo

Founder, Tana River Life Foundation

10:00 am

The Vision To Serve

Reena Rajasvari

Founder, Ambassadors of Christ

10:30 am

Morning Break

11:00 am

Breakout Tracks - Session 1

(Choose 1 out of 3 concurrent tracks)

12:00 nn

Fair Opens / Lunch

1:45 pm

Praise and Worship

2:00 pm

Afternoon Plenary: Sowing In The Mission Fields

3:15 pm

Breakout Tracks - Session 2

(Choose 1 out of 3 concurrent tracks)

4:15 pm


4:45 pm

End of fair and Preparation for Eucharistic Celebration

5:00 pm

Sunset Mass
Celebrant: Most Rev. William Goh
Archbishop of Singapore

6:00 pm

End of Humanitarian Forum and Fair 2019