B.A.P's fans from Singapore donates 1 tonne of rice to local charity

Singaporean fans of Korean boy band B.A.P expressed their love and support for their idol by participating in the Singapore Red Cross Youth Chapters’ Project R.I.C.E 2013. The fans raised a total of $1,400 which translates to 1 tonne of rice, which will in turn go towards needy families.

They also volunteered to make door-to-door calls for donations of rice. “We've heard of overseas fans donating rice on behalf of their idols especially in Korea.

However, this is the first time that I have learned of Singaporean fans doing the same too.” said the project leader of SMU Red Cross Chapter Chen Wenjie, Giscille. The trend of donating to charities is not new in Korea where it is common for fans to donate rice, coal briquettes and other necessities in the name of their idols. This phenomenon of fan activism seems to be spreading to Singapore as well, with fans raising funds to contribute to charities in the name of their idols as a collective effort. “It is definitely heartening that the fans are not only supporting their idols but are also passionately helping out the less fortunate at the same time. Furthermore, the local fans stand out in a way since they are not only donating rice but are also coming down to actually help out with the door-to-door publicity and with the collection of rice.” she added. “We were motivated by Bang Yongguk (Leader of B.A.P) who actively promotes humanitarian efforts and encouraged us to help the elderly and people in need.” expressed Amelia Leow of local fan base Protect B.A.P Singapore which organised the collective fan effort. Protect B.A.P Singapore had also previously donated 25 mango trees to be planted in Sudan to alleviate the suffering of children recovering from the civil war conflict to commemorate B.A.P’s official fanclub inauguration. “We chose to participate in the Singapore Red Cross’ initiative this time to spread goodwill and contribute to our local community instead. We feel that this is more meaningful way to commemorate B.A.P’s first anniversary because we will be sending them a certificate of appreciation from Red Cross instead of excessive gifts to them. It is also even more poetically apt considering how Bap in Korean means rice.”

Donations were open to fans from all over the world and besides Singaporean fans, fans from Australia, Brunei, Malaysia and even Switzerland also donated generously. “We were also surprised by the favourable responses from fans. Most Kpop fans are young and are not able to donate much in terms of money but many were willing to spare time to volunteer instead. We were touched by their willingness to participate in this project”

Whether this positive phenomenon will continue to catch on in Singapore remains to be seen but the positive effects of spreading youth volunteerism can already be observed. “Project R.I.C.E really opened my eyes. That even as a normal human being who can’t give much, we can all make a difference.” Said Nurul Nabilla, a fan who participated in the volunteer sessions on top of donating towards the cause.