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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.

The Humanitarian Fair provides a platform for CHARIS’ affiliates and partners to showcase their humanitarian projects and volunteer opportunities.


We pledge to create an IMPACT that will defend and protect the dignity of persons for we are called to be salt of the earth, light of the world.

Today we cannot be satisfied simply with being aware of the problems faced by many of our brothers and sisters. We need to “de-naturalize” extreme poverty and to see it as a reality. Because poverty has a face! It has the face of a child; it has the face of a family; it has the face of people, young and old. (Pope Francis)
We are “called to bring new 'flavour' to the world… amidst the shadows of indifference and selfishness - diffuse the light of God's love, true wisdom which gives meaning to the life and activities of mankind” (Pope Benedict XVI).


Karl M. Gaspar

Br. Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

Encountering the Asian Face of Poverty Redemptorist brother, born in Davao City Philippines.

A former political detainee, social worker, poet, academic and the author of several award-winning books, Br. Karl has a diversified background in sociology, anthropology, history and economics. He will delve into the areas of community strengthening, elevating human development through education, raising our voices for advocacy and the importance of coming together to synergise efforts for maximum impact to those who depend on us. Be inspired to go forth and serve


Christopher James

Christopher James

Welcoming all into the Agape Founder, The Fishing Rod and Former Executive Vice President, MTV Asia

Chris used to be a corporate leader but his life turned around after attending CHARIS’ last HFF forum in 2015. He will share how that encounter changed his life and how he found his mission to help refugees in Malaysia.

Clare Westwood

Clare Westwood

In Search of Solidarity Researcher, Third World Network

“We have no food to eat!" – These words by an Indonesian farmer made a profound impact on Clare who then devoted herself to supporting the empowerment of poor farming communities across Asia in asserting their food sovereignty. Her work has helped communities resist threats to their rights; transition from chemical farming to ecological agriculture; improve livelihoods and well-being; and build resilience to climate change.

Joshua De Souza


Lessons From the Poor Volunteer, Barre & Researcher, National Neuroscience Institute

Despite benefitting from a world-class education, Joshua felt that his greatest learning has come from the poor children and youth he encountered through his work with Barre, a group that supports the education of ethnic minority children in Vietnam. He will share how they have changed his life even as he endeavoured to shape their young lives.

Fr Simon


Love is to be Shared Redemptorist Priest & Evangelistic Speaker

Fr Simon has always advocated for youths to experience God by living out their Social Mission. A fervent and passionate force inspiring young people to do mission work overseas, he will share his observations and inspirations from leading numerous groups over the years on these mission trips, an untold area of his ministry work.


Track 1

BUILDING COMMUNITIES FROM WITHIN AND WITHOUT For Who: For those who want to create sustainable projects and partnerships in communities. Moderator:
Stephen Raj
Stephen Raj, Former President, Catholic Business Network Panelists:
Clara Tan
Esther Fong
1. Gelenito Aboganda, Youth Leader, acts29 and Student (left) 2. Clara Tan, Education Coordinator, acts29 and Banker (center) 3. Esther Fong, lay missionary, Institute of World Evangelisation - ICPE Mission (right)

This track guides external leaders on cultivating leaders from within marginalised communities, so that they can in turn support their own communities. Hear how this is done from Gelenito J.R. who grew up in the dumpsite community of Payatas, Philippines.

Track 2

BRIDGING THE GAP THROUGH EDUCATION For who: For those who want to make an impact in the education of impoverished children. Moderator:
Clement Fernandez, Former Teacher, SJI & CHIJ Panelists:
John De Cruz
Monica Goh
1. Rose Phyo Yu Bar, Head, Canossa Vocational Centre (left) 2. Br. John de Cruz, F.S.C., Founder, La Salle Learning Centre (center) 3. Monica Goh, Member and Volunteer Teacher, Epiphany (right)

This track scrutinises educational initiatives and how the impoverished can succeed through conventional and non-conventional education.

Track 3

TELLING THE STORY OF SILENT COMMUNITIES For who: For those who want to help oppressed communities and create developmental opportunities for them. Moderator:
Edward Sim
Moderator: Edwin Sim, Membership Chairman, CHARIS Panelists:
Christopher James
Nathaniel Gregory
Edmund Lim
1. Christopher James, Founder, The Fishing Rod Society (left) 2. Nathaniel Gregory, Volunteer, Barre and Retail Manager (center) 3. Edmund Lim, Volunteer, JRS and Director (right)

This track explores the plight of oppressed communities and how to give them a safe voice in society.

Track 4

CHANGING THE WORLD TOGETHER For who: For experienced missioners who wish to form effective collaborations by working in solidarity with others. Moderator:
Philip Lim
Moderator: Philip Lim, Deputy Chairperson, CHARIS Panelists:
Sr Angela
Bernadette Png
Fr Edwin
1. Sr. Angela Ng, Coordinator, Formation of Educators Programme, Canossians Daughters of Charity (left) 2. Bernadette Png, Core Team Project Micah, Events and outreach, healthcare sector(center) 3. Rev. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary, NASSA/Caritas Philippines (right)

This track discusses how volunteer groups can synergise their efforts to meet different needs in a community.



The HFF 2017 is open for Registration.

Sign up before the early bird offer ends on 9 May 2017

After 9 May 2017, tickets will cost SGD30.

Download HFF 2017 Registration Flyer