Despite COVID-19, heavy rainfall, Caritas’ Charity Bazaar raises an estimated 5-6 million patacas

Marco Carvalho

The results are not yet final, but Caritas Macau estimates that it has likely raised five to six million patacas during the 53rd edition of its annual Charity Bazaar, the secretary-general of the Catholic relief agency tells O Clarim. The amount is significantly smaller than the sum the organization used to collect in the years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The amount raised fell short of the revenue obtained two years ago, in the aftermath of the 51st edition of the event, but Paul Pun Chi Meng argues that Caritas is, nonetheless, grateful. The initiative was fairly successful, the secretary general of Caritas claims, despite the threat of a new Covid-19 outbreak and the inclement weather that affected Macau. “We estimate that we have raised around five to six million patacas. As you may recall, we didn’t organize the 52nd edition of the Bazaar, but two years ago, Caritas raised around eight million patacas. This time around, we predict around five to six million. Macau’s economy is not as good as it used to be. The economic outlook is getting worse, and some of the donations that were granted were not as significant as they used to be,” Paul Pun tells O Clarim.

“Anyway, we were happy that we managed to organize the bazaar despite the menace of a typhoon and a Covid-19 city-wide test. It was good to realize that the people of Macau were available to show their support even if there was some heavy rain and harsh weather conditions,” the secretary general of Caritas admits.

The threat of a new Covid-19 outbreak prompted the organization to adopt crowd control measures. The decision had an undeniable impact on the number of people that joined the initiative. The 53rd edition of the Caritas Macau Charity Bazaar attracted, nevertheless, 30,000 visitors, 20,000 less than in previous editions of the event.

“This time we had to put in place crowd control measures, so we didn’t receive as many people as in the past. I think we were visited by around 30,000 people. In the past, we used to receive around 50,000. Thirty thousand is already a very significant number, considering that we had to adopt crowd control measures,” Paul Pun Chi Meng says.

In uncertain times, adaptability proved to be the best strategy. Despite the pandemic, popular support proved to be significant, and the involvement of civil society did not lag far behind. The 53rd edition of the Caritas Charity Bazaar received the support of 57 companies, associations, and many public and private institutions. All in all, the Nam Van Lake leisure area hosted more than 70 charity booths over the first weekend of November, the proceeds of which were then channelled to Caritas Macau.

“The bazaar is a very important event for Caritas. A considerable part of the money that Caritas spends during the year comes from the bazaar. The amount we raised will be used to fund the services that are not financed by the government. That is exactly why this money is essential, because it allows us to fund the services that are not financed by the government,” the secretary general of Caritas claims.