Stories Of Impact
Karim Family Foundation: Donor-Advised Fund Raises $200,000 to Support Local Sports Champion Loh Kean Yew 印尼富商林益洲家族基金拨20万元奖励骆建佑
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Stories Of Impact

Stories Of Impact

Karim Family Foundation: Donor-Advised Fund Raises $200,000 to Support Local Sports Champion Loh Kean Yew 印尼富商林益洲家族基金拨20万元奖励骆建佑

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In December 2021, 24-year-old Loh Kean Yew became the first Singaporean to win the Badminton World Federation World Championships in Huelva, Spain. 

With his unyielding fighting spirit and humble personality, Loh took the spotlight and became a sporting legend. Loh’s commitment to his sports attracted the attention of many – including those around the world and region.

Underscoring his rising popularity in Indonesia, the Karim Family Foundation, set up by the Indonesian-Chinese tycoon Bachtiar Karim’s family with The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), awarded Loh with a donation of $200,000 for winning the Badminton World Federation World Championships. 

The Karim Family Foundation wanted to congratulate Loh, now ranked as the world’s number 15 in men’s singles, for his win and hoped that the cash would motivate him to continue pursuing his sporting dreams. 

The foundation contacted the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) through the Singapore Press Holding Media Trust’s Chinese Media Group and under the stewardship of CFS.

Bachtiar Karim is the Group Executive Chairman of Singapore-headquartered oil conglomerate, Musim Mas. Musim Mas is an integrated palm oil firm run by Bachtiar Karim with his brothers, Burhan and Bahari. In 2021, according to Forbes, the Karim family had a cumulative net worth of around US$3.5 billion (S$4.7 billion), ranked 10th richest in Indonesia.

Through the decades, the Karim Family Foundation has donated to local charities and has had a focus on sports development, arts and culture, education and mental health sectors. The businessman is known for his philanthropy, having gifted S$2.27 million to his alma mater, the National University of Singapore, to start a professorship in sustainability in its business school in 2010 and another S$5 million to various causes, including the Singapore General Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, in 2020. Despite his justified bragging rights, the businessman himself prefers to keep a low profile with his philanthropic work.

On behalf of the Karim Family Foundation, Chayadi Karim, son of Bachtiar Karim and the main manager of the family fund, told Lianhe Zaobao: “We have always believed in giving back to society. The purpose of the Karim Family Foundation Fund is to support all kinds of meaningful social activities. This time we want to reward Loh Kean Yew, and we hope that youths will set him as a role model. I think Loh Kean Yew is amazing. Badminton competitions are very fierce, in addition to skills, winning also depends on strong willpower. I have observed this young man for a long time, and I admire his never-say-die fighting spirit.”

Chayadi Karim expressed his and his family’s support for Loh in nine words: ‘play badminton well, play badminton well, play badminton well (好打球,打好球,打球好)’, hoping that Loh will continue to give his best and play well without worries, bringing back more glory for himself. “It also proves that it is good to play sports, not just a hobby, but also as a career. It inspires more young people to devote themselves to sports, so that the standard of sports in Singapore will continue to improve,” Chayadi Karim adds.

Bachtiar’s daughter, Cindy Karim, another key administrator of the fund, said: “Our family is inspired by Loh Kean Yew’s tenacity, and it is also touching that he remains humble after such an impressive achievement. Through the Community Foundation of Singapore, we will try my best to inspire more youths to be future ‘Loh Kean Yew’s in Singapore.”

Commenting on the award, Loh who is currently playing in India for the India Open, told Lianhe Zaobao: “After I won the World Championships, well-wishers and sponsors such as Mr Karim sent me many rewards and encouragement, and I feel touched and immense gratitude for what I received. For athletes, this is a recognition of our hard work and sacrifice. Giving my best for my country has always been my number one priority. Knowing that there are so many generous people out there who are very supportive and encouraging local athletes is great and very important to me. There are so many people who have helped me in my life that I can’t thank them individually. I would not be on the podium without the support and encouragement of so many.”

Lawrence Leow, President of SBA, said: “We are deeply grateful to Mr Karim for his care and support for Kean Yew. Kean Yew’s performance on the court has inspired the imagination of a new generation of badminton fans and conveys an important message. Even though we are a small country, with the support of the many, we can still achieve good results.”

The Badminton World Championships is an event that only counts points and does not offer bonuses. The competition is not part of the “Major Games Award Programme” of the Singapore Olympic Council and therefore, Loh Kean Yew did not receive any monetary rewards despite his glorious return home.

On top of the latest S$200,000 awarded to Loh by the Karim Family Foundation, SBA revealed last week that Loh has been rewarded with an amount over S$250,000, combining a donation from local business people and public crowdfunding. Chinese sports brand Li-Ning, a sponsor of SBA, is also negotiating a long-term sponsorship contract for Loh, worth over six figures.

Previously, five local businesspeople in Singapore also raised S$50,000 for Loh after he was conferred the title of world champion and awarded the gold medal. The five businesspeople are Ang Kiam Meng, executive director and group chief executive officer (CEO) of Jumbo Group, Daryl Neo, co-founder and CEO of DC Frontiers, Dora Hoan, group CEO and co-chairman of Best World International, Eugene Ang, managing director of JK Technology, and Wei Chan, managing director of Pine Garden’s Cake. 

Subsequently, Chan, who led the first fundraising, set up another donation fund called the ‘Low Kean Yew Encouragement Fund’ via Ray of Hope earlier this year to allow contributions from the members of the public to contribute. Chan started the new initiative after many members of the public approached him hoping to show their gratitude in a similar way. Collectively, at the time of this writing, the two funds have raised over S$210,000. 

If you too, would like to support a meaningful cause of your choice, please read more here.

This translated article was adapted from the feature within Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报 here. Source: Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报 © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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The Law Gazette – Make Giving Better: The Role of the Community Foundation of Singapore

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Asia’s billionaires are getting ready to hand over to the next generation, and Singapore is benefiting from the rush to set up new or satellite family offices with an increased focus on philanthropy and impact investing.

In recent months, Horizon Ventures, a private investment firm associated with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing opened an outpost in Singapore.* Oppenheimer Generations, the family office of former De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, is also in Singapore while Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio and Google co-founder Sergey Brin both set up shop in late 2020.

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Stories Of Impact

Spreading the Holiday Cheer: CFS Contribute Year-End Meal to Melrose Home Residents & Staff

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As the year 2023 drew to a close and office parties were being planned, the staff at CFS decided to redirect their staff celebration budget from traditional year-end parties and gift exchanges. Instead, they chose to sponsor a special New Year’s Eve dinner for the children and youth of Melrose Home, and contributed by purchasing grocery vouchers, hoping to bring joy and warmth to them during the holiday season.

At CFS’s monthly Town Hall, representatives from Children’s Aid Society Ms Serlina Huang, Manager of Community Partnerships and Ms May Su Paing, Communications Executive from Children’s Aid Society, visited along with their colleagues from Melrose Home, Ms Michelle Chen, and Mr Timothy Pang. Together they offered the CFS team valuable insights into the home’s operations and needs, enhancing their understanding of how donor contributions can benefit the beneficiaries. Ms Tricia Lee, Director of Communications & Marketing at CFS then presented grocery vouchers that the CFS staff had contributed, to support the purchase of essential items for the residents of Melrose Home. 

Mr Alvin Goh, Executive Director of Children’s Aid Society shares, ‘We are grateful for this heartwarming gesture from the Community Foundation of Singapore and thank the CFS team for spreading the holiday cheer to our residents. It is heartwarming to see the community coming together to help improve the lives of those in challenging situations.’

Melrose Home, a service under the Children’s Aid Society (CAS), is a residential home for children and youths aged 6 to 21. Their residents have experienced challenging family circumstances or child protection issues that led to them being removed from their family homes. 

The organisation has been a CFS grantee since 2022, and our donors have generously contributed to supporting Melrose Home in its mission. CAS is currently appealing for donations to help transform its premises at Clementi Road into “Melrose Village”, which will enable residents to have more living space, and offer purpose-built facilities, advanced counselling and psychological services. To find out how you can contribute, visit https://www.cf.org.sg/giving/ways-to-give/ 

References:

https://childrensaidsociety.org.sg/melrose-home/

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Stories Of Impact

Family of Wisdom – Caring for persons with dementia and their caregivers

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Dementia is a chronic disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury. The estimated number of persons living with dementia in Singapore was 45,000 in 2015. This number is projected to increase to 103,000 by 2030.*

The Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA) provides personalised daycare for persons with dementia, and offers support to their caregivers. With a long waiting list for dementia day care, the ADA came up with an initiative called Family of Wisdom (FOW) to address the need.

In the Family of Wisdom, a group of persons with dementia and their caregivers would gather to interact and engage in various activities such as memory games, baking, craft, painting, physical exercises and occasional outings. Persons are grouped according to their stage of dementia, spoken language, age, gender, educational profile and interest. The goal of the programme is to improve the clients’ well-being as some of them would become depressed and apathetic due to their cognitive impairment.

To run the programme, ADA needed funding to create an environment that was safe and conducive for persons with dementia and their caregivers. Facilitated by the Community Foundation of Singapore, the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) stepped in to provide funding for the operating costs of the Family of Wisdom at Bendemeer.

ADA piloted the Family of Wisdom in September 2013 with 15 clients. Today, the programme serves some 100 clients through 12 sessions conducted on a weekly basis.

A caregiver shared that his loved one looked forward to attending the FOW programme. As for himself, he appreciated having the time to sit down and chitchat over a cup of coffee, comforted by the fact that he was not alone in his caregiving journey.

(*Source: Alzheimers Disease International, Dementia in the Asia Pacific Region, Nov 2014)

Photos: Alzheimer’s Disease Association

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The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

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A snapshot of a newspaper Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

Following his great-grandmother’s footsteps, Keith Chua set up a charitable fund to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations.

To Keith Chua, the boy, she was the stern matriarch of their large, Peranakan family, to be approached with deference. To the older and bolder teenager, she drew closer – the great-grandmother glad to chat about his day over tea or a shared meal.

But only years after, as an established entrepreneur with a family of his own, did Mr Chua truly feel the impact of her life on his own, thanks to the impact Mrs Lee Choon Guan had had on others.

“It was a rediscovery,” Mr Chua says, about encountering in the pages of a 1920s history book a side to his great-grandmother that he had not known, years after her death in 1978.

Growing up, naturally, he had heard stories from his mother. One of these, about Mrs Lee’s role in raising funds to contribute a fighter plane to the World War 1 effort, made it into a school composition of his on “A Person You Most Admire”.

But it was not till the mid-1980s, after being appointed as a co-trustee to the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Trust Fund his mother started that Mr Chua read for himself the book she had spoken so much about.

Discovering a legacy of giving

“It became quite clear that she was a pioneer in many ways,” Mr Chua, 65, says.

In One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore, he learnt of how, as one of the few Chinese girls to get an English education and a member of high-society, Mrs Lee sought to open doors for other women in the early 1900s.

Also known as Madam Tan Teck Neo, she was the founding president of the Chinese Ladies Association (now the Chinese Women’s Association), running classes for young women and raising funds for charities.

Women and children, healthcare and education – these were causes Mrs Lee cared deeply for. She gave out numerous scholarships to girls, donated to the building of the St Andrew’s Hospital for Women and Children, and funded the activities of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children. For her volunteer work and giving during the First World War, she was the first Chinese woman to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.

Moved by the glimpses of her trailblazing giving recorded in the book, Mr Chua has since acquired an autographed edition that is now a treasured possession for what it symbolises – a legacy of giving to be kept alive.

“To me, the process of discovery, rediscovery, has been a continuing one,” says Mr Chua. The family is still adding to what they know of Mrs Lee’s life and legacy, “all these little pockets of seeds that were planted”. Such as the family giving funds in 1924 to start Katong Girls’ School (today’s Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School) – a fact they only recently stumbled upon.

Among other causes, the trust fund supports tertiary-level programmes on philanthropy at the NUS Business School’s Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP).

Down through the generations
In 2011, he set up the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Fund with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations. Managed as an endowment, the fund’s principal amount is invested and income earned is then given to various causes.

The aim is not merely to build historical knowledge, but to perpetuate the legacy of giving. “I have the opportunity, at this point in time, to put some thought and action into encouraging the continuation of her legacy. So that, hopefully, it will continue with some degree of active participation by future generations,” says Mr Chua.

“In continuing the legacy of my great-grandmother, I looked at how she approached philanthropy in her time and tried to include some of her practices in what I’m doing today. It has indeed come full circle.”

Some of the causes the fund supports today bear the mark of Mrs Lee’s charitable interests – education and healthcare initiatives. Others reflect evolving needs in society that Mr Chua himself is passionate about.

Indeed, Mr Chua is known as much these days for his work in philanthropic circles as he is in business ones.

The executive chairman of ABR Holdings, which owns Swensen’s and Chilli Padi among other food and beverage brands, Mr Chua is also managing director of the Alby group of companies in Singapore and Australia. He hails from a line of businessmen too – his grandfather, the late Chua Cheng Liat, is one of the Chua brothers behind car dealership Cycle & Carriage.

Today, actively involved in various community, church and missions agencies, he sits on the boards of the National Council of Social Service and CFS.

“Part of why I’m doing this today, is in the hope that the wider family, beyond just my siblings and children through to my cousins, my nephews and nieces, and their children, will come to appreciate the legacy that my great-grandmother has left for all of us.”

Apart from his great-grandmother, Mr Chua cites the influence of his parents’ generosity and his Christian faith as two other defining forces behind his philanthropy journey.

“[With my parents], it wasn’t so much them saying, ‘This is how you do it.’ It was watching them in action, responding generously to requests for help, seeing how they lived their lives,” says Mr Chua.

And that was the starting point for him and his wife too: sharing with their four children what they do and why, modelling a life of giving in the hope that their children would themselves see the value of giving.

One reason Mr Chua decided to set up the fund with CFS was to ensure that future generations would be able to continue the family’s philanthropic work. He says, “The objective of CFS flowed nicely with ours of wanting to continue the legacy of giving. It allows family members to be involved and ensure that funds for the community will carry on.”

Taking it a step further, he has been intentional about involving his children, whose ages now range between 22 and 32, in his philanthropic engagements. In recent years, this has included trips across Southeast Asia to learn from and explore partnerships with non-profits, charities and social entrepreneurs.

Having sown those seeds, he has since had the satisfaction of watching each child “doing something in their own way”, whether via professional or personal pursuits, to give to the community.

An evolving philosophy of giving
Mr Chua says his own approach to philanthropy has evolved over the years.

From viewing philanthropy primarily as responding to appeals for monetary gifts, he began getting involved with charities and volunteering his time. That involvement got him thinking about how he could make a difference with his own skills.

“Coming from a business, finance background, I felt I was able to bring that to the area of social entrepreneurship to encourage entrepreneurship, and help to share business models, my personal experiences,” says Mr Chua.

Asked what he has gained from years of intentional giving, Mr Chua is first introspective: “I would like to think that the engagement in all these years of philanthropy has gradually moved me from thinking more of myself, to thinking more of others.”

“Along with that, of course, is that it brings a wonderful feeling if you can bring joy and help someone else,” he adds.

“I believe everyone can give. Whether in terms of resources, time or talent… I would embrace all forms of participation. The most important thing for me is to encourage others to take that first step, whatever that first step is.”

Looking forward, Mr Chua says, “The seed of philanthropy was planted by the generations before me. Now, with the structure of CFS, the funds will carry on past my lifetime. Once you’ve set certain things in place, you can bring the next generation along for the ride, and trust them with the responsibility when it’s their turn.”

After all, Mrs Lee Choon Guan’s first steps into philanthropy led to her leaving a century-old legacy of giving that has spanned four generations and, if Mr Chua has his wish, countless more to come.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

Picture of admin bluecube
admin bluecube

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

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