Stories Of Impact
Motivating trainees towards a brighter future
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Stories Of Impact

Stories Of Impact

Motivating trainees towards a brighter future

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The new S R Nathan Book Prize & Special Assistance Scheme spurs trainees from ITE’s Traineeship Scheme to reach for a better future.

In recent years, Singapore’s education system has been seeking to move beyond academic grades to a more holistic approach towards learning. Seeking to change broader mindsets towards the value of applied learning and work experience, Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) has been steadily championing a ‘work-study’ approach through its Traineeship Scheme.

For a group of fresh secondary-school leavers, the scheme offers a much-needed alternative pathway. The course equips students with relevant industry skills – leading to both a nationally-recognised certification and career progression – while also allowing them to earn a monthly salary as they learn.

In September 2019, the S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund (SRNEUF) launched the S R Nathan Book Prize & Special Assistance Scheme, which supports financially-needy students from the ITE Traineeship Scheme.

Managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), the SRNEUF has been supporting full-time ITE students in need since 2012. With CFS’s facilitation, the S R Nathan Book Prize & Special Assistance Scheme was established this year in response to ITE’s appeal to extend support to trainees, many of whom come from families in challenging financial circumstances.

Similar to full-time ITE student profile, majority of students in the Traineeship Scheme are from lower-income households . While salaries for trainees start from $1000 before CPF deductions, trainees generally do not receive their income until their second month at work.

“We want to help this group of trainees because they are a group helping themselves by heading straight to the workforce after secondary school,” says Mr Aw York Bin, Deputy CEO (Industry). Joining the workforce is an uphill task for these young students, as they have to adapt to work-life while juggling academic commitments. “The S R Nathan Book Prize is an encouragement for them to persevere and complete the course,” he adds.

Additionally, the S R Nathan Special Assistance Scheme will help students from the lowest income tier with food and transportation for the first month before they receive their first salary. Lee Geok Teng, a student in Nitec in Business Services, remarks, “The traineeship has been a good way for me to be financially independent and enables me to pay my own phone bills and insurance.”

Ruthra Vaitheshwari D/O Thiagarajen, who is currently pursuing a Higher Nitec in Service Management, recalls the physical strain of managing work and her studies in her first three months. She says, “This award encouraged me further. The moment I received the prize from Mrs S R Nathan, I felt I should work harder.”

Muhammad Fadzrin Adzri B Adnan, a trainee who has worked at the Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel, says the traineeship has helped him build an edge for his future career. “Receiving this book prize is very unexpected and a motivation for all the trainees who have worked hard in this course,” he says.

Remarking on ITE’s long-term partnership with CFS, Mr Aw commented, “CFS has opened many doors for us over the years to reach out to potential donors and to raise awareness of the needs of vulnerable students. Their advice has been invaluable, as well as their capacity to facilitate conversations around the evolving needs of our students.”

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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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Aleta Planet Foundation: Supporting children and elderly in the fight against COVID-19

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Three people posing with a check from Aleta Planet, expressing joy.

To help bolster the combined efforts in combating the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic within our community, fast growing fintech company Aleta Planet has donated $100,000 to the Mediacorp Enable Fund, a community fund administered by SG Enable.

The proceeds are part of an initial larger commitment of $200,000, and will go towards supporting the elderly who have to work despite their frailties and children with disabilities, as well as those from low income families.

The sum will be donated via the Aleta Planet Foundation, a donor advised fund established in partnership with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS). The Aleta Planet Foundation will work with CFS to identify existing needs for the elderly and disabled children, find suitable charity partners to work with and to manage the funds received.

“We are deeply grateful to Aleta Planet Foundation for their strong spirit of charity and choosing the Mediacorp Enable Fund to make their first donation. The generous contribution will provide much needed financial assistance in meeting the last mile needs of persons with disabilities, as well as to help them fulfil their aspirations in life,” says Mr Ku Geok Boon, CEO of SG Enable.

Set up in Singapore just six years ago, the Aleta Foundation specialises in payment solutions to and from China, and plans to increase their contributions to the community in the future as part of their sustainable corporate giving culture.

“As Aleta Planet has reached a level of growth, we feel that it is now fitting for us to give back to the community in which we operate,” said Mr Ryan Gwee, Chairman and Group CEO of Aleta Planet. “This is especially timely amid a pandemic and recession that have created considerable hardship for the most vulnerable groups living on the fringes of our society.”

The donation seeks to also support the elderly who have been abandoned by their families, and will focus on children from low-income families to help them realise their fullest potential in life.

“We look forward to closer collaboration with the Aleta Planet Foundation to identify gaps in the community so as to foster more effective giving and amplify the positive impact they have on our society,” says Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS.

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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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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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Tertiary-educated adults with autism receive training for jobs in engineering sector

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A woman diligently operating a computer amidst the bustling environment of a factory, focused on her tasks.

Tertiary-educated adults with autism are being trained and placed in jobs in the engineering sector under a new programme by research and technology non-profit organisation Trampolene.

The Gates (Growing Autistic Talent for Engineering Sector) programme was started in May 2022, after research showed that people with autism have one of the lowest employment rates among people with disabilities.

Those with tertiary qualifications also face underemployment owing to a high entry barrier for higher-skilled jobs, said Trampolene chief operating officer Cheok Xue Ting.

Ms You Kai Xuan is among 42 graduates of institutes of higher learning enrolled in the programme. She was unable to secure internships as part of her studies at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) as companies told the school she was unsuitable.

The 22-year-old, who has a Nitec in infocomm technology, is working full-time as an assembly technician at precision manufacturing company Grand Venture Technology (GVT).

Young adults with autism lack executive function skills, such as planning and time estimation.

Ms Hillary Lim, who works for Trampolene as a senior job coach, helped create a timetable for Ms You. It details specific duties she must undertake. For example, it says Ms You has to test iron bars for 90 minutes from 8.30am, and “pack silver things in plastic bags and paste stickers on the bags” between 10.15am and 11.40am.

Ms Lim also held Ms You’s hand during the coaching to show her how much strength was needed when using a torque screwdriver.

Ms You needs the timetable to pace herself and manage her time. When she started working in 2022, she tired herself out before lunch as she exerted too much strength on simple tasks.

“At first, I was nervous as I was new to the environment. But I am comfortable with the supervisor and colleagues now. They guided me patiently on the tasks, and were caring and willing to help.”

The Gates programme is the first to be supported by Temasek Foundation under a pay-for-success model.

The $340,000 committed by upfront funders will be repaid if trainees stay in a job for nine months and other outcomes of job training and placement are achieved.

In this funding model, foundations, financial institutions and corporations provide upfront capital to organisations like Trampolene to serve their beneficiaries.

Outcome funders such as the Government repay upfront funders only if the project achieves outcome targets.

Ms Cheok said the pay-for-success model focuses on retention rate, an issue among young adults with autism, who tend to leave their jobs after six months.

Before the job placement, Trampolene assessed Ms You and found her suitable for hands-on work.

Ms Lim also briefed Ms You’s colleagues on how she communicates, telling them that they need to repeat or simplify instructions.

She told them they can also break down the work into small steps and share her responsibilities.

GVT chief executive Julian Ng said one of the main challenges the company encountered was communication. Some staff with autism take what others say literally and have trouble understanding abstract concepts.

For example, Ms You’s colleagues will say “I’ll get back to you by a specific time” rather than “I’ll get back to you later”.

“This improves communication for everyone in the workplace,” said Mr Ng. The company has about 150 employees at its Singapore headquarters, including three with special needs.

Trampolene also works with organisations to redesign the recruitment process and job role. With GVT, it advised the company to use work assessment instead of conventional interviews.

To match trainees with employers, Trampolene conducts tests for specific skills employers are looking for, from motor skills to data entry and quality control.

It then selects trainees able to perform the tasks, said Ms Cheok.

She said Trampolene also considers work planning, hygiene and safety awareness, and sensory challenges.

If a trainee is affected by high-frequency noises even with earplugs on, for example, he might be more suited to an office job than engineering.

Trampolene is aiming to train 70 young adults over 30 months from May 2022.

To date, it has trained 42 graduates with autism and placed 18 of them in jobs, with 13 having stayed with their employers for three months or more.

Aside from Temasek Foundation, some of the other upfront funders are Ishk Tolaram Foundation, Quantedge Foundation and Asia Philanthropic Ventures.

Outcome funders include ECCA Family Foundation and the Diana Koh Foundation through the Community Foundation of Singapore.

Mr Nicholas Tay, who has autism and holds a diploma in pharmaceutical science from Temasek Polytechnic, was hired under the programme as a production worker in ice-cream manufacturing company The Ice Cream & Cookie Co.

He sets up workstations for production, prepares packaging and places products on a conveyor system for printing or metal detection testing.Mr Damian Yip, head of production at the company, said he considered Mr Tay’s basic communication skills, education level and challenges faced at previous workplaces to decide if he was suitable for the role.

Ms Lim said Mr Tay’s main issues are perspective-taking and negative thinking. For example, when the 26-year-old began doing this job, he often felt lousy about himself when he saw others working faster than him.

“A regular person would think, ‘Oh, the person is faster than me because he has been here for a longer time than me, so he is more experienced,’” said Ms Lim.

“However, Nicholas’ thinking was: ‘Oh, that person is faster than me. I have to be as fast, if not I am not good enough to work here.’”

She said Mr Tay’s co-workers often look out for him when he shows signs that he is tired or when work is too difficult for him. They then get him to switch duties, to take the load off him.

But Mr Tay initially thought they moved him because he was not doing a good job.

Ms Lim mapped out Mr Tay’s thoughts and shared with him other possibilities – for instance, that co-workers may move him to other duties because they care about him.

“It helps to widen Nicholas’ perspectives and also lets him try to think in different ways,” she said.

To learn more about the causes CFS supports, please click here.

Source: The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction

I have always been interested in supporting elder care. But there are many charities doing such work that I do not know of. Through CFS, I learnt about Yong-en Care Centre and having seen first-hand what they are doing, I feel that my money is being well-utilised.

For Yong-en Care Centre, meeting donors face-to-face was a valuable opportunity to deepen their understanding of its unique care model and to engage with them on any questions they may have, says Griselda. In addition, it is also an opportunity to thank CFS donors who have been supporting the charity and build a lasting relationship with them.

CFS assists charities and their underprivileged communities by connecting them with donors who are seeking to support causes and crucial needs that resonate with them deeply.


To find out more about the causes we support, please visit 
www.cf.org.sg/what-we-support/.

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The Community Foundation of Singapore: Philanthropy, legacy giving; doing good and how to get involved

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An older couple smiling while posing for a photo, holding a flower in their hands, radiating love and happiness.

Through legacy giving, making a profound lasting change to people’s lives might be easier than you think

Dr Lim Boon Tiong had a long and distinguished career as a doctor, and it shaped his interest in helping the elderly and those suffering from urological conditions. So devoted was he to his causes that he set aside S$24m along with a list of charities he wanted to help. And when Dr Lim passed on, his daughters Sylvia and Ivy Lim had to execute his will.

“Initially, we had many questions when we saw our father’s will. The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has put everything into a nutshell for us, so we are well-informed to make the right decisions,” said Ivy.

In 2018, the sisters set up the Dr Lim Boon Tiong Foundation, a donor-advised fund with CFS. It supports projects such as the Dr Joseph Lim Boon Tiong Urology Cancer Research Initiative at the National University of Singapore (NUH), which funds experimental research to help improve patient healthcare standards and treatment in urological cancer. Other beneficiaries of the initiative include Catholic Welfare Services (CWS), which runs three nursing homes, and Assisi Hospice, which provides inpatient and palliative care.

The gift to set up the donor advised fund is an example of legacy giving, a concept that is slowly gaining traction around the world. In 2018, charities in the United States received almost US$40 billion (S$54.7 billion) in legacy gifts. Likewise, in Singapore, CFS has managed S$67 million worth of legacy gifts to date. Planned giving is not limited to a simple donation of cash. It is a process where donors can make a more informed choice with their contributions, which can take many shapes or forms, including insurance payouts, CPF monies, marketable securities or real estate. One does not have to be a billionaire to make a lasting difference to the causes you hold dear to your heart.

As we grow more astute financially, we become more attuned to the importance of estate planning. The Wills Registry in Singapore registered 3,911 wills last year compared to 3,535 five years ago. Or perhaps, the prospect of an uncertain future and its consequences heightens our collective awareness of this need: earlier in the year before COVID-19 forced the country into shutdown, there was a marked increase in wills registered.

As part of a drive to raise awareness for legacy giving, CFS actively reaches out to professional advisors in the hope that they can appreciate the value of planned gifts and relay this passion to their clients. Advisors will also be better equipped to help clients who are already looking to give – options can be in the form of a donor-advised fund or a direct donation to support the needs of the community. Your advisors’ services will be critical, especially for pledges of complex assets.

To make the process more meaningful, it is good practice to speak directly with charities about the ways legacy gifts can support their work. Likewise, CFS is not the only option you have when considering which approach to take, and you should do your due diligence to find out what works best for you.

But if you decide to work with CFS, you are good hands indeed: founded in 2008 to encourage and enable philanthropy in Singapore and has to date, CFS has raised over S$185 million in donations. It currently manages over 150 charitable funds and works with more than 400 charity partners. CFS does not lean towards a particular cause, so they enable grantmaking across a wide range of organisations from those helping children, seniors or marginalised individuals to education, arts and even animal welfare.

As they are always working to identify gaps and opportunities within the community, the organisation is well-placed to help donors find suitable matches for their interests and maximise the use of their donations. CFS looks to do more with your giving; fostering a culture of effective giving and raising effectiveness through rigorous evaluation of the programmes. Planning your legacy gift now also ensures that your causes can receive donations in whatever manner you see fit, be it in the form of a perpetual endowment, or expendable gifts (i.e. a donated sum that can be spent down). Both are equally valuable.

If this is something that resonates strongly with you, perhaps now is the time to take the first step. Make a legacy gift for the greater good, and see how you can change lives with an act of kindness.

Source: Robb Report Singapore

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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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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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The Straits Times: She helps pupils with special needs cope in school

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portrait of Madam Tutek Alauyah Amir

by Nur Syahiidah Zainal, 3 October 2016

Just as school starts to wind down in the last quarter, Madam Tutek Alauyah Amir’s work picks up speed.

Her mind skips ahead to new pupils entering Tampines Primary School next year – specifically the ones with special needs like dyslexia, autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – that she is gearing up to help.

For her dedication, the 56-year- old, an allied educator for learning and behavioural support at the school, won the Leading Foundation Teacher Award (LFTA) last year. The LFTA, started in 2014, specifically recognises early childhood and special needs education teachers who have made a difference to their pupils. Read more.

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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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