Stories Of Impact
Seniors Colabs learning journey #2: Wellness Kampung – entrusting the community to care for itself
wavy line banner

Stories Of Impact

Stories Of Impact

Seniors Colabs learning journey #2: Wellness Kampung – entrusting the community to care for itself

John Doe
John Doe
Group of individuals engaging in a leisure dance routine outdoors.

On the second learning journey for Seniors Colabs, a small group of participants met early on a weekday morning to observe how a community space called Wellness Kampung in Chong Pang estate can be designed and run by residents.

Set up in April 2016, Wellness Kampung is a network of three activity centres in Chong Pang, Nee Soon Central and Nee Soon East. The network was launched as a partnership between Yishun Health, St. Luke’s ElderCare and Nee Soon Grassroot Organisation with one simple belief – that taking charge of one’s health is easier with the support of the community.

The day’s programme began with an hour-long exercise session led by Madam Aneesa, 49, a resident who volunteered to learn and teach the Wednesday morning resistance band class. By mid-morning, the centre was a hive of activity as an army of ladies cooked up a storm in the kitchen, while at the other end of the room, residents recorded their blood pressure readings and compared their daily step count with pedometers. The centre was bright and airy, with doors on opposite sides of the void deck kept wide open. Residents came in and out, on their way to various parts of the neighbourhood.

Mr Woo Yew Kah, Centre Manager and its only paid staff, explained that residents are in charge of what happens and how the centre is run. “They have the key and they open and close the centre every day. Only when they quarrel, then I have to mediate,” he explains with a laugh.

Colabs participants were impressed with the high level of trust between management and community, which they felt played a key role in empowering the residents and sustaining the programmes over the long-run. Some also observed that the centre’s wellness goals are not overtly prescribed but rather seamlessly integrated into day-to-day activities, which made leading a healthy lifestyle more natural and enjoyable.

The learning journey presented new insights on how shifts in perspectives by funders and policy-makers can create a conducive environment for community-driven efforts. Leveraging the strength of individuals, such ground-up initiatives would then able to meet the needs of seniors more effectively.

Colabs is a philanthropic initiative by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre. It drives collaboration by bringing together the public, private and social sectors to tackle complex social issues. It enables philanthropists, businesses, non-profits and sector experts to collectively build insights and co-create solutions for lasting change.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

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”。

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.

Stories Of Impact

Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre – Letter to a donor

John Doe
John Doe
picture of four people holding an award

Dear Donor,

Thank you for your support of Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre.

We recently attended a graduation ceremony there and would like to share with you how it went.

A was accepted into Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre in December 2014. She had severe anger management issues, emotional outbursts and made various attempts to run away from the home. Six months after entering Dayspring, she was so touched by the concern shown by the carers, counsellors and residents there that she decided to turn her life around and ‘graduate’ from the programme. A achieved her target in two years and will soon be leaving Dayspring to begin a new chapter in her life.

As it was her ‘graduation party’, she got to decide who to invite to celebrate her success. Those present included her mother, friends, social workers, volunteers and many others who played a significant role in her life during her turnaround period.

It was not easy for A to share her experiences in front of so many people, but she did so bravely – acknowledging everyone who helped make her the person she is today. Through the process, A had reconciled with her mother and was even able to thank her publicly for her unwavering love and support. This was a quite an achievement considering that A used to have a volatile relationship with her mother.

The guests took turns to offer A words of affirmation and encouragement for the positive changes they saw in her. She was presented with a certificate and a unique butterfly necklace which symbolised her growth and transformation. The staff and residents also produced a video documenting her journey in Dayspring.

With the help of Dayspring, A is currently training under a pastry chef at the Fullerton Hotel. We were all privileged to taste the delicious Nutella cake personally baked by A. Looking ahead, A will be working hard towards achieving her dream of becoming a chef, and owning restaurants, bars and cafés around the world.

The graduation ceremony provided us with a glimpse of the extensive work that Dayspring undertakes in rehabilitating teenage girls like A and giving them the last mile opportunity to turn their lives around. It gave us a chance to appreciate the work of the centre and get to know the girls a little better. It was an afternoon well spent and we certainly missed you at the event.

I am sharing this to show the impact your donation has made on A and many others like her. Thank you for making a difference in their lives.

Best regards,

Belinda Lee
Principal Consultant, Philanthropy & Grants
Community Foundation of Singapore

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.

Stories Of Impact

#MyGivingJourney X Ivy Tse: Going the distance for youths 

John Doe
John Doe
portrait of ivy

In our #MyGivingJourney series, CFS features extraordinary women in Singapore and their efforts in philanthropy. This story features Ivy Tse, CEO at Halogen Foundation Singapore.  

At 35, Ivy Tse must be one of the youngest CEOs around. But the unassuming head of Halogen Foundation Singapore quips that she is more a “Chief Everything Officer”. In a day, her job can take her from fundraising to building partnerships to staff development – or even tackling a problem with the office printer.  

A relatively small charity, Halogen runs on a team of about 21. Its mission is to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people through leadership, mentorship and entrepreneurship programmes. Ivy joined in 2012, when the team was about half its current size. And coming from global giant Procter & Gamble, she found she had to be a Jack of all trades in her new role organizing events at Halogen.  

“You have to be very resourceful. If there is an obstacle, you find a solution,” she says. “It was humbling.” People also questioned her decision to ditch a lucrative career path at P&G. “They said, it’s so hard to get in, why would you leave?” she recalls. Plus, there was the financial aspect: moving to the nonprofit sector meant taking a pay cut of a third.  

But the go-getter, who also describes herself as an idealist, was going through what youths now call a ‘quarter-life crisis’. She decided she wanted to immerse herself in work that counted. And she figured, “If it doesn’t work out, I can crawl back to the corporate sector and run twice as fast to make up for it!”  

Ten years on, the dynamic Ivy, who runs marathons in her spare time, shows no signs of slowing down. Nor any regrets building a career empowering young people. Seeing how Halogen’s dedicated volunteers and partners help shy, apprehensive teenagers gain access to the social capital and soft skills needed to thrive in a fast-evolving world has brought her a lot of gratification. The Foundation has created more resilient youngsters, reduced school dropout rates and developed leaders who have gone on to make a positive impact in their communities. 

Giving back has been a part of Ivy’s life since her school days. She chose CCAs that revolved around volunteer work such as Habitat for Humanity and Rotaract Club, while studying for a double degree in mechanical engineering and business at the National University of Singapore. She enjoyed hands-on volunteering but she also thrived on the organizational aspect of nonprofit work. And, she liked motivating people to participate in charitable causes and seeing them grow through that experience.  

“That’s what I get to do now at Halogen,” Ivy notes. Her job also sees her working with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) which helps donors and grant makers understand what nonprofits like Halogen do and matches them. For example, CFS linked up UBS with Halogen and the financial institution has helped fund Halogen’s Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship programme. 

Ultimately, what Ivy is most proud of is growing and building a team that is really passionate about youth development. Her advice for young people who are mulling a career in social services? “It can really challenge you. It’s almost like being an entrepreneur,” she says. “And it is rewarding in so many ways.” 

Begin your own journey of giving with CFS. Read other inspiring stories of #MyGivingJourney series here. 

This article was written by Sunita Sue Leng, a former financial analyst and journalist, who believes that the written word can be a force for good. She hopes to someday write something worth plagiarising. 

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.

Opinion

Governance is a continuous journey for charities

John Doe
John Doe
A man and woman proudly display an award at a charity transparency and governance event, symbolizing their recognition for outstanding achievements.

By Trillion So

EARLIER this month I attended the Charity Transparency and Governance Award dinner organised by the Charity Council. It was a proud moment for the charities that received the Charities Transparency Awards (CTA) 2019, which ranged from small, medium to large, all 67 of them.

I sit on the board of Community Foundation Singapore (CFS) and chair its Audit and Risk Committee (ARC). CFS received the CTA for the Large Category and Special Commendation Award (SCA) 2019 for Governance and Management.

As the ARC chair of CFS, I felt a sense of achievement; at the same time recognising that this could only be done with the focus and team work between management, staff, board and board committee members. As a winner in the Large Category, CFS was up against many worthy, well-established organisations with a bigger staff strength. This shows that good governance, transparency and management, can be achieved by everyone, as long as the right ingredients are present.

There is no one magic ingredient.  Some key considerations are:

Consider the size, age, purpose, funding model and future growth plans of the organisation first;

Which aspects of good governance are critical now, and which will become important in three years’ time?

Identify skills, resources and people needed to effectively implement new or changed governance and management processes/systems; and

Plan and coordinate any changes within appropriate timeframes – a practical timetable for phasing in new practices is better than hasty reaction

Corporate governance is a journey towards building trust and confidence with key stakeholders, alongside having a mindset of acting with integrity. The beauty of a journey is that you never stand still. You will strive for continuous improvement and enhancement. Improved governance will result in improved public image and transparency, which then motivates the community to give more time and money, and ultimately increase the benefits of the beneficiaries.

Reflecting on CFS’s journey, the board members are of diverse backgrounds and set the right tone from the top. Management takes all recommendations from internal auditors and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) very seriously.

I recall one of the reviews by MCCY a while back revealed that CFS did not have an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework. Management immediately embarked on a project assisted by an external consultant to adopt ERM.

With the ERM, it is very clear which are the top risks, what can be done to mitigate the risks and whether any new risks have emerged so that actions can be taken to reduce the risks. It was not a one-off effort, but a continuous and purposeful deployment of ERM, up to today, which yielded results. The Audit Committee then transformed into the ARC from that point onwards, to ensure there is focus on both audit and risks. This is just one example of the continuous enhancement culture that is important for good corporate governance.

What’s next for the charities after receiving the CTA 2019? How do they continue on this corporate governance journey? What should they do differently?

One area that will disrupt business as usual for charities is: new technologies and the digital economy. Charities are starting to use Blockchain technology to ensure donors’ monies are spent on the right programmes and right recipients, including visibility and impact monitoring. Board members of charities need to think about their digital strategy and the risks involved in going digital.

CYBER RISK

Cyber risk is very real and can destroy the reputation of a charity and negate the good work it is doing, bringing it to a standstill if not properly managed. As an audit partner, I have noticed that cyber risk is fast becoming the top risk in most organisations. The Code of Governance issued by the Charity Council requires charities to build up their image to be consistent with its objectives and so charities will have to think of performing vulnerability assessments and penetration tests where applicable.

If charities tap on this area, they will increase productivity and enhance governance. Charities can harness the power of data analytics to perform continuous monitoring, gain insights and highlight areas to investigate. For example, in the area of procurement and payments, insights such as duplicate payments, split payments, early or late payments, and similar bank accounts between vendor and staff, will be red flags worth following up. The beauty of data analytics is that it combs through 100 per cent of the data and can be done continuously. Once set up, it can improve efficiency and effectiveness of internal controls, and is a great tool of oversight.

However, most charities would not have the expertise to start a data analytics programme and it may be costly too. I echo what Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said in her speech at the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards. She mentioned that charities and the community should collaborate to serve Singaporeans better, and to engage new partners and harness community resources.

There is a call, therefore, for people with technology, digital, data analytics and cybersecurity skillsets to step up and volunteer in the charities sector to help make a difference. Perhaps the CSR programmes of corporates should include placing their people with such expertise to sit in charity boards or committees, as well as collaborate in the partnership with charities and government.

I also hope that the recipients of the CTA Awards pay it forward by mentoring other charities in the corporate governance space, and for larger charities to play a bigger role in the charities sector, especially in the technology and digital space to enhance the corporate governance more efficiently and effectively.

The writer is partner at PwC Singapore and board member of Community Foundation of Singapore, where she also chairs its Audit and Risk Committee 

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

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”。

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.

Events

Colabs launches Seniors series to tackle the question ‘How can our seniors live more happily in the community?’

John Doe
John Doe
A gathering of individuals seated at tables within a room, engaged in conversation and activities.

In October 2018, 55 representatives from the government, corporate and non-profit sectors together with a group of senior citizens, gathered to deliberate the answers to one question: How can our seniors live more happily in the community? 

For everyone in the room, the inaugural session of Seniors Colabs marked the start of a new collaborative journey, with participants expected to meet regularly over a six-month period to share knowledge, build insights and find practical ways to help seniors age well. As the third and final run of a three-part Colabs series, Seniors Colabs brings people with a common desire to tackle issues around growing old in Singapore.

The Lien Foundation kicked off the session with an overview of the senior care landscape. Research showed that while Singaporeans were ageing from a position of strength in terms of health and financial outcomes, higher life expectancies and declining fertility rates will mean fewer caregivers for a fast-ageing population. Given this, families will have to increasingly depend on the community for support and care in the long run.

Moving away from the broader perspective, participants at the second session in November took a human-centered approach to understand the needs of the elderly. Insights were shared by the National Council of Social Services’ “Understanding the Quality of Life for Seniors” – a study that surveyed over 1,000 seniors living in Singapore on their perceived well-being.

Results showed that in line with global trends, seniors in Singapore have a significantly lower quality of life compared with the general population. The elderly in Singapore were most keen to see improvements in their physical and psychological well-being; as well as an increase in their level of independence.

During discussions that followed, Colabs participants acknowledged that seniors in Singapore are a diverse group. Thus, having the right mindsets and assumptions determined whether services would be relevant. Most participants took a practical stance and spoke about issues around social support, caregiving, healthcare, finance and mobility. “Empathy alone does not pay the bills,” summed up a Colabs participant from a non-profit organisation.

Invigorated by passionate conversations, the Seniors Colabs community closed the year by taking the opportunity to establish connections with like-minded people across sectors.

Colabs is a philanthropic initiative by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre and the Community Foundation of Singapore. It drives collaboration by bringing together the public, private and social sectors to tackle complex social issues. It enables philanthropists, businesses, non-profits and sector experts to collectively build insights and co-create solutions for lasting change.

The next session of Seniors Colabs will take place in January 2019. If you’re interested in Colabs, visit here or write to colabs@cf.org.sg.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

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”。

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.

Trending Stories

Scroll to Top