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Singapore Tatler: CRIB X CFS Legacy Building And Impact Series
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Singapore Tatler: CRIB X CFS Legacy Building And Impact Series

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Investors and like-minded philanthropists invited by CRIB and the Community Foundation of Singapore gathered at Grand Park Orchard for a panel discussion on November 1, where father-daughter duos Richard and Rebecca Eu, and Keith and Sharon Chua shared their insights and personal anecdotes towards charity and legacy building. The event culminated in a cocktail session as guests indulged in canapés and drinks at the bar, over conversations with old friends and new. Read more.

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Opinion

How philanthropy can help tackle gender-based online harms

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Technology and the Internet have made our lives better in many ways. But they are also facilitating an alarming increase in online abuse, particularly of young women. There is upskirting, where the perpetrator takes intrusive photos or videos up someone’s skirt without their permission. There is revenge porn, where explicit photos or videos of a person are posted on the Internet, typically by a former sexual partner.

With the ubiquity of social media, there is flaming (insulting someone with offensive language), doxxing (revealing private information), and cyberstalking. And on encrypted direct messaging platforms, victims are being threatened with violence. As actress Ashley Judd noted in a powerful TEDTalk in 2016, the online abuse of women has spiralled out of control (Judd, 2016).

In Singapore, a poll conducted in January 2022 by the Sunlight Alliance of Action (AfA), a public-private-people partnership to tackle online harms, found that close to half of the 1,000 respondents polled have personally experienced one or more types of online harms (MCI, 2022). Most of those who faced gender-based cyber abuse were between 15 to 35 years. With young girls, there is the added danger of sexual grooming.

Yet, women do not always come forward to seek freedom from online harm. One reason is a lack of knowledge about recourse. Another revolves around the gendered myths that direct blame towards the victim, writes academic Laura Vitis in Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women in Singapore: Key Considerations (Vitis, 2021).

What can be done? This is a problem that requires a whole-of-society effort. It needs awareness, advocacy, education, as well as enhancements in regulatory response, law enforcement and social services support. We can start by talking about what constitutes technology-facilitated sexual violence. Reinforce the message that image-based sexual abuse, camera sexual voyeurism and coerced sex-based communication are offences. Urge tech companies to make their services safer by removing offending images or gendered invective. 

On July 13, the Ministry of Communications and Information launched a public consultation on a Code of Practice for Online Safety (Reach, 2022). This will require social media services with significant reach or impact to have system-wide processes to mitigate exposure to harmful online content for Singapore-based users, including those below the age of 18.

Aside from this, we need to empower women to protect themselves against online abuse. Let them know how to record evidence and who to contact for support. These include the government’s 24-hour National Anti-Violence Helpline, AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre, and TOUCH Cyber Wellness. There is also Solid Ground, a volunteer-run project that provides step-by-step guides for those facing online abuse.

More recently, in April 2022, a new non profit was formed to empower, assist and support women and girls facing gender-based harm. SG Her Empowerment Limited (SHE) was born out of the work of Sunlight AfA and is chaired by Stefanie Yuen Thio, a member of Sunlight AfA. Stefanie is also a managing partner at TSMP Law Corporation and a board member at the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS).

The new charity plans to work with technology platforms to streamline reporting procedures and expedite takedowns. It will also liaise with the Law Society Pro Bono Services Office to provide legal clinics and pro bono legal services to those coming to the newly set up Victims’ Support Centre. SHE also hopes to work with the police to provide more holistic and empathetic support to the victims.

“This is an urgent and underserved need in our community,” says Stefanie. “Philanthropy can be a powerful driver and partner in our collaborative, public-private effort to combat online harm. This is a scourge that needs more than government regulation; it requires a whole-of-community response, from setting right mindsets, to calling out offending behaviours, to taking up the cause of victims,” she adds.

In addition to tackling online harms, and in light of the recommendations from the Singapore Government’s White Paper on Women’s Development released earlier this year, SHE will also be rolling out more programmes to support women and girls generally, hoping to work with both men and women to advance and equip the gender.

As a cause-neutral advisor, CFS works with a number of charities and initiatives that raise awareness about gender injustices and provide access to justice for victims of gender abuse, including online harm. If you would like to find out more about supporting these causes or for more information on the work we do, please go to www.cf.org.sg/grants/what-we-support/.

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.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CFS or its members.

References

Association of Women for Action and Research. (20 April 2022). Image-based sexual abuse featured in 7 in 10 cases of technology-facilitated sexual violence seen by AWARE in 2021.
https://www.aware.org.sg/2022/04/image-based-sexual-abuse-featured-in-7-in-10-cases-of-technology-facilitated-sexual-violence-seen-by-aware-in-2021/

Judd, Ashley. (2016). How online abuse of women has spiraled out of control. TED Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/ashley_judd_how_online_abuse_of_women_has_spiraled_out_of_control/transcript

Ministry of Communications and Information. (25 March 2022). Sunlight AfA Releases Topline Findings from Poll on Online Harms at Webinar.
https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2022/3/sunlight-afa-releases-topline-findings-from-poll-on-online-harms-at-webinar

Reach. (2022). Public Consultation on enhancing online safety for users in Singapore.
https://www.reach.gov.sg/Participate/Public-Consultation/Ministry-of-Communications-and-Information/public-consultation-on-enhancing-online-safety-for-users-in-singapore

Today. (13 July 2022). Singapore lays out proposals to shield young social media users from harmful content; seeks public feedbackhttps://www.todayonline.com/singapore/singapore-lays-out-proposals-shield-young-social-media-users-harmful-content-seeks-public-feedback-1942991?cid=braze-tdy_Today-Morning-Brief_newsletter_14072022_tdy%0A%0A

TSMP Law Corporation. (25 April 2022). SG Her Empowerment Limited (SHE).
https://www.tsmplaw.com/news/sg-her-empowerment-limited-she/

Vitis, Laura. (2021). Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women in Singapore: Key Considerations. Emerald Publishing Limited. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/978-1-83982-848-520211031/full/pdf

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Stories Of Impact

Seniors Colabs learning journey #1: Empower Ageing – mind over body for a better quality of life

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Ageing isn’t something most people think positively about. Think of old age and most people – especially seniors themselves – would naturally fixate on the negatives. Yet for young charity Empower Ageing, it’s been changing entrenched mindsets with a series of innovative programmes and solutions – including a clarion call to seniors to ‘go for your mountain’.

On a learning journey for Seniors Colabs, representatives from various sectors joined Empower Ageing at Cornerstone Senior Centre in Cheng San. During the ice-breaking session, Colabs participants were challenged by Empower Ageing’s founder Isaiah Chng to reconsider their assumptions about old age. Instead of viewing old age as a time of disempowerment and frailty, can seniors be encouraged to think differently?

The morning kicked off with an exercise session conducted by Empower Ageing with over 40 seniors from the community. The session was intentionally crafted to build a sense of empowerment, with facilitators encouraging seniors to take active steps in maintaining their physical health. A lively sense of group camaraderie could be observed, as seniors gathered in groups to support each other in performing a series of exercises designed to enhance their strength and mobility. Designed with the concept of ‘reaxing’, the session featured exercise equipment that trains seniors to physically respond to unpredictable situations in daily life. At times, individual seniors would themselves take the intiative to teach fellow members and newcomers the exercise moves

During the discussions that followed, Colabs participants were impressed by the engagement levels of the seniors, many of whom attend the sessions five times per week. One key learning point for Colabs participants was the importance of collecting and tracking data, so that the seniors could see the tangible physical improvements from the exercise sessions. Another key learning point was the importance of how integrating positive mindsets about ageing helps seniors build confidence and motivation.

Colabs participants were also exposed to new models and concepts of empowering seniors in the community. These include integrating physical rehabilitation with the daily life and environment of the seniors, and the GYM challenge that inspires seniors to go beyond their physical limitations.

Ageing well is critically relevant to all of us – not just those who have already entered into their golden years. The Colabs learning journey empowered participants with a new concept of successful ageing, with a view of applying insights to their own organisations.

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.

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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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News

Set up during the covid-19 pandemic, Sayang Sayang Fund raised $9.7m over three years, supporting over 400,000 lives
应疫情设立 Sayang Sayang基金三年筹970万元惠及40万人

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Established in 2020 as an emergency response fund during the covid-19 pandemic, the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF) raised $9,700,000 in three years, supporting over 276 organisations and touching over 401,000 lives.

互助团体Mum’s Collective主办康乐与交流活动,旨在为低收入家庭的母亲建立支援网络,去年获得Sayang Sayang基金的部分资助。(中南社区家庭服务中心提供)

Established in 2020 as an emergency response fund during the covid-19 pandemic, the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF) raised $9,700,000 in three years, supporting over 276 organisations and touching over 401,000 lives. 

According to the Sayang Sayang Fund report published on CFS’s website, the fund disbursed $6,542,000 (67% of donations) in 2020, $2,060,000 (21% of donations) in between 2021-2022, and $1,11,900 (12% of donations) in 2023. 

CFS CEO Catherine Loh shared that when the pandemic started, CFS recognised the need to provide a platform to pool together resources to help those that required support, including frontline healthcare workers, students from lower-income families, rough sleepers, and migrant workers. Through collaboration with community care organisations and various agencies, CFS was able to better understand the needs of the people and allocate assistance more efficiently.

Read our Sayang Sayang Fund report.

因应冠病疫情推出的Sayang Sayang基金过去三年筹集的约970万元,支持了276家社会服务、医疗和教育机构的援助项目,惠及约40万人。

Sayang Sayang基金由新加坡社区基金会于2020年设立,已全数拨款支持各援助项目。根据社区基金会在网上发布的Sayang Sayang基金总结报告,2020年拨出的基金款项占67%,达654万2000元;2021年至2022年拨出的基金占21%,达206万元;其余的12%在2023年拨出,达111万9000元。

2020年,基金主要用来支持前线医疗人员,以及低收入家庭、年长者和客工等有需要群体应对冠病疫情。2021年至2022年,社区基金会扩大基金的使用范围,资助慈善机构提升数码能力,适应新常态。

2023年,基金着重于加强社会在后疫情时代的韧性,例如资助有关露宿街头者、最低收入标准等社会研究项目,以及社区保健计划。

新加坡社区基金会总裁罗佩仪指出,冠病疫情暴发时,基金会意识到须集合各方的专长,并提供一个平台汇集善款来帮助有需要的群体,因此设立这个新基金。通过与各社服机构的协作,基金会能更好地了解民众的需求,更有效率地拨款协助。

Sayang Sayang基金2020年2月11日正式推介时,最初的筹款目标为50万元,其间获得企业和民众的踊跃支持,同年6月就筹得690万元。

基金共资助11项计划,这些计划包括为前线医疗人员提供德士礼券和礼包、为低收入家庭的孩子提供经济援助、为街友提供住宿和经济援助、为客工填补电话卡储值等。

当中,CommunityGrants@Work计划的拨款最多,达205万7000元,旨在帮助慈善机构应付疫情期间增加的开销,并协助机构转变运作方式,推动数码化进程。其次,是获得192万2000元的SeniorsOK@Home计划,这项计划资助可惠及弱势年长者的项目,照顾乐龄的福祉与身心健康。


基金疫后侧重加强社会支援

步入2023年的后期阶段,基金侧重加强社会支援,支持人民坚韧地走出疫情。民间团体Mum’s Collective去年获得基金的部分资助。这个互助团体由居住在红山租赁组屋的妇女组成。活动由受惠者倡导并策划,中南社区家庭服务中心为团体提供所需的协助。

Mum’s Collective旨在为低收入家庭的母亲提供一个交流平台,吐露彼此面对的问题,并一起参与烘焙等休闲活动。参与者诺希达雅(33岁)说,她通过互助团体获得力量,明白自己不是唯一面对生活困难的。有了这个支援网络,她如今能更好地处理压力,也变得更加自信。

信用:联合早报©新报业媒体有限公司。复制需要许可

This article was originally published in Zaobao here. Source: Zaobao © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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Stories Of Impact

#MyGivingJourney X Ravina Kirpalani: Taking family philanthropy to new heights

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CFS launched the #MyGivingJourney series, which features extraordinary women in Singapore and their efforts in philanthropy. Our second story features Ravina Kirpalani, Head of Philanthropy at the Enpee Group Foundation, board member of Beyond Social Services and volunteer at HCA Hospice Care. 

Mention hospice and most people picture the atmosphere to be heavy or depressing. Instead, it is the exact opposite, says Ravina Kirpalani. Ravina has been volunteering at HCA Hospice Care for over 11 years and rates it as one of the most rewarding experiences in her giving journey.   

“I have learnt so much from the patients through their positive attitudes, amazing sense of acceptance and loving interactions. They have a zest for life and want to enjoy whatever time they have left,” she says. “The staff are also wonderful and caring and I leave each volunteer session so much fuller and more joyful than I did when I walked in.” 

Spending time with the terminally ill is just one of the many causes Ravina has embraced. As head of philanthropy at the Enpee Group Foundation, she oversees its community work, which stretches from Africa to India and Southeast Asia. The Enpee Group was founded in 1961 by Ravina’s father-in-law in Nigeria and has grown into a $300 million conglomerate.  

The Foundation kicked off in 2001 with community initiatives in Nigeria and India, where the group’s manufacturing plants are located. It also collaborates with charities such as the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation which does extensive work in healthcare, through its Mission for Vision, Mission for Primary Health and Mission for Water programmes in Nigeria. 

In Singapore, the Foundation supports several educational initiatives. It funds scholarships and bursaries at the National University of Singapore in the areas of solar energy research, environmental studies and medicine. It has also begun sponsoring 10 students who are studying for their nursing certificates at the Institute of Technical Education. And in 2021, it set up a scholarship for three students to complete their BSc in Nursing practice. The Foundation also grants aid to outstanding individuals from India and Nigeria to study for a Masters in Public Administration at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). 

To further deepen their philanthropic giving in Singapore, Ravina and her husband Sanjay set up a Donor-Advised Fund with CFS in 2020. This supports smaller charities including the Reading Odyssey programme by Shine Children and Youth Services, which focuses on children from disadvantaged backgrounds with learning difficulties, the Kids Excel enrichment programme run by Catch them Young at partner schools which targets disengaged primary students from needy families, and the Family Justice Support Scheme by Law Society Pro bono Services. 

“Education and healthcare are our primary focus because of the ripple effect,” says Ravina. Thanks to the Foundation’s assistance, a student who lost his father to brain cancer when he was just five years old was able to go to medical school and become a doctor. The Foundation is also working with one of the six LKYSPP alumni that it has helped to date on an adolescent health initiative in Nigeria. Aside from this, Ravina finds time to contribute to Beyond Social Services, a charity that helps youths from less privileged backgrounds break away from the poverty cycle.  

For Ravina, giving back is an integral part of her family legacy. Growing up in Hong Kong, she saw how her mum volunteered at various charities such as the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital.  Her mum was also an active member of the Hong Kong Indian Women’s Club, where she did welfare work for the elderly and orphans. Ravina, who now lives in Singapore, is building on that tradition and taking the family’s philanthropy to new heights. 

Begin your own journey of giving with CFS. Read more about #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.

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