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Dipa Swaminathan on what we can each do for Singapore’s migrant workers
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Dipa Swaminathan on what we can each do for Singapore’s migrant workers

John Doe
John Doe
A woman with short hair and a white top smiling warmly, radiating positivity and joy.

Dipa Swaminathan is a force of nature. At 49, the Harvard-educated lawyer is an assistant general counsel for SingTel and the founder of ItsRainingRaincoats, an organisation created in 2015 to support migrant workers in Singapore and champion their cause. As the recipient of the President’s Award for philanthropy and volunteerism in 2017, Swaminathan knows a thing or two about advocating for a marginalised group—in particular, one that has built our nation from the ground up while bearing the harshest brunt of the fallout from COVID-19.

“Migrant workers are not franchised and lack voices in the broader community,” shares Swaminathan. “The avenues available to us are not to them. They are often scared of speaking up for fear of getting their permits cancelled—which can happen within 24 hours.” The vulnerability of their situations are why migrant workers in Singapore are often forced to tolerate poor living conditions—leading to consequences like the one we have seen this year.

“Migrant workers lack many of the comforts that we are so accustomed to. They are expected to live in close proximity to each other and have limited spaces that they can move around in. In these conditions, the impacts of COVID-19 were felt harder by these workers. ItsRainingRaincoats had to ramp up its efforts overnight as the
pandemic started to spread in the migrant worker community and we did so with tremendous speed thanks to our volunteer ranks doubling and the outpouring of
support from the community,” she adds.

Alongside her tireless efforts for this oft-overlooked group, Swaminathan is now embarking on a new project with The Community Foundation of Singapore. Known as “A Greater Gift’’, the campaign focuses on the true value and lasting impact of a legacy gift. A legacy gift is a method of planned donation—essentially, leading to long-term, sustainable support for a cause you believe in.

As an ambassador for this initiative, Swaminathan opens up to Vogue Singapore about the importance of this movement, her advocacy work for migrant workers in
Singapore and her poignant hopes for their future.

What led you to start working with migrant workers in Singapore? Is this something you have always been passionate about?

Working with migrant workers started almost by chance. I was driving home in a thunderstorm one day and saw two migrant workers crouching under a cardboard sheet to remain dry. I took them home and gave them food and drinks and dry clothes to change into. Several weeks later, I received a call from the police saying one of
the men had been charged with a suicide attempt and the only number he had was mine. He had tried to take his life because he hadn’t been paid for three months and had loansharks hounding his family back in India. I knew it was an act of desperation, and emailed the Police Commissioner incessantly until charges were dropped.
The experience made me realise that you can’t change the world but you can change the world for one person.

We must shift our perception that migrant workers are dirty or societal outcasts. We need to correct perceptions in our own circles and speak up on the issue when the opportunity arises at the dinner table or different social settings.

Another experience that changed the game for me was when I saw a group of migrant workers working in the rain, wearing garbage bags to try and remain dry. I called their employer and insisted that it was their duty to provide for their workers, susceptible to the constant rainy conditions in Singapore. I threatened to flag it with newspapers, share it on social media and report it to the Ministry of Manpower. While the employer hung up on me, the next day, I saw that all the workers had been
provided with raincoats.

Which parts of your work with migrant workers do you find most important?

It is incredibly rewarding to be able to bridge conversations between migrant workers, volunteers and other Singaporean residents, as well as galvanising support from the corporate sector and schools. Connecting different parts of the community helps us to build a bigger support platform for migrant workers, helping them integrate
into the broader community.

For example, during the height of the pandemic, ItsRainingRaincoats mobilised hundreds of volunteers to distribute 600,000 hot meals, 120,000 care packages, and helped 12,000 workers with mobile data top-ups so they could remain connected with their family. We also co-authored a mental health booklet in partnership with the
Singapore Medical Society of Ireland and coordinated fundraising efforts for families of deceased or terminally ill migrant workers.

Tell us a little bit about the “A Greater Gift” initiative

“A Greater Gift” is a three-year initiative led by the Community Foundation of Singapore to highlight that legacy giving is critical to providing long-term support and
sustainability to the causes we care about the most. The campaign is to encourage everyone living in Singapore to leave a legacy. Whether its time, money or
resources,
those who are able to do so will have an enduring and positive impact on those in need within the community. I’m proud to have been selected as a brand ambassador for the campaign, to highlight that anyone can give back.

Aside from the impact of COVID-19, what is one other problem facing migrant workers in Singapore right now?

One main problem for migrant workers is that they are often not paid on time. At the end of the day, they are here to earn a salary without exploitation. If we can
achieve this, it’s the first step towards fair treatment.

How do you think we can rectify the stigma and seclusion that migrant workers face?

There is a plethora of issues that put migrant workers on the back foot when they come to Singapore—there is a large number of them, they have issues with language, they are usually here alone without their families and are far from home.

Change needs to happen within each of us—within our hearts and instincts. We must shift our perception that migrant workers are dirty or societal outcasts. We need
to correct perceptions in our own circles and speak up on the issue when the opportunity arises at the dinner table or different social settings.

The most soul-crushing thing for me is when I hear of a migrant worker death.

Seeing the harsh conditions and difficult circumstances that migrant workers are in must take an emotional toll. Do you ever experience compassion fatigue? How do you take care of yourself and what keeps you going?

I do experience compassion fatigue and I need to give myself time to wind down. There were many days this year at the height of the pandemic where I didn’t have
time to attend to my personal day-to-day needs like even taking a shower. My phone never stopped ringing as I attended to countless migrant workers seeking help.

There is a saying that if you don’t fill your well, you can’t draw from the well. And for me, I keep my well filled by exercising, going on staycations and spending lots of
quality time with my husband and two teenage sons with tons of tennis action. We are also avid Formula 1 fans.

Going into 2021, what is your biggest hope for how the lives of migrant workers in Singapore will change?

I hope fewer of them succumb to workplace fatalities—the most soul-crushing thing for me is when I hear of a migrant worker death. I hope workplace conditions and mental health improves for them. I hope that we don’t hear our phones ringing as much—because then we know that we’ve made improvements for them and for us as a society.

Find out more about “A Greater Gift” at legacygiving.sg. Support ItsRainingRaincoats with a donation or a Christmas gift for migrant workers.

Source: Vogue

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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Sayang Sayang Fund: new initiatives

John Doe
John Doe
A younger Man teaching an woman how to use a smartphone.

The Community Foundation of Singapore today gave an update on the fund raising efforts for the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF) and announced new initiatives that the Fund will support. One of these initiatives is an extension of the previously announced SeniorsOK@Home programme – CapitaLand #LoveOurSeniors – in collaboration with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC). CapitaLand Hope Foundation will be donating $700,000 towards this new programme. This will be on top of the $3 million goal CFS has set earlier.

Todate, SSF has received $1.1 million in donations and pledges of about $1 million. The Fund is still a distance away from the goal it set for end April. As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, there are new needs emerging from the community and the funds raised will allow the Sayang Sayang Fund to address emerging needs quickly.

Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Singapore, Ms Catherine Loh, said, “Singaporeans have been very generous and we are so touched and grateful that many donors – individuals and corporates — have come forward to donate when they hear about the Fund. I would like to encourage everyone else to come together and support the Sayang Sayang Fund, to meet the gaps in the community.

UPDATE ON INITIATIVES

1. SeniorsOK@Home
SeniorOK@Home will provide for immediate aid like food, necessities and medical supplies to seniors with limited mobility and confined at home. It also provides for digital solutions, such as video conferencing, and online recreational activities for seniors at home, to minimise social isolation. For centre-based charities who are providing essential services, CFS is funding disinfection and sanitisation of premises, as well as additional manpower to maintain the standard and quality of care for the seniors.

2. CapitaLand #LoveOurSeniors
With the rise of cases from nursing homes, the Sayang Sayang Fund has curated an extension to SeniorsOK@Home – the CapitaLand #LoveOurSeniors. CapitaLand Hope Foundation will be donating $700,000 towards this new programme, which will support community care providers with personal protection equipment and disinfection of the premises if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19. The contribution will also go towards a preparedness fund: to keep the vulnerable seniors engaged, as well as to appreciate the hard work and dedication of community care staff. AIC will be executing the programme.

3. SafeSleep@Home
Given the rapid increase in cases, there is also urgent concern for the rough sleepers in Singapore. The 2019 homeless survey published by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy indicated that there are about 1,000 homeless persons living in the streets. They are now all at-risk and need to find immediate shelter during the circuit breaker. SafeSleep@Home is an initiative to aid 500 rough sleepers find temporary lodgings, daily necessities and food supplies.

About Sayang Sayang Fund

The Fund provides care and support for vulnerable communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. By convening the community and acting together, the Fund can help community partners move their essential work forward in this critical moment and support the individuals and families hit hardest by the impacts of COVID-19 and associated containment efforts.

The additional $3.7 million the Fund hopes to raise will support local charities and non-profits whose programmes and proposals meet three key objectives:

1. Provide emergency response funds that enable immediate and short-term relief for individuals and families from marginalised communities adversely affected by the COVID-19 situation.
2. Provide innovation solutions and research that address current and emerging needs to combat the COVID-19 situation.
3. Build capabilities for charitable organisations so that their clients can continue to access essential support and assistance during the COVID-19 situation.

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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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The Straits Times: The new philanthropists in town

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John Doe
A man seated on a stool against a vibrant wall, exuding a lively ambiance.

by Theresa Tan, 26 June 2016

There is also a growing number of donors who have started charitable funds parked under groups like the Community Foundation of Singapore and the SymAsia Foundation. Both charities manage their donors’ funds and disburse them to each donor’s chosen causes, thus saving the donors the cost and effort of starting their own foundation. A sum of at least $200,000 is required to set up a charitable fund with the Community Foundation, and 82 funds have been formed since it was set up in 2008.

…..Also giving to a specific cause are Mr and Mrs William Bird. They pledged $1 million, through the Community Foundation of Singapore, for outings for frail seniors to attractions such as Gardens by the Bay and the zoo. Mr Bird, a Briton who is now a Singapore citizen, is 70 years old. He made his money from the logistics business. His and his wife Mary have three grown-up children.

While visiting some elderly people whom they helped, the couple realised that such seniors felt lonely and isolated, as they were unable to go out. Mr Bird says: “We were affected by the fact that the seniors had such a poor quality of life, and thought more could be done for them to enjoy the golden times of their lives.”

Each year since the Outing for the Elderly Fund was set up in 2010, about 1,600 elderly people a year have benefited. They especially love to visit supermarkets, where they are given $20 to buy whatever they want.

Mr George Phua, a 79-year-old resident of the Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens, was taken to a Giant supermarket last month. He was delighted to buy his favourite coffee and chocolates. He tells The Sunday Times: “It’s wonderful.”

Read more

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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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“最后一桶金”规划新现象 别让财富添乱使尽不留遗产

John Doe
John Doe
a person in a wheelchair throwing coins into a bag of money

这些年来越来越多人把部分遗产捐给慈善,甚至出现鼓吹“现在就花掉孩子遗产”的SKIN(Spend Your Kids’ Inheritance Now的缩略语)“使尽”现象。

世界首富之一比尔·盖茨多次承诺,把1130亿美元(约1595亿新元)财产几乎全捐给慈善,三个孩子各获1000万美元;他坚信留大笔钱给孩子绝对不是好事。

沃伦·巴菲特则宣布,一分也不留给三个孩子,会捐出所有给慈善。

本期《实况报道》请擅长信托和遗产事务的律师、法学教授和老年学学者谈SKIN“使尽”现象,并访问退休人士,了解不准备留太多给孩子的原因。

“不要留太多给孩子”的趋势渐长,有越来越多找律师办理遗嘱或信托事务的人,把部分遗产捐给慈善,或自设信托,以便更好地管理所支持的慈善事业。

两名擅长处理信托和遗产事务的资深律师告诉《联合早报》,积极行善的客户越来越多,一些甚至已定期捐钱给慈善机构,而不是等到过世后才这么做。

王律师事务所(WongPartnership LLP)专业人士及私人客户争议业务组负责人沈木英律师说,不论是用在自己身上、当礼物送给孩子或至爱,或是捐给慈善机构,财富在一个人还活着时是最有价值的。

“有的施予者享受从金钱得到的快乐,比如孩子或慈善机构向他表达感激之情,或通过捐钱做了好事而乐在其中。

“从这个角度,我可以明白为何一些人想在有生之年花光一切。”

她就见过一分钱也不给孩子的父母,有的因为跟孩子的关系恶劣,有的则因孩子挥金如土。相反的,也有继承遗产者积极行善,打算捐出大部分遗产。

福鼎律师事务所(Fortis Law Corporation)创办人陈子佳律师说,把遗产留给孩子是根深蒂固的传统价值观,但“花光”个人财产的做法也有益处。

他指出,父母留遗产给孩子理由很多,比如,在孩子成长期间常“缺席”,所以用遗赠示爱或表达愧疚。

有的因孩子是特需者,就用遗产设立信托,让孩子在他们离世后生活有照应。

“不论什么原因,孩子可能真的需要帮助,而留遗产给孩子的做法本身就能教导孩子施予的价值。”

沈木英说,虽然有客户认为孩子有一半的可能性会乱花遗产,但也有客户认为给孩子一笔钱,将有助于孩子取得成功。

 

设立慈善基金更好掌控财富

她指出,多数客户“守住”财富,是为孩子所需。一旦满足了孩子的需求,他们便会开始捐出行善。

不过,她留意到捐献者更有主动权,“与其直接捐钱给慈善机构,更多客户设立自己的慈善基金,以便更好掌控”。

她的一个客户选择帮某慈善机构设立医疗设施,再给予资助,而不是直接捐钱。

一些则每年把资产或生意赚取的部分收入捐给慈善,另一些把部分资产纳入慈善信托或基金,为慈善机构创造收入。

“还有一些给每个孩子一份财产,也给一份做慈善。也有客户设条件,要孩子先捐出所得遗产的10%,才能继承剩余的90%。”

沈木英指出,微软创办人比尔·盖茨累积的财富是子孙享用不尽的,所以设立慈善基金。但一般打工族以养家育儿为己任,慈善可能不是第一选项。

“事实是,越没钱的人,越要孩子过得比他们好,所以想方设法留下资产,但我认为帮孩子,不该凌驾于自己的需求和生活享受之上。”

陈子佳也认为,必须在SKIN和留遗产之间,取得平衡。

“我已立好遗嘱,也制定了持久授权书(LPA)。我确保自己有足够资源办好三件事:应付医药和退休开销,以及清还所有贷款和债务。”

 

孩子主动要求不要遗产

这些年来,陈子佳看到不少客户定期捐钱给慈善机构,有的甚至把遗产全捐给慈善。有些是因为他们的孩子能自给自足、明理和善良,叫父母留给较不幸者。

“我看到许多孩子,坚持父母不要列他们为受益人,把遗产转给有需要者或其他家庭成员,我就是其中一个。”

陈子佳坦言,他叫母亲把遗产留给兄弟姐妹、侄甥和慈善,“我希望以后我的孩子,也叫我不要列他们为遗产受益人”。

他感激父亲给他最好的教育:“做人要舍得。大舍大得,小舍小得,不舍不得。”

 

个案① :防子女争财产 卖掉大洋房

为了避免留下房子惹“后患”,七旬退休专业人士数年前毅然卖掉住了几十年的大洋房,搬到市区公寓,口袋满满地与老伴安享晚年。

问有三个子女的林大悟(化名),这样做难道不心痛不可惜?难道没想过把洋房留给其中一个孩子?

他语重心长说道,屋子太旧了,修理或重建都得花钱,租出去的话,租户不一定会爱惜房子,有问题也会来烦你。

“留的话,留给哪一个孩子?大家一定有不同意见。继承的人也未必喜欢屋子和地点,还是卖了干脆。我虽然知道房价以后会涨,但留下也有后患,除非你只有一个孩子。”

林大悟说,把财富传给下一代的传统观念是时候该调整了,但也不是改变一切,一分钱都不给儿孙。

他认为,给孩子的最佳礼物就是按他们的能力,让他们接受最好的教育,在有生之年尽可能帮助孩子,使他们可以自立、自组家庭,过安定的日子。

“给他们过多遗产,他们不会知道那些是你一辈子省吃俭用积攒而来的。钱到了他们手上变成零用钱,一下子就花光了,有时还嫌不够。”

“老年人必须确保能经济自立。钱在你口袋,总比在别人口袋好。你的辛苦钱一天不用,不花在自己身上,都还不是你的。但这么说也不是鼓励你挥霍乱花。”

他也说,儿女在事业和家庭起步阶段都须要帮助,但每个的情况不同,不要顾虑分配公平与否。

“最好孩子不需要你帮太久。他们有本事的话,其实不需要你,没本事,你即使有大把钱,也会惹争端。”

他感叹,有的父母尚在,手足之间就为了争夺资产而闹上公堂。“沒教好啊。父母尚未去世已经如此,不敢想象两老不在后,会搞出什么乱象。”

他眼看一些已故名人的孩子对簿公堂,“家家有本难念的经啊!身居高位的他们已是如此,平民百姓如我更不用说了。”

他指出,自己的孩子即使多好多孝顺,他们的伴侶却是未知数,“许多纷争都由此而起,因为他们对你这个长辈以及其他家庭成员的感情不同,到头来是利字当道。”

林大悟已立了遗嘱并制订LPA。“遗嘱和LPA直接了当,我俩其中一个有事,动产与不动产全交给还在的那一个,不会牵涉下一代。”

他说:“新加坡应该有中高档次、包伙食和提供医疗等服务的退休村,让付得起的老人有私人的服务式住所。”

林大悟的许多海外老年朋友就是这样卖了大房子,把钱用在退休村,有尊严地享受剩余岁月。

林大悟最后再三提醒,每个家庭的情况都不同,关键是老年人要有经济自由。

“不要太早分家产,也不要让他们知道将得到什么。如果孩子一直要钱,不断争吵,就索性捐给可以信任的慈善机构。”

 

个案② :多年沟通与磨合 父母终于安心“花钱”享乐

多年打拼后累积可观财富,年长父母想为儿女规划财产安排未来,但儿女更希望父母专注当下享受生活。两代人为彼此着想却一度引起不愉快,但如今达成共识,老两口放心“花钱”,晚年活出精彩和意义。

陈丽丝(化名,29岁,项目经理)的父母40多年前顶下红山一家小店铺,从小买卖一步步发展。随着公司规模越来越大,陈家的经济条件越来越好,21年前搬入了荷兰村一带的独立式洋房。

“父母特别疼爱我们四个孩子,花钱毫不吝啬。但我们从小目睹父母打拼的精神,也立志像他们一样,努力自力更生。”

陈丽丝说,大哥10年前结婚时打头阵,对想要为新人买房的父母说,以后都不会拿爸妈的钱。兄妹四人借机向父母提出,希望他们能够提早退休,去享受晚年生活。

“记得当时父母的反应很激烈,还问是不是觉得他们老了没能力赚钱养家,让我们哭笑不得。”

对陈丽丝和哥哥来说,父母从小的疼爱、付出和栽培才是最宝贵的财富,再多的遗产也不及看到父母在有生之年开心重要。

经过多年的沟通和磨合,如今年近70的父母终于完全理解儿女的立场,也就遗产事宜达成了共识。

父母在疫情暴发时退休,积极投身义工和慈善。随着边境开放,两人开始出国旅行,尝试年轻时没能享受的体验。

“我们告诉父母,他们最好把所有的钱都花完,不留任何遗憾。他们看到我们事业和生活都有足够保障,也就放心让我们自理。”

妥善安排遗产 儿女父母须坦诚沟通

老年学和信托专家认为,遗产或许不是越多越好,但究竟多少才“合适”、剩余的如何安排,还须要父母和儿女坦诚开放的沟通。

新加坡管理大学法学院教授陈汉吾说,多数新加坡人都要留遗产给孩子,希望子孙过得比上一代好。《回教法执行法令》就规定三分之二遗产须留给包括孩子的受益人。

针对SKIN的趋势,他认为,老练、超高净值者认为,留太多钱给孩子不是祝福而是祸害,“要达到目标努力奋斗,太多钱反而成了障碍,也会一直怀疑人们接近他们是为了钱”。

新加坡新跃社科大学副教授(老年学课程)和体验式教育中心高级专家马学嘉博士说,多数普通收入的家长担心留给孩子太少,因此可能省吃俭用,努力存钱给孩子,给他们带来更多金钱保障。

不过,遗产积累越多,越影响父母的生活质量。

她解释,这种心态和行为源自传统的集体主义(collectivism)价值观。不论是几十人的大家庭或是仅有四五人的核心家庭,成员之间都会考虑共同利益,必要时更是准备牺牲自我利益。

随着我国社会的变迁,家庭结构有所改变,有年轻一代选择单身,即使结婚,也可能计划只养“毛孩”(意宠物)、不要儿女。他们的日常开销因此可能更少,不大需要额外的金钱贴补生活。

马学嘉说,与其父母省吃俭用、拮据度日,相信孩子更乐意看到他们安享晚年,“父母和孩子两代人的观念不同,须要坦诚开放地沟通”。

生老病死是人之常情,但人们或因恐惧而忌讳讨论,孩子该如何开口与父母讨论遗产事宜?

马学嘉强调,每个家庭有个别的相处模式,但最重要的是以父母的意愿为中心。

她分享自己做义工的经验说,一些老人家对立遗嘱所需的程序和考量不了解,儿女就说教似地告诉父母该怎么做,附加自己对遗产的设想和要求,没考虑父母想要怎么安排。

“作为儿女,我们应该帮助父母了解过程,并尊重他们的意愿,在需要时帮助他们完成。”

陈汉吾是新加坡社区基金会(The Community Foundation of Singapore)捐献者指示委员会(Donor Advised Committee)成员,也为本地慈善组织提供咨询。

他说,一些富人觉得生活在危机重重、极度不平等的世界,所以希望捐一些遗产,改善贫困甚至气候问题。

“年轻一代对留遗产给慈善事业相当正面。这一代非常热衷于一些事项,例如气候改变。”

但陈汉吾认为,为慈善捐赠财产不仅是有钱人的专利。儿女如果有一定能力,以父母的名义给学校或大学捐钱设立奖项,也很有意义。“用大概5万元设个奖项,可以纪念死者多年。”

他指出,早前的殖民时期,英国政府没提供足够的社会服务,只能靠社群自发提供援助。

本地著名的华人慈善家就有陈笃生、陈嘉庚、陈六使和李光前,陈汉吾说:“从殖民时期,慈善早就成为新加坡DNA的一部分。”

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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Opinion

Giving from strength to strength

John Doe
John Doe
Catherine Loh posing for a photo

In the Community Foundation of Singapore’s (CFS) first year of operation, few individuals wanted to talk to us about philanthropy. Thanks to a founding group of seven donors in 2008 who placed their faith in us, we started to see growth.

As CFS commemorates its 10th anniversary, we are delighted to witness how our carefully cultivated seeds to enable philanthropy have borne fruit. Earlier this month, the Straits Times published an article More wealthy donors setting up private charity funds highlighting the encouraging trends amongst private donors in Singapore and featuring two of our donors here and here.

For instance, CFS’s donor pool has grown more than ten-folds, from seven in 2008 to 110 in 2018.

Our donors increasingly include younger individuals. Today, around 40% of our donors are aged 50 and below, as compared to one such donor in 2008. We think the growth of younger donors underscores a broader, positive shift in giving attitudes, and with many latent donors in our society, we believe this number is set to grow.

As we celebrate these recent events, we are also delighted to highlight three programmes that are expanding their activities and impact through the generous contributions of our donors.

Care Corner Educational Therapy Service plugs a critical gap for children with special learning needs in mainstream schools.

Apex Harmony Lodge’s personalised model of dementia care empowers patients to live with dignity and well-being.

Tabung Project by Beyond Social Services is an innovative grassroots initiative that has enabled children from lower-income families to experience the benefits of saving.

After all, growing together – CFS, our donors and charities – is what allows us to offer the local communities we support the best means for meaningful change.

Catherine Loh
Chief Executive Officer
Community Foundation of 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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