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Leaving a legacy of giving

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Leaving a legacy of giving

Four prominent personalities in the community tells us why they desire to make a long-term impact on society by giving back in their own ways.

Nadia Ahmad Samdin

What is the gap you’ve seen in society’s support of at-risk youth?

Serving as a panel adviser to the youth court and later as a befriender of girls who have done reformative training, I’ve witnessed how at-risk youth and juvenile offenders, who have experienced difficulties, were overcome with feelings of dejection, lack of direction and, oftentimes, betrayal by adults who could have better supported them.

For many, time in institutions or shelters is the difference between being able to access resources such as a safe place to sleep and participate in programmes that build discipline, and getting mental health support.

As a community, we must nurture and empower at-risk youth, especially girls, so they will be able to make better choices and have access to ongoing support. I am an advocate for earlier, consistent intervention followed by better rehabilitation and reintegration upon release. How we embrace them as a society matters.

Why do you feel that being a donor is important, especially for the youths in our society?

A dear mentor once said to me, “Youths are approximately 25 per cent of our resident population today – but 100 per cent of the future.” Giving a young person a chance can be life-changing. It also builds confidence to face the future.

As a donor, beyond the actual funds channelled to scholarships, bursaries, or programmes, your act demonstrates to the youths that someone believes in their potential and provides motivation.

How have your personal experiences impacted your mindset as a lawyer as well as your support of underprivileged families?

I would not have been able to go to law school without financial aid, motivation from mentors and the sacrifices of my family.

Minority women are sometimes under-represented in some of the spaces I serve in. I hope that, in a little way, my efforts will build on the paths of those who came before me and encourage more people to step up and contribute to building Singapore and the future we wish to see.

How do you feel the pandemic has affected the lives of the at-risk youths you work with and their families?

Home-based learning and working from home has been tough for all – and especially for those in one- or two-room flats, adding considerable pressure for sole breadwinners. A number of these families live pay cheque to pay cheque and some bad decisions can feel insurmountable and irreversible. For example, some young mothers are unable to make ends meet and resort to mixing hot water and condensed milk to feed their babies.

The pandemic has also forced those who never had to ask for help before to reach out for aid. The way we live has shifted radically and support must be calibrated for different families in need, ensuring people are not priced out of opportunities here in Singapore.

Hian Goh

What is the gap you’ve seen in society’s support of innovators and entrepreneurs in Singapore?

Today’s Singapore is a developed and well-educated country with strong industries and a bedrock of good law and order built on the foundation of centralised state planning and effective government. Talented Singaporeans have thrived and have many options to be a working professional and make a good living. However, we are also risk-averse.

For Singapore to continue its journey of prosperity and economic development, we need more people to execute new ideas, disrupt industries and create new markets. To do that effectively, we need capital to support these ideas. That is why I decided to become a venture capitalist after my entrepreneurial journey.

How have your personal experiences impacted your mindset in supporting the next generation of gamechangers?

When I was an entrepreneur, there were many times I faced seemingly insurmountable challenges, and it looked like there was no way to solve the problem at hand.

However, through sheer persistence, tenacity and, more importantly, mentors and investors who supported me, I managed to conquer those challenges. This proved to me that a support network of like-minded individuals is essential to increase the probability of success in life.

How has legacy giving changed the way in which you are able to contribute to the support of innovators and entrepreneurs in Singapore?

Once you decide to embark on the legacy journey, it is very important to focus on the programmes which you feel will help your chosen cause. In my case, innovation in Singapore.

To that extent, having someone to guide you on this journey is very important. The Community Foundation of Singapore provides such guidance on a wide range of issues that allows someone like me to work on starting a foundation which, ultimately, will become my legacy and impact many people in the years to come.

Do you feel that age impacts who can be the next greatest innovators or gamechangers?

No. It’s a mindset. I’ve seen older people with flexible minds who can learn from their mistakes. I have also seen younger people too scared to take the leap even though they have nothing to lose. It’s really not a relevant factor.

Dr Audrey Looi and Dr Ang Beng Ti

What is the gap you’ve seen in society’s support of the visually impaired?

When our son James was diagnosed with Stargardt macular dystrophy in 2009, we discovered that support services for children with low vision were not available in Singapore.

In other developed nations, structured low vision programmes already exist. These allow a child’s remaining functional vision to be assessed so a tailored programme can be crafted to facilitate his or her integration into mainstream schools, and to function in a sighted society.

This would include access and training to assistive technology, training in orientation and mobility, and the learning of Braille where indicated. iC2 PrepHouse was set up with these initiatives in mind.

Why do you feel that being a donor and contributing to a cause is important?

Although low vision is a low-incidence disability, affected families are severely impacted. Without the right support by trained vision teachers, there is little chance for the affected child to reach his or her full potential. Our contributions make a difference.

How have your personal experiences impacted your work with healthcare and your support of iC2 PrepHouse?

We have been fortunate that through our combined efforts with our fellow iC2 Board members – all of whom are professionals in the areas of education, law and finance – we have been able to surmount the challenges faced by James as he successfully navigated his way through mainstream school and currently through his undergraduate studies.

Knowing the kind of support needed for this journey, it was not difficult to actively contribute to keep iC2 resources available to other children and families in need. Not just in terms of dollar contribution but also in the oversight of administrative, fundraising and ground initiatives.

As for our work in healthcare, we haven’t stopped striving to be kind and compassionate with our patients as we do our best to solve their medical problems. This journey has certainly deepened our understanding of how important that aspect of medical care is. As medical doctors, we all need to take time to listen and care.

In your opinion, are there groups that need extra support within and surrounding the visually impaired community?

Within the visually impaired group, we know that those with multiple disabilities present greater challenges. Take for example, the child with both low vision and autism or low vision with impaired hearing. A dedicated, thoughtful approach is needed. We have to work with other agencies to coordinate care and support, not just for the child but also for the caregivers.

How has legacy giving changed the way in which you are able to contribute to the support of the visually impaired?

We have and will continue to support iC2 financially through our major fundraising events. So what happens after our demise? Legacy giving provides an avenue to do so for perpetuity.

This is not just for individuals. It can be tailored to couples, families, foundations or companies. Zooming out, if more commit to legacy giving, the charity sector will receive more sustainable donations and be empowered to further improve the groundwork. How truly wonderful that would be for our Singapore society.

Stanley Sia

What is the gap that you saw in Singapore’s healthcare system that led you to SATA CommHealth?

I’ve been involved in SATA CommHealth since 2012. Being in the private sector for all of my career, I’ve always had the desire to contribute in some way to society.

SATA CommHealth, in particular, interested me for its legacy and its resilience in adapting with the times to continue serving the community for more than 70 years. This resonated strongly with me, and has kept me in service at SATA CommHealth for the last eight years. In my time here, I’ve held several portfolios, with the role of chairman being the most recent.

Why do you feel that being a donor is important, especially in the healthcare sector?

While Singapore’s healthcare sector is well developed and provides comprehensive services, more can be done for the seniors and vulnerable through the encouragement of a sustainable donation system beyond simply relying on government support.

About one in every four Singaporeans will be 65 and above by 2030. Singapore’s low fertility rate and its rapidly ageing population will pose an economic and demographic stress to the nation and this is something we need to start preparing for.

Why did you decide to take up the position of chairman of the board in SATA CommHealth?

Covid-19 has changed the way we live, work and interact with each other. It has surfaced new challenges among the seniors and the vulnerable in the community.

When I took on the appointment in July 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore, my immediate priority was to start laying the foundations of a sustainable charity, even as we were steering ourselves through the challenging times.

How has legacy giving changed the way in which you are able to contribute to the support of the healthcare sector?

In the past, the idea of legacy giving was relegated to high-net worth individuals, the ultra-rich and affluent. While few of us are in that position, there is no reason to exclude charitable giving from our estate planning. All gifts, large or small, are important. Charitable giving is life giving to the poor and vulnerable in our society and healthcare sector forms the backbone of a country’s well-being.

Legacy giving lets you make a lasting impact on the lives of future generations, far beyond the measure of your lifetime. It is the best way to benefit a cause or charity that you care about now and in the future.

Source: The Peak

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News

The New Age Parents: Interview With Leading Foundation Teacher Award Winners Jenny Tan And Chen Yit Toun

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One has been an early childhood educator for over a decade, while the other works with children with special needs. TNAP speaks to two early childhood educators on the biggest misconception people have about their jobs and what inspires them. Read more.

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News

A Call for Collaborative Giving: Bridging the Divide for Persons with Disabilities

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A call for collaborative giving: Join hands to make a difference and contribute towards a common cause.

This second Colabs publication reveals some of the challenges that persons with disabilities in Singapore face integrating into our community, especially after 18 years of age. This includes the lack of sustainable employment options and other opportunities to participate meaningfully in society. Some suggestions for collaborative solutions – based in part on the collective feedback of over 80 participants in the series – are outlined in the publication which can be downloaded here.

Speaking after the association’s annual general meeting at Kallang Netball Centre on Friday, Liang-Lin, a fund manager for a US$7 billion (S$9.5 billion) firm focused on green real estate investments in Asia, hopes to bring her expertise to the table and increase the amount of financial support for Singapore netball during her four-year term.

The 53-year-old took over from Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jessica Tan, who has been the association’s president since 2012. Tan had reached the end of her tenure, which saw the national team make several breakthroughs, including a gold medal at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

Liang-Lin holds various appointments such as being Singapore’s representative to the G20 for Women appointed by the Ministry of Finance. She is also a board member of the Community Foundation of Singapore, which promotes philanthropy through facilitating the establishment of charitable funds.

She said: “One of the things that is overlooked when we look at philanthropy and fundraising is that sport is not really part of the things that people will automatically think about.

“Less than one per cent of the funds that we raise in the Community Foundation goes to sport. The values that sport brings need to be amplified more, so that corporates… see the need to support sport. I think that link needs to be stronger so that we get not just more corporate sponsors, but also they can come in for longer periods of time.”

While national agency Sport Singapore provides funding to netball, corporates can also do their part, she added.

She said: “If we play our cards correctly, we can get corporates to come in and hopefully support them, to see the wider purpose of sport and bring the nation together.”

She also hopes the association can be proactive in looking for financial support, adding: “We must work more strategically with governing bodies on educating corporates on the importance of really supporting sport.”

The former netball player also made references to the recent Women’s World Cup for football, noting the “ability for a game that focuses on women in the sport to bring global attention”.

She said: “I want that kind of trajectory of the limelight going to women’s sport. I think that is a trend that will continue, and I hope that netball will be part of that trend.”

Meanwhile, Tan was satisfied that she has achieved the three objectives she had set out to do when she came on board – to improve quality of play, build a fan base and create an ecosystem which involves coaches and players.

The 57-year-old added: “As much as I do feel sad about having to step down, but at the same time, leadership renewal is very important.

“I think Trina will help to galvanise the team together, and bring a lot of new perspectives and quality to the association.”

Join us in making an impact on Singapore sports scene! Reach out to us for more information.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

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

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Opinion

Here’s how you can help the people of Ukraine – Ways to donate

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is triggering what the United Nations fears could be Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century. More than 2 million people, out of a nation of 44 million, have fled to neighbouring countries since the conflict began.  

The human cost of the war is alarming and rising by the day. Hundreds of lives have been lost, and thousands of families have been displaced.  

Global charities urgently call for funds to ramp up humanitarian aid in Ukraine. There is a pressing need for medical assistance, food, water, clothing, emergency cash and shelter. There are also plenty of private fundraisers online, but how do you ensure that your money will reach those who need it? How do you know that a particular fundraising appeal is legitimate? Should you send supplies like blankets and warm clothing?  

One of the fastest ways to help is to donate cash to a trusted charity doing on-the-ground relief work. Donations of items are a challenge for charities to handle and distribute as in a warzone, supply chains are disrupted. Logistical options are also very limited, making it challenging to deliver bulky physical items. Cash can be used to purchase necessities more quickly at nearby unaffected regions, allowing charities to respond faster and better at this critical time. 

But which charity should you be donating to? CFS is well-placed to help you navigate giving during this geopolitical crisis as a cause-neutral philanthropic advisor. For those who are looking to support Ukraine and its people, we recommend the following bona fide organisations: 

Singapore Red Cross  

Singapore Red Cross is the global humanitarian organisation’s local arm established in 1949. It is a credible, transparent and time-tested charity providing disaster relief assistance, both locally and internationally.   

It has raised almost $3 million after launching an urgent appeal on 25 February, which is running till 31 May. The first tranche of US$100,000 reached Ukraine on 4 March and a second tranche of $2.4 million is on the way. The funds are to assist Ukrainians in the besieged nation and across six neighbouring countries – Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania.   

The focus will be on providing aid to vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors, single women with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Besides giving emergency relief aid, the charity will also offer shelter, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, and psychosocial support. 

Donate to the Singapore Red Cross here

Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore (CHARIS)

CHARIS is the umbrella body for overseas humanitarian aid by the Archdiocese of Singapore. Launched in 2010, CHARIS Singapore is a legitimate charity that provides both immediate and long-term relief to persons who have been forcibly displaced, as well as those in need.   

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, CHARIS Singapore has pledged an initial $100,000 from their Humanitarian Aid Fund to extend essential aid to vulnerable individuals afflicted by the war. The support will be channelled to Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes, which are based in Ukraine and working on the ground, to provide daily necessities, shelter, transportation and evacuation services, and psychological support to families.  

Charities worldwide are responding to the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and trying to bring aid to its people. If you wish to provide support directly to a foreign charitable organisation, you may consider these two verified charities: the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and The UN Refugee Agency. 

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) 

The US-based CDP is dedicated to helping donors maximise their impact by making more intentional disaster-related giving decisions. Since 2010, the nonprofit has directed financial and technical support to disasters and humanitarian crises.   

The CDP’s Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund will focus on addressing humanitarian needs that arise, particularly among the most vulnerable, marginalised and at-risk internally-displaced peoples and refugees.   

Donate to CDP here

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) 

UNHCR is a global organisation that aids and protects refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. UNHCR has been working in Ukraine since 1994, providing legal, social, and humanitarian assistance, such as winter clothing and blankets and psychosocial support and emergency shelter to people afflicted by the country’s ongoing tensions.   

The UN has issued a US$1.7 billion flash appeal to support humanitarian needs across Ukraine and its bordering countries. It estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine and more than 4 million refugees may need protection and assistance in the coming months.  

Donate to UNHCR here.  

References:  

  1. Begum, S. (2022, March 10). Singapore Red Cross to send $2.4m to Ukraine, neighbouring countries in second tranche of aid. The Straits Times. Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-red-cross-to-send-24m-to-ukraine-neighbouring-countries-in-second-tranche-of-aid  
  2. Centre of Disaster Philanthropy (2022). CDP Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://disasterphilanthropy.org/cdp-fund/cdp-ukraine-humanitarian-crisis-recovery-fund/ 
  3. Singapore Red Cross’ Humanitarian Aid Arrives In Ukraine. (2022, March 4). Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://www.redcross.sg/media-centre/press-releases/1124-singapore-red-cross-humanitarian-aid-arrives-in-ukraine.html 
  4. UNHCR. (2022, March 1) UN seeks US$1.7 billion as humanitarian needs soar in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Retrieved from March 10, 2022, from https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/3/621e0aa74/un-seeks-us17-billion-humanitarian-needs-soar-ukraine-neighbouring-countries.html  
  5. UNHCR. (2022, March 8). Ukraine situation: Flash update. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://reporting.unhcr.org/document/1884 
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Stories Of Impact

Structure Your Giving To Create A Greater Impact

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Angie Han smiling at the camera

This article first appeared on CFS’s Legacy Giving Website. To find out more about Legacy Giving, please click here.

As part of the wealth structuring process, I often engage my clients in conversations around the meaning and purpose of one’s wealth. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an uptick in interest in giving, and in particular, legacy giving, a structured approach towards creating a positive change.

Angie Han believes this unprecedented year is sowing the seeds for greater giving in Singapore. “Many of us are witnessing the impact on vulnerable communities,” remarks Angie, ” As a result, in addition to wanting to give back to the community, many also wish to move beyond one-off, ad-hoc responses to a more sustainable and impactful giving.” 

It was this desire to help clients take a more pro-active approach to planning for their future that prompted Angie to make the shift from litigation to wealth planning. “I began my career handling dispute resolution,” shares Angie, a former commercial litigation lawyer at Drew and Napier, “Having seen the fallouts that take place without proper advanced planning, I thought I could use my experience to help families at the outset to put in place the necessary mechanism to protect and transfer their wealth through their key life events and avoid potential pitfalls that come with inadequate planning.”

Today, as a Senior Wealth Planner at Pictet Wealth Management based in Singapore, Angie advises clients on legal, tax and structuring solutions for estate planning and business succession planning. She enjoys engaging her clients in conversations around their core values and mission, how they can engage the next generation, as well as how they can build and pass on a legacy that reflects the values close to their hearts. 

When it comes to legacy giving, Angie champions a structured and forward-thinking approach. “When you take a structured approach, you are more likely to be able to create a sustainable impact,” says Angie. “This includes carefully identifying which causes you would like to support and putting in place processes that match your intended purpose.”

She believes more advisors are needed in this area of practice to strengthen Singapore’s philanthropy ecosystem. She says, “Beyond helping our clients to achieve their personal aspirations, I find fulfilment knowing that I am helping these individuals and families to use their wealth for social and environmental good, and to make this world a better place for those who will live in it after our time.”

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