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Leaving a legacy of giving
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Leaving a legacy of giving

John Doe
John Doe
picture collage of audrey, beng ti, hian and nadia

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

Fresh off the press

John Doe
John Doe
Picture of the side of a HDB

Annual report 2018
In financial year 2018, CFS received a total of $9.7 million in donations. We disbursed $12.4 million worth of grants to 186 charitable organisations supporting various causes. This year’s annual report also showcases CFS’s latest donor advised funds, grantmaking highlights, collaborative giving initiatives and recent events.
Download your copy here.

A Call for Collaborative Giving
This first Colabs publication – a collaboration between CFS and NVPC – sheds light on the challenges disadvantaged young persons face at home, and the impact of the family environment on educational attainment and social mobility. The guide offers suggestions on collaborative action to help givers close the gap for these individuals.
Download your copy 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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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

Minding the gaps: 10 friends collaborate to take on social issues in Singapore

John Doe
John Doe
10 charities received donations from Mind the Gap 200 (MtG200) fund at the SG Cares “Celebrating our Culture of Care” closing event at Tampines Hub in August 2019.

Widening social inequality, an ageing population, and the threat of climate change – these are the issues that frame our world today. Amidst increasing recognition of these complex issues, a group of ten donors have come together to establish Mind the Gap 200 (MtG 200), a multi-fund project, with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS). Thus far, S$10 million has been raised.

The brainchild of Mr Tow Heng Tan, CEO of Pavilion Capital, MtG 200 is the first ever collective of donor advised funds to address social issues across multiple sectors in Singapore. MtG 200 will provide support to four areas of focus: community, education, healthcare and sustainability.

Since July 2019, MtG 200 has disbursed over $2m to a variety of initiatives that fall under its four focus areas. Close to $1m has been used to fund palliative care training, facilities and other in-patient programmes across charities such as Assisi Hospice and St. Luke’s Hospital. More than half a million will go to resourcing educational programmes across life stages – from early childhood initiatives right up to bursaries at the tertiary level.

During the SG Care’s bicentennial celebrations in August 2019, $200,000 was disbursed to a total of 10 charities, such as Stroke Support Station Ltd, YMCA, Very Special Arts Singapore and Waterways Watch Society. Finally, a further $150,000 has gone to fund training and job coaching to help socially excluded groups secure permanent employment.

The idea of launching a group of donor funds under a common umbrella took root in 2017. Back then, the word ‘divide’ regularly appeared in the news as well as in conversations. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also spoke about social issues at Singapore’s National Day Rally. The idea for the MtG 200 was thus born – with its aim to contribute towards a stronger and more cohesive society that will last another 200 years and beyond. Mr Tow rallied like-minded friends, and through his passionate advocacy, MtG 200 is now spearheaded by ten donor sponsors, many of whom are business professionals.

For Mr David Heng, CEO of ABC World Asia, MtG 200 was an opportunity to balance head and heart. He says, “Sustainability is an issue I think about every day, but more so from the investment angle. The MtG 200 project helps me to cover the non-investment aspect. I hope my friends will see the value in this project and lend their support.”

Others, like Mr Chew Sutat, are already active champions of social causes. As the executive vice president of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), Mr Chew is also chairman of the SGX Bull Charge, SGX’s flagship charity initiative and chairman of mental health charity Caregivers Alliance Limited. Mr Chew, whose focus is on supporting caregivers, says, “By expressing solidarity with those in need, philanthropic giving has helped to alleviate social tensions that inevitably surface over time.”

For Mr Teng Ngiek Lian, MtG 200 complements his personal endowment fund called The Silent Foundation, which focuses on disadvantaged groups. Under the MtG 200 group, he helms the Singapore Unity Fund, aimed at addressing social divides. “One way we can effectively tackle inequality is to help the underprivileged attain upward social mobility, while simultaneously upholding the tenets of meritocracy. MtG 200 is a small step towards supporting the less advantaged, and helping them change their circumstances,” he added.

Mr Tung Chi Fung, CEO of Sheng Ye Capital and donor sponsor of the Knowledge Fund, echoes this sentiment, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. We hope to help disadvantaged young people to bridge the knowledge gap.”

Tapping on CFS’s deep understanding of local issues, the MtG 200 group of funds are targeted at identified gaps. It will help to build capabilities in the sector and provide impactful solutions that can be sustained in the long-term. Take for instance, its Intergenerational Fund, which seeks to tackle social isolation of elders in Singapore through purposeful intergenerational interaction. Over $300,000 has been disbursed to support such programmes by charities Empower Ageing, All Saints Home and Viraya Community Services.

Professor Kua Ee Heok, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the National University of Singapore, champions The Mental Health Fund and has helped to provide charities with limited fund-raising capacity with much needed support as they continue to advocate for mental well-being. The fund will also support mental health and resilience research and services for the young and old alike.

Ultimately, the vision of MtG 200 is to be a timely reminder for all of us to ‘mind the gap’ in our lives and to work with others in making a difference. Mr Tow expresses, “MtG 200 is a collaborative effort. Without the support of like-minded friends, this would not have gotten off the ground. With the support of CFS, together we can create an impact that will be exponentially bigger than what we can ever achieve as individuals.”

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”。

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

News

Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

John Doe
John Doe
A snapshot of a newspaper Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

Following his great-grandmother’s footsteps, Keith Chua set up a charitable fund to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations.

To Keith Chua, the boy, she was the stern matriarch of their large, Peranakan family, to be approached with deference. To the older and bolder teenager, she drew closer – the great-grandmother glad to chat about his day over tea or a shared meal.

But only years after, as an established entrepreneur with a family of his own, did Mr Chua truly feel the impact of her life on his own, thanks to the impact Mrs Lee Choon Guan had had on others.

“It was a rediscovery,” Mr Chua says, about encountering in the pages of a 1920s history book a side to his great-grandmother that he had not known, years after her death in 1978.

Growing up, naturally, he had heard stories from his mother. One of these, about Mrs Lee’s role in raising funds to contribute a fighter plane to the World War 1 effort, made it into a school composition of his on “A Person You Most Admire”.

But it was not till the mid-1980s, after being appointed as a co-trustee to the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Trust Fund his mother started that Mr Chua read for himself the book she had spoken so much about.

Discovering a legacy of giving

“It became quite clear that she was a pioneer in many ways,” Mr Chua, 65, says.

In One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore, he learnt of how, as one of the few Chinese girls to get an English education and a member of high-society, Mrs Lee sought to open doors for other women in the early 1900s.

Also known as Madam Tan Teck Neo, she was the founding president of the Chinese Ladies Association (now the Chinese Women’s Association), running classes for young women and raising funds for charities.

Women and children, healthcare and education – these were causes Mrs Lee cared deeply for. She gave out numerous scholarships to girls, donated to the building of the St Andrew’s Hospital for Women and Children, and funded the activities of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children. For her volunteer work and giving during the First World War, she was the first Chinese woman to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.

Moved by the glimpses of her trailblazing giving recorded in the book, Mr Chua has since acquired an autographed edition that is now a treasured possession for what it symbolises – a legacy of giving to be kept alive.

“To me, the process of discovery, rediscovery, has been a continuing one,” says Mr Chua. The family is still adding to what they know of Mrs Lee’s life and legacy, “all these little pockets of seeds that were planted”. Such as the family giving funds in 1924 to start Katong Girls’ School (today’s Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School) – a fact they only recently stumbled upon.

Among other causes, the trust fund supports tertiary-level programmes on philanthropy at the NUS Business School’s Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP).

Down through the generations
In 2011, he set up the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Fund with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations. Managed as an endowment, the fund’s principal amount is invested and income earned is then given to various causes.

The aim is not merely to build historical knowledge, but to perpetuate the legacy of giving. “I have the opportunity, at this point in time, to put some thought and action into encouraging the continuation of her legacy. So that, hopefully, it will continue with some degree of active participation by future generations,” says Mr Chua.

“In continuing the legacy of my great-grandmother, I looked at how she approached philanthropy in her time and tried to include some of her practices in what I’m doing today. It has indeed come full circle.”

Some of the causes the fund supports today bear the mark of Mrs Lee’s charitable interests – education and healthcare initiatives. Others reflect evolving needs in society that Mr Chua himself is passionate about.

Indeed, Mr Chua is known as much these days for his work in philanthropic circles as he is in business ones.

The executive chairman of ABR Holdings, which owns Swensen’s and Chilli Padi among other food and beverage brands, Mr Chua is also managing director of the Alby group of companies in Singapore and Australia. He hails from a line of businessmen too – his grandfather, the late Chua Cheng Liat, is one of the Chua brothers behind car dealership Cycle & Carriage.

Today, actively involved in various community, church and missions agencies, he sits on the boards of the National Council of Social Service and CFS.

“Part of why I’m doing this today, is in the hope that the wider family, beyond just my siblings and children through to my cousins, my nephews and nieces, and their children, will come to appreciate the legacy that my great-grandmother has left for all of us.”

Apart from his great-grandmother, Mr Chua cites the influence of his parents’ generosity and his Christian faith as two other defining forces behind his philanthropy journey.

“[With my parents], it wasn’t so much them saying, ‘This is how you do it.’ It was watching them in action, responding generously to requests for help, seeing how they lived their lives,” says Mr Chua.

And that was the starting point for him and his wife too: sharing with their four children what they do and why, modelling a life of giving in the hope that their children would themselves see the value of giving.

One reason Mr Chua decided to set up the fund with CFS was to ensure that future generations would be able to continue the family’s philanthropic work. He says, “The objective of CFS flowed nicely with ours of wanting to continue the legacy of giving. It allows family members to be involved and ensure that funds for the community will carry on.”

Taking it a step further, he has been intentional about involving his children, whose ages now range between 22 and 32, in his philanthropic engagements. In recent years, this has included trips across Southeast Asia to learn from and explore partnerships with non-profits, charities and social entrepreneurs.

Having sown those seeds, he has since had the satisfaction of watching each child “doing something in their own way”, whether via professional or personal pursuits, to give to the community.

An evolving philosophy of giving
Mr Chua says his own approach to philanthropy has evolved over the years.

From viewing philanthropy primarily as responding to appeals for monetary gifts, he began getting involved with charities and volunteering his time. That involvement got him thinking about how he could make a difference with his own skills.

“Coming from a business, finance background, I felt I was able to bring that to the area of social entrepreneurship to encourage entrepreneurship, and help to share business models, my personal experiences,” says Mr Chua.

Asked what he has gained from years of intentional giving, Mr Chua is first introspective: “I would like to think that the engagement in all these years of philanthropy has gradually moved me from thinking more of myself, to thinking more of others.”

“Along with that, of course, is that it brings a wonderful feeling if you can bring joy and help someone else,” he adds.

“I believe everyone can give. Whether in terms of resources, time or talent… I would embrace all forms of participation. The most important thing for me is to encourage others to take that first step, whatever that first step is.”

Looking forward, Mr Chua says, “The seed of philanthropy was planted by the generations before me. Now, with the structure of CFS, the funds will carry on past my lifetime. Once you’ve set certain things in place, you can bring the next generation along for the ride, and trust them with the responsibility when it’s their turn.”

After all, Mrs Lee Choon Guan’s first steps into philanthropy led to her leaving a century-old legacy of giving that has spanned four generations and, if Mr Chua has his wish, countless more to come.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings 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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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

Four ways to give back through the arts

John Doe
John Doe
a group of people in a room with a stage and a group of people in chairs

To put things into perspective: giving to the arts means more than just supporting a company’s artistic endeavours – support for the arts helps build a more inclusive society and brings benefits to the community in many ways.

Many of Singapore’s artists, art companies and institutions are passionate about social causes, and make it part of their mission to give back through the work they do. These efforts often go beyond cultivating art appreciation, to include efforts to reach out to the less privileged, nurture the young and bring the joy of the arts to a wider audience.

To help navigate the dynamic field of the arts, we have identified key areas in which the arts is making strides within the local community:

Arts education
An arts education is considered vital in helping children develop creativity and imagination – key skills to thrive in the future economy. These efforts can be bolstered by supporting spaces for early arts exposure, such as the Keppel Centre for Art Education at the National Gallery Singapore, or access to dedicated arts training and programmes as exemplified by The Rice CompanyArt Outreach Singapore and Playeum.

Alongside their artistic season, many local arts companies have also developed outreach programmes for children and youths, including Singapore Repertory TheatreThe Necessary StageOdyssey Dance TheatreThe Fingers PlayersThe Theatre PracticeTheatreWorks and Temenggong Artists-In-Residence.

Active aging
Empowering our seniors to lead meaningful, active lives is a priority for Singapore, and the arts can play a significant role. Events such as the National Arts Council’s Silver Arts Festival have demonstrated how the arts offer seniors a safe space to try new activities, and also a platform to engage their minds through enjoying a performance or work of art, as exemplified by Beautiful Mind Charity which runs free concerts at various elderly homes. The Singapore Chinese Orchestra plays to patients and healthcare workers in hospitals and care centres through its ‘Caring Series’ to provide the healing touch through music.

Others like contemporary dance outfit The Arts Fission Company have channelled art towards practical benefits. The company runs Everyday Waltzes for Active Aging, a programme which utilises movement to help the elderly maintain strong core muscles and reduce their risk of falling.

Mental health
In some instances, the arts contributes to the mental health of different segments of our society by helping to recognise and bring deep issues to light. Take for instance theatre company Drama Box, which develops theatrical work mirroring our social fabric. The company has worked with many marginalised and underserved groups, including migrant workers, out-of-school youths and the elderly, and continues to use theatre to explore important social issues from mental health, dying, resilience and identity.

Special needs
The arts celebrates the value of every human being, making it a natural fit when it comes to engaging individuals with special needs and disabilities. Superhero Me, a ground-up inclusive arts movement turned charity, has been championing the power of art to bring joy and empowerment to children from needy families and those with special needs.

Arts companies can also use their expertise to give back. Contemporary dance company RAW Moves runs A Little RAW, an inclusive children’s dance company bringing dance to children with special needs, while Beautiful Mind Charity has been offering free professional music education to children with disabilities since 2014.

Photo: National Arts Council

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