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Lianhe Zaobao: CFS has helped donors set up more than 80 funds in the past 8 years
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Lianhe Zaobao: CFS has helped donors set up more than 80 funds in the past 8 years

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胡洁梅 14 November 2016

从资助年长者活动的基金,到帮助工艺教育学院学生的“纳丹教 育提升基金”,新加坡社会基金会协助设立的基金从八年前的七个, 蓬勃发展至目前的80多个,支持各类公益项目。

年设立的慈善机构新加坡社会基金会(The Community Foundation of Singapore)旨在为善长仁翁提供咨询服务,协助他 们成立基金推展公益活动,并管理基金。捐款者须承诺至少20万元来 设立基金。

基金会总裁罗佩仪在回顾基金会的发展时指出,更多有经济能力 的个人和家庭希望能回馈社会,却没有时间和资源来设立基金会。“ 社会基金会希望为善长仁翁提供一站式咨询,协助他们管理基金,并确保良好且高素质的监管水平。”

她说,更多有经济能力的家庭推动慈善事业,把它当作教育下一 代社会责任的方式。近年就有更多家庭找上社会基金会,要求协助以 家人名义设立基金。

不过这类捐款者一般保持低调的捐款方式,谢绝受访。

罗佩仪受询时透露:“尽管经济增长放缓,基金会今年的捐款额 增长率仍持稳。受经济影响,加上去年SG50庆祝活动和优惠(捐款税 务回扣300%),去年收到的捐款额其实比较多,不过基金会今年也 迎来新的捐款者,因为他们明白在当前的经济情况下,更需要帮助有 需者,因此整体的捐款情况仍不错。”

至今,社会基金会已协助设立80多个基金,发放4200万元,支持 不同慈善项目,合作的慈善团体有超过400个。

基金会根据捐款者想支持的公益项目类别,协助成立基金,让相 关志愿组织机构利用。虽然多数捐款者支持的项目普遍针对年长者、 体障、教育事业等,但已逐渐以较新颖的方式推行,不局限于颁发奖 学金和助学金。

退休商人伯德(William Bird)与妻子设立的基金资助一些机构 为年长者举办郊游活动等,过去六年已有50多个乐龄护理中心获益。

SymAsia是另一个协助捐献者以个人或公司名义设立基金、并在 本地注册的基金会,由瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)管理。这也是亚太 区唯一由银行经营的捐献者指示基金会(Donor Advised Fund)。捐 献者须承诺至少100万元设立基金。

瑞信亚太区家族办公室服务兼慈善顾问董事洪智聪指出,自2010 年设立以来,SymAsia基金会截至去年10月已有约8000万元捐款支持 亚太区的300多个慈善机构。SymAsia旨在支持人道和社会发展项目、 自然保护、教育、文化等方面的公益事业。

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Translation:

From helping the elderly to the S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund, CFS has grown from seven to 80 funds in eight years, supporting a wide range of causes.

CFS provides philanthropy advisory services to donors who pledge $200,000 to set up a fund.

Said CFS CEO Catherine Loh, “More wealthy individuals or families want to give back but lack the time and resources to set up their own foundations. CFS offers one-stop philanthropic services for these donors, helping to manage the funds and ensuring that all grants are made with high levels of governance and accountability.”

“More families have started charitable giving as they see family philanthropy as a way to bring multi generations closer together and instil a sense of social responsibility in the younger generation. In recent years, an increasing number of families have approached CFS to set up family or legacy funds.”

Many of these donors wish to remain private and declined to be interviewed.

Ms Loh continues, “With slowing economic growth, as well as donors having given a higher than normal amount last year due to SG50 celebrations and incentives (300% tax deductions), we do find that donation amounts are lower this year. However, we also have new donors who understand the urgency to provide more financial support to the needy despite the economy slowdown. As a result, overall donation growth is constant this year.”

Up till today, CFS has raised $80 million in donations, disbursed $42 million in grants in partnerships with over 400 charities.

CFS helps donors set up funds, then bridge donors to support their desired charitable causes. While most donors still gravitate towards the usual causes such as education, health, elderly and the disabled, they are open to supporting these causes in new ways.

Mr and Mrs William Bird’s fund has benefited seniors from over 50 eldercare centres.

SymAsia is another organisation that helps individual donors or companies set up funds, managed by Credit Suisse. It is Asia’s first bank that manages donor advised funds, with a minimum donation of $1m to set up a fund.

SymAsia’s Deputy CEO Bernard Fung said, “Since 2010 till last October, SymAsia has raised $80m in donations to help 300 charitable organisations in Asia. SymAsia supports development and community programmes in environment, education, culture.”

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Mediacorp Vasantham: Interview on Ethiroli current affairs programme

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John Doe
A snippet of an interview of CFS’ CEO Catherine Loh on Mediacorp Vasantham’s Tamil current affair programme

CFS’ CEO Catherine Loh was recently interviewed by Mediacorp Vasantham’s Tamil current affairs programme Ethiroli for her views on philanthropy in Singapore. Catch it on Toggle at http://video.toggle.sg/.toggle.sg/en/video/series/ethiroli-s. The segment on CFS is at the 13:19″ mark.

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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‘I thought I couldn’t go through any more of it’: Cancer patient gets help after insurer says ‘no’ to $33k bill

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John Doe
a person wearing a cap and a person with a red dress

Good Samaritans have stepped forward to help a cancer patient, who hopes to spend more quality time with her 15-year-old daughter while keeping the disease at bay.

The drug that Ms Koh Ee Miang, 45, needs to control the spread of her cancer is expensive, and her insurance company has refused to pay for it – leaving her with an outstanding bill of more than $33,000 for treatment carried out between November and January.

Hard-pressed to pay for the drug, she stopped the treatment in January and reverted to basic chemotherapy. Her cancer markers jumped 50 per cent and her tumour grew.

Her oncologist, Dr Choo Su Pin of Curie Oncology, put her back on the targeted therapy treatment and offered to let her pay in instalments. Said Dr Choo: “The treatment works. Do I stop her medicine?”

The drug not only slows the spread of the cancer, it also reduces pain and has fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

Both patient and doctor were in a quandary over the high cost of the treatment after insurers rejected the claim.

Ms Koh is a housewife who says she hopes to take her 15-year-old daughter on a holiday to leave her with “happy memories” since the prognosis for her cancer, which is fourth stage, is not good – with only 2 per cent surviving five years.

The story of her plight in The Straits Times has resulted in several offers of help.

The Community Foundation of Singapore, set up in 2008 to encourage and enable philanthropy, reached out to the Emma Yong Fund – named after one of the stars of the musical cabaret group Dim Sum Dollies, who died of stomach cancer at the age of 36 – for help.

The Fund agreed to pay the $33,000 bill that was outstanding.

Fund administrator Selena Tan said though the fund was set up to help theatre practitioners, she was happy to extend the help to Ms Koh.

“Knowing Emma’s legacy and desire to help patients with cancer, it felt right to help cover 100 per cent of Ms Koh’s medical bills so that she can focus on her treatment and recovery, and not feel distressed by her bills,” she said.

Several readers also offered smaller sums to help defray the cost.

And AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that produces the Enhertu drug she now needs, has offered to provide her with it. It costs about $10,000 per treatment. However, this is subject to certain compliance issues, which Dr Choo is hoping to resolve.

A grateful Ms Koh said: “Their kindness helps me feel less alone. And just when I thought I couldn’t go through anymore of it (it has been two years of chemotherapy treatment and its side effects), they help me push on in spite of weariness.”

She would like to thank all the “generous people whom I’ve never met” for their kind offers. She will not be accepting their offers, since help from the Emma Yong Fund and AstraZeneca is enough for her to continue with the treatment.

Ms Koh suffers from a rare cancer – human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2+) bile duct cancer – which afflicts about one in 3,500 cancer patients.

After it was diagnosed in June 2020, Dr Choo first put Ms Koh on standard chemotherapy treatment. When she stopped responding to the treatment, a second choice was used, but this too was not able to stop the spread of the cancer.

Oncologists say there are no standard treatments beyond this.

Dr Choo decided to put her on a drug that targets the HER2 protein, which causes cancers to spread much faster, to try to contain the disease. It worked.

But Great Eastern, the insurer with whom Ms Koh has a private hospital as-charged Integrated Shield Plan (IP), as well as a rider that pays the full cost of her portion of the bill, refused to pay for the new treatment.

GE said the IP contract has a clause saying it covers only drugs that have been approved for specific illnesses. The drug she was put on has only been approved by the Health Sciences Authority for HER+ breast cancer, and not for bile duct cancer.

More than a dozen oncologists The Straits Times spoke to said it is difficult to conduct large scale clinical trials for rare cancers – since patient numbers are low. And all said they do use drugs “off-label” – meaning the drug has been approved here, but not for that specific cancer, especially for the less common cancers.

Drug companies often feel the returns are not worth the cost and work required to seek approvals from regulators for such low numbers.

Dr Choo, who was chief of Gastrointestinal Oncology at National Cancer Centre Singapore before leaving for private practice in 2018, said there are some small-scale studies showing that the drug does work on the type of cancer Ms Koh has.

Insurers offering IP plans, which are integrated with MediShield Life, are divided on coverage of drugs which doctors think might help, but which are not specifically approved by the HSA.

At least three – AIA, Income and AXA – say they would cover such drugs. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the basic MediShield Life national health insurance would also pay, subject to a monthly cap of $3,000.

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

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Stories Of Impact

Helping migrant workers with a home and a heart

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John Doe
Happy group of individuals posing with a 'home' sign.

When Li Meimei*, a single mother of two young children from Chongqing, China came to Singapore last year, she had hoped to be able to work to pay off the loan of RMB 200,000 (SGD 40,000) which she had taken out in her home country.

However, she got far more than she had bargained for when she started working for a beauty and massage parlour in Singapore. Not only did Li have to pay kickback to her employer, she was also coerced to perform illicit acts for customers. When Li refused, she was punished with menial labour such as cleaning and clearing out rubbish.

While working, Li suffered a fall and fractured her tailbone. Her employer was unsympathetic, and after discovering that Li would take a long time to recover, cancelled her work permit and attempted to repatriate her without compensation of salary or returning her kickback.

Eventually, Li managed to seek reprieve when she approached the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME). HOME is supported by the Migrants Emergency Assistance and Support (MEANS), a Community Impact Fund (CIF) managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS). HOME provided Li with shelter, food and a transport allowance, even paying for her medical bills which allowed her to continue treatment for her injury.

Singapore is host to more than a million low-skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers from countries in the region, and many of these workers experience similar situations faced by Li Meimei. Unpaid salaries, overwork, physical and psychological abuse are the problems that some of these men and women have to endure during their employment in Singapore. A significant number of migrant workers are also victims of forced labour and human trafficking.

Through CFS’s casework team, HOME was able to assist 1,400 marginalised migrant workers in 2019. Out of that number, 409 workers were provided with financial assistance to pay for temporary accommodation, seek medical care and buy food. CFS disbursed a grant of over $47,500 in June 2019 using donations via Giving.sg. Such financial assistance is also extended to support male migrant workers who are evicted from their dormitories, or for migrant workers to purchase flight tickets and bus rides to reach their home countries safely.

HOME received IPC charity status in 2004, and continues to be one of the few organisations in Singapore that provides support to migrant workers and is dedicated to upholding their rights. Their efforts are primarily directed towards the welfare and empowerment of migrant workers, which are focused on but not limited to shelter, transport, crisis support, skills development, counselling and medical needs.

*not her real name

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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

John Doe
John Doe
a group of military men transporting boxes of water using a helicopter

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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