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LIFT (Learning Initiatives for Employment) Community Impact Fund – Training and increasing employability for marginalised groups
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LIFT (Learning Initiatives for Employment) Community Impact Fund – Training and increasing employability for marginalised groups

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The Learning Initiatives for Employment (LIFT) Community Impact Fund (CIF) from the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) provides social enterprise funding to enable disadvantaged groups to obtain training in order to be more employable. 

The funding provided has allowed two social enterprises, the Bettr Barista Coffee Academy and Dignity Kitchen develop a more standardised training programme for their students, as well as expand the number of training places available to aid more disadvantaged groups to enter the workforce.

Both social enterprises were covered in the story, along with the experiences of a beneficiary that had benefited from the programme. It was reported that the two enterprises had provided training for 115 people from April 2020 to March 2021, and managed to get 73 people employed, out of the 91 that had completed the training. Amongst the 73 employed, 55 of them remained employed for more than three months, showing the success of the programme.

The first story covers the journey of Jiefan, an 18 years old who had dropped out of school a few years prior and was on probation due to violating the law. He went through 20 interviews in two months, yet was not hired due to his probation and surveillance sentence. After a recommendation from his social worker, Jiefan received training at the social enterprise Bettr Barista, where he not only learned how to brew coffee, but also to control his emotions and improve his communication skills.

The second story talks about the experience of Jerry Tan, 23 years old, who had suffered from a stroke four years ago back in his second year in Singapore Polytechnic. While he survived, the left side of his body was left stiff and weak, and his left arm still remains unresponsive up till today. In addition, with the vision in both of his eyes also affected, Jerry was disadvantaged physically. He underwent a one-month training course in Dignity Kitchen to complete a series of Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ), following which he worked in a Japanese restaurant for about a year, before returning to Dignity Kitchen to serve as a cashier due to Covid-19. Jerry is now currently helping to train other colleagues with physical disabilities while he considers his future education and career.

The article also featured a quote from Joyce Teo, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of CFS, explaining how the disadvantaged people also needed some training to adapt to the workplace environment, as most of them had never gotten a chance to enter a formal workplace in society. She also spoke about how she hoped that the public could actively support and donate to the LIFT fund to help subsidise the training fees for the socially disadvantaged population, which could cost $5,000 per individual on average.

If you would like to support someone in their journey towards sustained employment opportunities, please visit our donation drive on Giving.sg here.

This translated article was originally published by Lianhe Zaobao 

Credit: Lianhe Zaobao © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.  

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Opinion

Creating social impact through philanthropy

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Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed your life on a daily basis. Though the pandemic has affected everyone, it hasn’t done so equally – the situations of the most vulnerable groups have been severely aggravated and awareness of our society’s fault lines and underserved needs have been heightened. But, if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the tremendous power of common people working together to achieve a unified goal.  

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News

The Straits Times – Fund marks 20 years of marriage for couple

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Ms Trina Liang-Lin on a couch posing for a photo

About six months before Ms Trina Liang-Lin’s 20th wedding anniversary on June 2016, she mulled over how to make the occasion meaningful.

“My husband and I did not want just another party,” said Ms Liang-Lin, 47, managing director of investment research consulting firm Templebridge Investments.

She is married to Mr Ed Lin, 49, partner and director of the Singapore office of Bain & Company, a global management consultancy.

The couple have no children.

“We wanted to do something meaningful that can last beyond a party,” she added.

Her friend Laurence Lien, chairman of the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), suggested she organise regular donations to charity under a common fund, which the foundation could help to run. “We liked the idea. It saves us the work and resources needed to set up a private foundation,” she said.

In early 2016, the Lin Foundation was set up under the umbrella of the CFS with a six-figure sum, she said.

The fund has given money to the Singapore Committee for UN Women, a non-profit organisation that promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality, of which Ms Liang-Lin is the president.

The committee supports the work of UN Women, the United Nations body that promotes gender equality and fights discrimination against women. The fund has also given money to the Singapore Management University, the Singapore Repertory Theatre and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

These were causes that she picked when the fund was set up.

On more younger, wealthy people like her setting up charity funds, Ms Liang-Lin said: “Increasingly, people are realising that they don’t have to wait till they are older or richer to give back and make an impact.”
Read more.

Photo: The Straits Times

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

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

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

 

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

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

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

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

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News

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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Events

Lunar New Year celebrations and collaborations 2017

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a picture of laurence lien, catherine loh, melissa kwee, and mildred tan

This year, CFS’s annual appreciation lunch was held on 8 February at the Regent Singapore. Some 120 guests attended the event which is CFS’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to our donors, charities and partners for their unwavering support. True to the spirit of celebrations, there were happy handshakes, endless conversations and a festive, convivial atmosphere all around. Donors met charity partners, old friends made new friends.

National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) joined CFS as co-host this year as we launched Colabs – a learning network that brings together different stakeholders in the giving system to enable greater and deeper social impact. Chairpersons Laurence Lien and Mildred Tan and CEOs Catherine Loh and Melissa Kwee of CFS and NVPC respectively put their collective signatures on the Colabs board to kickstart this exciting initiative. It is hoped that more signatures will be gathered as we embark on this collaborative journey.

As CFS CEO Catherine Loh said in her thank you speech, it is through the many collaborations between donors and partners that CFS has been able to enable so many impactful programmes through the years. We certainly look forward to many more ahead.

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