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Media release: CFS and NVPC initiate cross-sector collaborative effort to help disadvantaged young persons in Singapore
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Media release: CFS and NVPC initiate cross-sector collaborative effort to help disadvantaged young persons in Singapore

John Doe
John Doe
Colabs Graphic Logo
  • Partnership between CFS and NVPC formed Colabs, to drive collaboration among the public, private and social sectors to tackle complex social issues
  • First series tackles social mobility of disadvantaged young persons in Singapore

Singapore, July 2, 2018– The Community Foundation of Singapore (“CFS”) and the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (“NVPC”) have partnered to catalyse collaboration among the public, private and social sectors.

Colabs, an initiative by CFS and NVPC, drives collaboration by bringing together philanthropists, businesses, non-profits and sector experts to share knowledge, exchange ideas and co-create solutions. More than 100 representatives from 56 stakeholders took part in the first Colabs series that focused on the needs of disadvantaged young persons. These comprised government ministries, statutory boards, multi-national corporations, private companies, foundations, individual philanthropists, academics and non-profit organisations.

In addition, CFS and NVPC have released a guide to provide funders from various sectors of society with practical ways to help disadvantaged young persons in Singapore. The guide, titled ‘A Call for Collaborative Giving: Closing the Gap for Disadvantaged Young Persons’, capturesinsights uncoveredby the diverse group of stakeholders who met to discussthe issues, and outlines clear recommendations for collective action.

“Collaboration is the way forward, as the scale, scope and complexity of social issues today makes it impossible for a single player or the government to solve alone,” said CFS Deputy Chief Executive Officer Joyce Teo. “By leveraging our shared expertise, skills and resources, collaborative partnerships offer donors opportunities to bring about more impactful social change.”

NVPC Director of Strategic Partnership Darrel Lim elaborated: “While there are numerous programmes by organisations to address current issues, there are still gaps, challenges, and constraints faced by beneficiaries and social services. Colabs is a platform which brings together like-minded stakeholders to learn and share insights, uncover gaps in the current system and collectively devise ways to plug these gaps.”

The Colabs series on disadvantaged young persons focused on whether education is a game changer for improving their social mobility. Over the course of eight months, participants shared and heard from sector experts, beneficiaries, and donors. Through roundtable talks, workshops, as well as a field trip and poverty simulation exercise, participants learnt about the challenges that prevent disadvantaged young persons from doing well in life, and the types of support currently available.

Elaine Loo, Director of Central Youth Guidance Office, Ministry of Social and Family Development, commented, “Colabs connects stakeholders across the various sectors to facilitate the sharing of perspectives and nudge collective efforts to address issues that our children and youth are facing today. Networks such as these are useful platforms that allow public agencies to hear directly from stakeholders, including our private sector partners.”

Colabs participants found that while education can help bridge social gaps, not every child can fully tap into the benefits that education can bring. Economic, social, and cultural differences also contribute to a greater degree of variance in Singaporean students’ academic performance compared to students from other countries[1], and social gaps may widen if disadvantaged young persons here are not given the help they need.

Disadvantaged young persons here face multiple challenges. Parents tend to work long hours or hold shift jobs, leaving little time to attend to their children’s learning needs. They often shoulder more adult responsibilities[2]. This can result in poorer literacy development and academic performance, and may lead to psychological issues such as depression and other conditions[3].

“It is difficult to have a ‘one size fits all’ solution because circumstances vary from person to person. Instead, harnessing collective expertise towards providing a variety of support structures with the capacity to consider unique individual needs will result in greater, longer lasting impact,” noted Benjamin Teo, social worker and Centre Director at SHINE Children & Youth Services.

The Colabs guide outlines three different levels on which aspiring changemakers can make a difference through philanthropy and/or volunteerism. Firstly, there are programme-level initiatives which affect young persons directly. These involve supporting new programmes or enhancing existing ones. Secondly, there are organisational-level initiatives that target to strengthen non-profit organisations’ capacity and capabilities; these can significantly impact outcomes across many programmes. Lastly, funders can choose to invest resources on sector-level initiatives that will impact the wider ecosystem, such as the development of multi-stakeholder data sharing platforms. More details can be found on pages 10 to 13 of the guide, which can be downloaded here.

A second Colabs series focusing on persons with disabilities has concluded and a third Colabs series focusing on seniors will commence later this year.

END

About Colabs
Colabs is a philanthropic initiative by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre and the Community Foundation of Singapore. It drives collaboration by bringing together the public, private and social sectors to tackle complex social issues. It enables philanthropists, businesses, non-profits and sector experts to collectively build insights and co-create solutions for lasting change.

About the Community Foundation of Singapore
The Community Foundation of Singapore (“CFS”) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2008 to encourage and enable philanthropy in Singapore. We match donors’ interests with causes and offer ways for them to make a greater impact through their charitable funds. We also collaborate with charity partners to identify and develop programmes that support diverse communities. Our purpose is to create real and meaningful change while building a philanthropic culture in Singapore. CFS is a registered charity with Institution of a Public Character status.

About the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre is an independent not-for-profit organisation that advocates giving in Singapore. Our vision is for Singapore to be a Giving Nation and to cultivate a strong culture of contribution where giving is part of every Singaporean’s DNA. We work closely with charities, corporates, public sector agencies, institutions as well as the community to build a robust ecosystem to make giving simple, fun and meaningful.

[1]According to the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (“PISA”) international survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”). The latest PISA survey results show that ESCS differences account for 16.8%, 17.0%, 15.1% of the variance in Singapore students’ performance in science, reading, and mathematics, compared to the OECD average of 12.9%, 11.9%, and 13.0%, respectively.

[1]  Mathews, M. & Chan, C. (2015). Empowering Low-income Families: Documenting the Contributions of Family Excellence Circles (FEC)

[1]  Mathews, M. & Chan, C. (2015). Empowering Low-income Families: Documenting the Contributions of Family Excellence Circles (FEC)

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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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Stories Of Impact

#MyGivingJourney x Nadia Ahmad Samdin: Changing the game for giving  

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John Doe
portrait of nadia

CFS’s #MyGivingJourney series portrays extraordinary women and their efforts in philanthropy. This story features Nadia Ahmad Samdin, CFS’s legacy giving ambassador and a woman who wears many hats. 

Many who donate to charity often ask: For every dollar they give, what good actually comes of it? Nadia Ahmad Samdin believes increasingly, we will be able to answer that. In a world where tracking usage is commonplace – from our phone use to carbon footprint– a data-driven approach to philanthropy could be a game-changer. The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) aligns with Nadia’s belief and strives to be a trustworthy organisation that is transparent and accountable.  

Nadia is Counsel & Project Leader at Tri-Sector Associates, a pioneering social enterprise that is finding innovative ways to solve complex social problems. In June 2021, Tri-Sector launched the first Social Impact Guarantee (SIG) with the Lorinet Foundation, TL Whang Foundation and the YMCA for its Vocational and Soft Skills Programme, which helps empower vulnerable youths. But here’s what’s pivotal: the SIG offers donors a money-back guarantee if targets are not met. This outcomes-based funding is relatively new but is gaining traction with impact-minded donors who focus on what works and are willing to provide capacity building support to charitable organisations, Nadia says.   

Community has defined Nadia’s life from a young age. She began volunteering when she was in secondary school and by her 20s, her calendar was full serving with community initiatives such as the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, Lembaga Biasiswa Kenangan Maulud (an IPC), the South East Community Development Council and the National Youth Council. 

After graduating from Singapore Management University, Nadia embarked on a career at TSMP Law Corporation. Her six years in corporate law taught her to “bridge divides, come up with creative solutions and put myself in others’ shoes to work towards outcomes which are mutually agreed upon”, she says.   

In 2020, she became a member of parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, making the 31-year-old one of Singapore’s youngest parliamentarians. Nadia has also served as a panel adviser to the Youth Court and worked with girls who have done reformative training. These diverse experiences have made her an authentic voice on issues close to her heart such as youths at risk, mental health, inequality and the environment.  During her free time, she also participates in marine clean-ups, including as a volunteer diver with Our Singapore Reefs, a ground-up initiative formed by marine biologists with an interest in coral conservation.   

Nadia is also a legacy giving ambassador for CFS’s A Greater Gift campaign, which is rallying Singaporeans to leave a legacy through planned charitable gifts. CFS works with donors to structure their giving so that people can leave insurance monies, CPF savings, marketable securities and even tangible assets to the causes they care deeply about.   

You don’t need to have very deep pockets to make a transformative and lasting impact, Nadia emphasises. “As someone who went to school with the help of financial assistance, I know how precious it is to be given an opportunity by someone who believes in you,” she says. “Everyone can make a difference,” says this young changemaker. “Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can.” 

Begin your own journey of giving with CFS. Read more stories about the #MyGivingJourney series here.  

This article was written by Sunita Sue Leng, a former financial analyst and journalist, who believes that the written word can be a force for good. She hopes to someday write something worth plagiarising. 

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News

Tertiary-educated adults with autism receive training for jobs in engineering sector

John Doe
John Doe
A woman diligently operating a computer amidst the bustling environment of a factory, focused on her tasks.

Tertiary-educated adults with autism are being trained and placed in jobs in the engineering sector under a new programme by research and technology non-profit organisation Trampolene.

The Gates (Growing Autistic Talent for Engineering Sector) programme was started in May 2022, after research showed that people with autism have one of the lowest employment rates among people with disabilities.

Those with tertiary qualifications also face underemployment owing to a high entry barrier for higher-skilled jobs, said Trampolene chief operating officer Cheok Xue Ting.

Ms You Kai Xuan is among 42 graduates of institutes of higher learning enrolled in the programme. She was unable to secure internships as part of her studies at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) as companies told the school she was unsuitable.

The 22-year-old, who has a Nitec in infocomm technology, is working full-time as an assembly technician at precision manufacturing company Grand Venture Technology (GVT).

Young adults with autism lack executive function skills, such as planning and time estimation.

Ms Hillary Lim, who works for Trampolene as a senior job coach, helped create a timetable for Ms You. It details specific duties she must undertake. For example, it says Ms You has to test iron bars for 90 minutes from 8.30am, and “pack silver things in plastic bags and paste stickers on the bags” between 10.15am and 11.40am.

Ms Lim also held Ms You’s hand during the coaching to show her how much strength was needed when using a torque screwdriver.

Ms You needs the timetable to pace herself and manage her time. When she started working in 2022, she tired herself out before lunch as she exerted too much strength on simple tasks.

“At first, I was nervous as I was new to the environment. But I am comfortable with the supervisor and colleagues now. They guided me patiently on the tasks, and were caring and willing to help.”

The Gates programme is the first to be supported by Temasek Foundation under a pay-for-success model.

The $340,000 committed by upfront funders will be repaid if trainees stay in a job for nine months and other outcomes of job training and placement are achieved.

In this funding model, foundations, financial institutions and corporations provide upfront capital to organisations like Trampolene to serve their beneficiaries.

Outcome funders such as the Government repay upfront funders only if the project achieves outcome targets.

Ms Cheok said the pay-for-success model focuses on retention rate, an issue among young adults with autism, who tend to leave their jobs after six months.

Before the job placement, Trampolene assessed Ms You and found her suitable for hands-on work.

Ms Lim also briefed Ms You’s colleagues on how she communicates, telling them that they need to repeat or simplify instructions.

She told them they can also break down the work into small steps and share her responsibilities.

GVT chief executive Julian Ng said one of the main challenges the company encountered was communication. Some staff with autism take what others say literally and have trouble understanding abstract concepts.

For example, Ms You’s colleagues will say “I’ll get back to you by a specific time” rather than “I’ll get back to you later”.

“This improves communication for everyone in the workplace,” said Mr Ng. The company has about 150 employees at its Singapore headquarters, including three with special needs.

Trampolene also works with organisations to redesign the recruitment process and job role. With GVT, it advised the company to use work assessment instead of conventional interviews.

To match trainees with employers, Trampolene conducts tests for specific skills employers are looking for, from motor skills to data entry and quality control.

It then selects trainees able to perform the tasks, said Ms Cheok.

She said Trampolene also considers work planning, hygiene and safety awareness, and sensory challenges.

If a trainee is affected by high-frequency noises even with earplugs on, for example, he might be more suited to an office job than engineering.

Trampolene is aiming to train 70 young adults over 30 months from May 2022.

To date, it has trained 42 graduates with autism and placed 18 of them in jobs, with 13 having stayed with their employers for three months or more.

Aside from Temasek Foundation, some of the other upfront funders are Ishk Tolaram Foundation, Quantedge Foundation and Asia Philanthropic Ventures.

Outcome funders include ECCA Family Foundation and the Diana Koh Foundation through the Community Foundation of Singapore.

Mr Nicholas Tay, who has autism and holds a diploma in pharmaceutical science from Temasek Polytechnic, was hired under the programme as a production worker in ice-cream manufacturing company The Ice Cream & Cookie Co.

He sets up workstations for production, prepares packaging and places products on a conveyor system for printing or metal detection testing.Mr Damian Yip, head of production at the company, said he considered Mr Tay’s basic communication skills, education level and challenges faced at previous workplaces to decide if he was suitable for the role.

Ms Lim said Mr Tay’s main issues are perspective-taking and negative thinking. For example, when the 26-year-old began doing this job, he often felt lousy about himself when he saw others working faster than him.

“A regular person would think, ‘Oh, the person is faster than me because he has been here for a longer time than me, so he is more experienced,’” said Ms Lim.

“However, Nicholas’ thinking was: ‘Oh, that person is faster than me. I have to be as fast, if not I am not good enough to work here.’”

She said Mr Tay’s co-workers often look out for him when he shows signs that he is tired or when work is too difficult for him. They then get him to switch duties, to take the load off him.

But Mr Tay initially thought they moved him because he was not doing a good job.

Ms Lim mapped out Mr Tay’s thoughts and shared with him other possibilities – for instance, that co-workers may move him to other duties because they care about him.

“It helps to widen Nicholas’ perspectives and also lets him try to think in different ways,” she said.

To learn more about the causes CFS supports, please click here.

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

I have always been interested in supporting elder care. But there are many charities doing such work that I do not know of. Through CFS, I learnt about Yong-en Care Centre and having seen first-hand what they are doing, I feel that my money is being well-utilised.

For Yong-en Care Centre, meeting donors face-to-face was a valuable opportunity to deepen their understanding of its unique care model and to engage with them on any questions they may have, says Griselda. In addition, it is also an opportunity to thank CFS donors who have been supporting the charity and build a lasting relationship with them.

CFS assists charities and their underprivileged communities by connecting them with donors who are seeking to support causes and crucial needs that resonate with them deeply.


To find out more about the causes we support, please visit 
www.cf.org.sg/what-we-support/.

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Opinion

Where there’s a will, there’s a way … to give a legacy

John Doe
John Doe
people of different races and ages socializing and catching up at a local cafe.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way … to give a legacy.
(Adapted from opening remarks at a Community Foundation of Singapore-LSPBS “Legacy Giving” Webinar on 1 September 2020.)

Legacy giving is one of the best kept secrets in town. For many years now, I’ve often wondered why more charities had not jumped on the bandwagon of legacy
giving. Why aren’t charities proactive in encouraging individual donors to give legacies whether via wills, CPF nominations, or even insurance policies? Examples
abound overseas. I saw firsthand one such stellar example of a pro bono law firm utilizing this modality of legacy giving during our Law Society “Lawyers Go
Global” mission trip to Sydney in 2018.

We went to Sydney as a team to learn from cutting edge innovative Sydney based law firms on law firm models harnessing technology and niche services in order to consider adopting or adapting them in Singapore. The law firm that left a deep impression on several of us in the team was Salvos Legal, affiliated with the Salvation Army. They offer humanitarian legal services and have an outstanding history and genesis you can research on. They combine the best of both worlds in fee earning lawyers sitting side by side and working hand in hand with pro bono legal practitioners. Fee earners cross-subsidise the provision of pro bono legal services. It was a joy to see both pro bono practitioners and fee earners working harmoniously in a single setting and committed to doing good (directly or indirectly) as a firm.

Salvos Legal turned legacy giving to charities into art form. They use radio announcements and organise Community Wills Days (where generous local solicitors
prepare simple wills in return for a donation to the Salvos). They have built up a fair amount of expertise and essentially encourage the public to donate via legacy
giving.

In Singapore today, death is still a taboo topic in some quarters. As an aging society with a silver tsunami, we need to speak about this elephant in the room. We need more discourse about prudent asset stewardship, legacy giving and planned and sustained giving long after we have left the earth. From the charity’s point of view, this could represent a creative fundraising modality. Indeed, local charities such as the Kidney Dialysis Foundation and the Singapore Children’s Society have started using donation via legacy giving. Closer to home, recently, to commemorate the life of CLAS founder, visionary and architect, the late Harry Elias SC, the Law Society Pro
Bono Services in collaboration with Harry Elias Partnership have set up the Harry Elias SC CLAS Fellowship Fund. This Fund is a continuing and cherished memorial to Harry that will fund expenses arising from the CLAS Fellowship such as their remuneration and practice-related costs to ensure that young lawyers have a glorious
opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legal legends and trailblazers like Harry E.

For the gift-giver, legacy giving has four distinct, discernible advantages. First, it allows the donor to give their own voice to their unique personality, values and beliefs
for pet causes. Second, it creates a meaningful memorial of legacies that will perpetuate. Third, it positively impacts subsequent generations through a sustained
giving. Fourth, it deepens the connection between the charity and the donor.

Where appropriate, probate, wills and administration specialists, private wealth law experts and general practitioners in client advisories could suggest legacy giving to clients.

There are nuanced issues to consider for the donor and the attending lawyer. The form of the giving, whether it’s memorial giving, legacy giving and so on, and the
attendant risks involved. I shall not gloss over this aspect. Questions that need examining include: (1) how do you communicate to the testator or testatrix (person
making the will)? (2) are the template clauses appropriate to express the donor’s wishes? (3) what about the testator’s/testatrix’s mental capacity; or more precisely,
testamentary capacity? (4) from the donee charity’s point of view, what are the risks in accepting such gifts? These issues are fact-sensitive, complex in some cases and need careful analysis to avoid something going wrong (including misexpression of the testator’s/testator’s wishes).

The old saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. But the new saying I have for you is where there’s a will, there’s a way …. to give a legacy. You can have the nous and the know-how, to find that way for your donors. Legacy giving leaves a legacy for life.

Source:Law Gazette

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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: Scaling Greater Heights with Seniors

John Doe
John Doe
A call for collaborative giving: Join hands to make a difference. Together, let's create positive change through collective generosity. #CollaborativeGiving

The third Colabs publication explores how we as individuals and as a society can help our senior citizens live more happily in our community, against the backdrop of an aging population. The collective insights of 98 participants identified various issues such as the generational gap and lack of purpose. In collaborative discussions on the way forward, one key point was to involve seniors from the very beginning, to improve their ownership and adoption of the solutions. Read more 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.

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