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Our Annual Report 2022 is now available for download
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Our Annual Report 2022 is now available for download

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a cover of cfs annual report 2022

We are proud to announce that the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) Annual Report 2022 has been published.

Download your copy here to learn more about the year’s highlights and our impact on the community.

Amid continued disruption from COVID-19 and the uneven recovery that followed, we took transformative action to push forward with our donors, charities and partners. We saw a record number of new funds and unprecedented donor generosity. Together, our grantmaking supported the immediate and emergent needs of our beneficiaries and partners.

For the financial year ended 31 March 2022, CFS received a record of $46.6 million in donations. We welcomed 37 givers to our community through the establishment of 24 new donor-advised funds (DAFs). $18.3 million in grants was made to 240 organisations and 14 individuals during the financial year.

The Annual Report contains the following information:

  • Corporate Information
  • Growth in Recent Years
  • Impact Highlights and Transformation
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Forward Vision
  • Governance and Policies
  • Financial Statements
  • Grantees List

CFS is committed to working with donors, charities, partners and various sector leaders in the ecosystem to build a more vibrant, inclusive and caring Singapore. To find out more about CFS, get in touch with us.

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Opinion

Accessing Quality Education: Beyond the Classroom Walls

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a person teaching a group of children

The education of a generation is an extensive and complex undertaking.

Consider the span of time it takes to bring a single individual from nursery and preschool, through the primary and secondary school levels to the various branches of tertiary education. This journey could range from at least 12 years to almost three decades for the dedicated academic.

Keep in mind the need to cater to the individual’s development along the entire stretch in terms of how he or she learns, their psychosocial, physical, emotional and mental health, and their attitudes during the learning process. Now multiply that by over 30,000 for the number of students in each cohort year in Singapore, and you get a sense of the seemingly impossible task that faces the Ministry of Education.

The 32,000 plus teachers in Singapore (MOE, 2021) are doing a highly commendable job as it is. Singapore is ranked 21st in the latest education ranking of the Best Countries Report (World Population Review, 2022) and topped the world in the 2018 Global Competence test, conducted as part of the Programme for International Student Assessment (ST, 2020).

The Singapore education system also has facilities and options for those with learning disabilities, allowing those with conditions such as autism and Down syndrome to obtain a formal education, with pathways to employment for those who are able to do so.

There is a plethora of exit points for those who graduate from the education system here. Besides those with learning disabilities, one could complete formal education after attaining a polytechnic diploma, a university degree or even a doctorate.

While some of that depends on their innate aptitude for study, the students’ early childhood education plays a large part. While it is compulsory for all Singaporean citizens to attend primary school (MOE, 2021), the same is not true for preschool.

Government statistics reflect that nearly 99% of children in Singapore would have at least some preschool education by the age of six (MSF, 2016). This is commendable, but many still do not get the essential foundation that preschools offer, which leads in part to the learning difficulties (not to be confused with disabilities) that some children may face in keeping pace with their peers (Channel News Asia, 2019).

Learning difficulties are when a child, whose IQ is not affected, finds it challenging to learn in a particular way (MyLife Care, 2018). It could stem from conditions such as dyslexia or psychological issues such as anxiety and depression, inhibiting the child’s learning abilities and approach to studies.

Children with learning difficulties face problems with literacy and numeracy (Raising Children, 2021), which is an issue as English and Mathematics are the two core subjects that determine entry into post-secondary education.

Fortunately, there are many groups who are supporting children and youth struggling with primary and secondary school education. Although they are not teachers per se, the programme staff and volunteers of these groups are helping children with learning difficulties, who are usually from challenging backgrounds, to improve their academic abilities.

For instance, social enterprise Catch Them Young’s programme KidsExcel is partnering with the Lions Community Service Foundation to help primary- and secondary-going school children in their academic curriculum.

KidsExcel complements their tutoring time with workshops in sports and drama, which motivates the children to improve academically and to enjoy these popular activities offered by KidsExcel staff.

“I love interacting with the kids and I want to make a positive impact in their lives,” enthuses volunteer Ms Joycelyn Fung. “I have forged good relationships with the children and their parents. In the two years I have been here, it has been very fulfilling and rewarding to see the kids develop and grow.”

Resilience is a clear lesson learnt by KidsExcel care recipients, with 10-year-old Syakir stating that he would never give up in his pursuits, while 12-year-old Elfie proclaims: “I will never stop when I am tired, but will stop when I am done.”

Staff Madam Haznita shares: “It has been a joy working with the kids. Some came with little confidence and had difficulties adjusting, so we needed to spend time getting to know them better and help them settle. It is very rewarding to know they look forward to KidsExcel classes and seeing them every week. This is what motivates me.”

Another programme, Reading Odyssey by SHINE Children and Youth Services, helps to boost children’s literary abilities by inculcating a love for stories through story-telling and literature-related activities.

Taking these children onto journeys of the imagination to improve their linguistic capabilities are volunteers Bee Peng and Natasha. Every week, they tap into their dramatis personae and bring stories to life for the children.

“I like everything in Reading Odyssey, especially the games,” says P2 student beneficiary Kim Yan. “Teacher Bee Peng helps me to understand how the games are played. She is kind and patient. I thank her for teaching me.”

Bee Peng says: “I believe in the quality of Reading Odyssey; it has a positive impact on the lives of the children and has elements of character building. And I truly enjoy interacting with the children.”

Another P2 child, Divinya, demonstrates her newfound verbosity: “I like the games in Reading Odyssey and the snacks given out. My teacher Natasha helps me with reading unfamiliar words. If I don’t know the words, she helps me to pronounce them and tells me the meaning of the words. She is always present for the sessions, she never absents herself. She is always there for me. Thank you teacher, for teaching me and giving me lots of stars.” Divinya also expressed a wish for Natasha to continue teaching her in Reading Odyssey, a testament to the positive impact that even volunteers can have on our children.

A volunteer since 2017, Natasha believes in the programme’s aim of elevating the children’s self-confidence through learning and reading: “There are many opportunities to interact with the children via discussion of the stories, which allows me to journey with them and help them improve.”

Regardless of their motivation, it is clear from the number of children going through such programmes—about 350 and 180 annually from the KidsExcel and Reading Odyssey programmes—that programme staff and volunteers for such extracurricular activities are just as much teachers to our children as educators in school.

If you would like to support programmes such Reading Odyssey and KidsExcel in providing quality education to our children and make a difference in their lives, please visit Ways to give.

This article was written CFS Principal Consultant Reutens-Tan. He is an experienced sustainability advocate and practitioner, working closely with charities to build thriving communities, which he believes is key to a sustainable Singapore.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CFS or its members.

References

Channel New Asia. (15 September 2019). Commentary: Long-neglected but now in the spotlight, Singapore’s pre-school sectorhttps://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/pre-school-enhanced-subsidies-access-moe-kindergartens-859951

Ministry of Education. (18 October 2021). Compulsory education.
https://www.moe.gov.sg/primary/compulsory-education#:~:text=All%20Singapore%20Citizens%20born%20after,deferment%20to%20enter%20Primary%201
.

Ministry of Education. (Accessed 26 July 2022). Education Statistics Digest 2021
https:/www.moe.gov.sg/-/media/files/about-us/education-statistics-digest-2021.ashx?la=en&hash=9E7EFD9B8088817C207F8AE797037AAA2A49F167

MyLife Care. 20 September 2018. What Is The Difference Between ‘Learning Difficulties’ And ‘Learning Disabilities’? https://mylifehomecare.co.uk/insight/learning-difficulties-learning-disabilities-difference/#:~:text=a%20learning%20disability%20constitutes%20a,overall%20IQ%20of%20an%20individual

Raising Children. (2 July 2021). Learning difficulties and learning disorders: children and teenagers.
https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/school-learning/learning-difficulties/learning-disabilities-signs-and-support

The Straits Times. (22 October 2020). Singapore’s 15-year-olds top OECD’s Pisa global competence test.
https://str.sg/J62f

World Population Review. (Accessed 26 July 2022). Education Rankings by Country 2022.  
https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/education-rankings-by-country

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News

Lianhe Zaobao: Nathan Social Work Award open for applications from Nanyang Polytechnic students

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纳丹教育提升基金”惠及人数及拨出金额多年来稳定增长,今年还为南洋理工学院社工系的学生增设助学金。

该基金是已故前总统纳丹在2011年9月19日推出回忆录《万想不到的征程——当上总统之路》时设立的,目的是帮助家庭经济有困难的学生获得良好教育。

截至今年7月7日,该基金已拨出270万元,比去年同期的260万元多出了10万元。

自基金成立以来,共有1129名学生从中受惠,这与去年同期的近1000名相比,增加了15%。受惠者包括工艺教育学院、理工学院及大学学生,其中还有一些经济条件较差的前罪犯。

该基金通过教育和技能培训为他们提供支援。

另外,该基金今年增设“纳丹社工助学金”(S R Nathan Social Work Award),以纪念纳丹为社工领域留下的精神遗产。

纳丹毕业于设在新加坡的马来亚大学,以特优成绩考获社会学文凭,并在上世纪50年代担任医疗社工和海员福利官。他也在晚年时设立新加坡福利理事会,这个组织是国家福利理事会的前身,目前旗下有超过400个志愿福利团体。

“纳丹社工助学金”包含三个价值1500元的助学金,每年颁发给就读于南洋理工学院社会科学(社工)专业文凭课程、经济上有需要的学生。

助学金旨在帮助减轻这些学生的经济负担,让他们能专心完成学业。首批三名助学金得主将在今年12月公布。Read more.

Translation:
Nathan Social Work Award open for applications from Nanyang Polytechnic students

The S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund was launched on 19 September 2011 in conjunction with the publication of the late Mr Nathan’s memoirs, “An Unexpected Journey”.

Total amount disbursed since inception: S$2.7m compared to S$2.6m from the same period last year.
Total number of students the fund has supported since inception: 1,129. About 15% increase from the same period last year, where almost 1,000 students were beneficiaries.

The S R Nathan Social Work Award set up to honour Mr. Nathan and his legacy in the social work sector.
He graduated with a Diploma in Social Work from the University of Malaya and was a medical social worker and seaman’s welfare officer in the 1950s. In his later years, he also helped to set up the Singapore Council of Social Service, the predecessor of the National Council of Social Service which now oversees over 400 voluntary welfare organisations in Singapore.

The award comprises three bursary awards worth S$1,500 each, which will be presented annually to financially needy students in NYP’s Sciences (Social Work) course. First recipients of the award will be announced in December 2017.

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Stories Of Impact

2021 Annabel Pennefather Award winners Cheung Kemei and Jaslyn Hooi: Two talented athletes steadfast in their resolve to win honour and glory for Singapore

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a person standing on a boardwalk in front of a glass dome building

As Singapore continues to field excellent sportsmen into the international arena such as Badminton World Federation world champion shuttler Loh Kean Yew and paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Siu, the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) recognises the need to continue supporting the growth of more sporting talent through philanthropy, so that Singapore may continue to produce many more distinguished sportsmen and women for the years to come.

The Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award is one such enabler that helps young sports women reach greater heights and bring glory to our country.

It is presented annually to two female graduating student-athletes between 16 and 25 years of age, who have displayed remarkable dedication to their sporting craft and achieved outstanding results in sports. 

Funded by the International Women’s Forum Singapore’s Education Grant, which is managed by CFS, the Grant aims to recognise deserving young women with character and the commitment to achieve in their respective fields.

The Award honours the late Annabel Pennefather – a former national hockey player, a pioneer of women sports administrators in Singapore and a champion of women in sports globally – and celebrates her achievements through encouraging and empowering women in the field of sports.

This year, the Award winners of the 2021 Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award are Cheung Kemei and Jaslyn Hooi, two young women who have demonstrated exceptional skill and excellence in their respective sporting fields.

At the tender age of only 16, foilist Cheung Kemei has already acquired a number of accolades under her fencing belt, having had an outstanding year at local national and age-group competitions last year in spite of the swelling pandemic.

“I feel very happy and honoured to receive this award. I’m very grateful and would like to thank the school, coaches and everyone who supported me throughout this journey. This award definitely encourages and motivates me to work harder and achieve better results for Singapore,” says the talented young fencer.

The foilist punched above her weight to win a gold at the Singapore Senior Championships last year in February, and won another gold medal for the U17 Women’s Foil Individual at the Singapore Cadet Nationals.

Though there is a long list of contenders for coveted spots, Kemei has her eyes set on making it to the final list of competitors for the upcoming SEA Games this year.

The other Award winner, 21-year-old shuttler Jaslyn Hooi, first represented Singapore at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 in Buenos Aires where she finished 4th in the Women’s Singles. Since then, Jaslyn has participated and won a bronze at the 2019 SEA Games, and is set to take on the region’s best at the SEA Games this year.

“2021 proved to be a successful year, especially towards the end of the year, where I competed for six weeks in Europe. I managed to get gold in one of them and improved my world ranking to be top ninety in the world,” reflects Jaslyn with pride.

In September 2021, she claimed the Women’s Singles title at the Polish International, making it the best win in her career thus far. Among one of the top local shuttlers, Jaslyn won the Women’s Singles title at the Singapore National Open Championships consecutively in 2020 and 2021.

“I’m extremely honoured to be receiving this award. It’s nice to know that Sports School is still supporting us on our sporting journey and recognising our hardwork and success. My goal is to be top fifty at the end of 2022, and this award will continue to push me towards that goal,” says the ambitious young shuttler.

She aspires to play well in bigger tournaments this year and to make it to the Top 80. Her ultimate goal is to make it to the 2024 Olympic Games, and is determined to give her best effort to make her dream come true.

If you would like to support more budding sporting talent in Singapore through philanthropy, please read more here.

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Events

Celebrating a decade of inspiring and enabling philanthropy in Singapore

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Two female individuals can be seen in the picture, both dressed in red shirts and holding a volleyball ball.

After months of anticipation, CFS’s year-long 10th anniversary celebrations came to a high point on 5 September 2018 at a gala event held at The Arts House. Guest of honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, and 120 guests including donors, charities and other partners, came together to commemorate this major milestone in CFS’s history.

In her keynote speech, Minister Fu reflected on philanthropy’s important role in Singapore’s history and its continued relevance in building a culture of care. She thanked CFS for “its excellent work in raising funds and giving out grants, as well as in inspiring and enabling giving in Singapore” and that “as Singapore’s only community foundation, CFS plays an important role as a bridge builder between local communities and the larger charitable ecosystem.”

CEO Catherine Loh spoke of how CFS had “much to prove” when she joined six years ago, but that’s she proud to see CFS having a much wider reach in the public sphere today. “The entrance of a community foundation like CFS has transformed how philanthropy is approached,” she remarked, signaling future plans to grow legacy giving, collaboration and impact.

Outgoing chairman Laurence Lien took the occasion to leave CFS with an audacious goal – to raise $1 billion in our donor funds at some point in the future. He expressed, “We count on you present today, to continue journeying with us, to grow this community of givers. We all are part owners of CFS because we are all the part of the Singapore community.”

Guests were also treated to a violin performance by Joey Lau, winner of the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award 2017, a fund managed by CFS.

Amidst dinner and cocktails, the mood was buoyant, as many offered their enthusiastic congratulation. “It’s fantastic to see tonight that the achievements of CFS get celebrated,” said Sebastien Lamy, Director of Keppel Corporation and CFS board member. “I look forward to an even stronger partnership with CFS moving forward,” remarked Tui Jurn Mun, Republic Polytechnic.

The evening ended on a jubilant note as we savoured, shared and reflected on an amazing journey over the last decade. Here’s to the next 10 years of giving!

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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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