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The Straits Times: Teacher gives students with disabilities hope
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The Straits Times: Teacher gives students with disabilities hope

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a picture of a teacher and a student

by Rahimah Rashith, 24 October 2016

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

The ending to beloved children’s book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White gives an apt rendering of the relationship between teacher Jeyaram Kadivan, 34, and his former student, Mr Caleb Tay, now 20.

Over the course of a year in 2009, Mr Jeyaram spent his weekends thumbing over a paperback edition of the novel, scanning each page into his laptop using a machine that converted the scanned images into words. Read more.

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National Legacy Giving initiative to inspire philanthropic culture in Singapore

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The three-year national Legacy Giving Initiative aims to make planned gifts more common and frequent as another avenue for Singaporeans to make their giving meaningful.

Private philanthropy has an important role to play in providing much needed support for the community. The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) kicks off this initiative today with “A Greater Gift” campaign, to boost awareness and drive conversations for legacy giving and its value to the community.

According to a Social Pulse Survey 1, there is a disconnect between awareness and action when it comes to legacy giving. While the majority of respondents (83%) flagged awareness on what legacy giving is, only 33 per cent is considering legacy as a means of giving, but only 3 per cent would take action.

CFS’ “A Greater Gift’’ campaign, which is digitally-led, will run over the next three months, inviting individuals, professional advisors, and charities to consider ways a legacy gift can provide meaningful support and leave a lasting impact. As part of the campaign, CFS has partnered with ambassadors to highlight the causes they support, capturing what inspired their interests in a particular cause and the legacy they wish to leave.

Going forward, CFS will work with professional advisors by providing them with resources to help them ignite conversations with clients. We will support charities, especially the smaller ones, which may not be equipped to engage legacy donors.

Legacy gifts can be broadly defined as planned, future donations to charities. While up to the individual, the gift can be cash, marketable securities, insurance payouts, CPF monies and marketable assets. Individuals looking to support a cause over a period of years can establish a donor-advised fund (DAF) with CFS, to manage grant distributions

CFS was selected to lead the Legacy Giving Initiative with its strong track record and deep experience in advisory and grant making. As a neutral entity not attached to a specific cause, CFS complements the philanthropy landscape by bridging donor intentions to causes and charities.

Mr. Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law said, “Legacy giving enables Singaporeans to leave a lasting and meaningful gift to society. We hope that more Singaporeans will consider planning their donations for the future, as it can help support our charities, and spread the spirit of SG Cares across generations. Thank you to the Community Foundation of Singapore for leading the Legacy Giving Initiative, and encouraging Singaporeans to contribute to a more caring and inclusive society.”

CFS Brand Ambassadors

  • Dr. Audrey Looi and Dr. Ang Beng Ti – An eye specialist and neurosurgeon respectively, this husband and wife duo have made it their mission to equip children with low-vision with skills and resources. After personally experiencing a gap in supporting their son who has a degenerative eye disorder, they committed to supporting the visually impaired via iC2 PrepHouse.
  • Nadia Ahmad Samdin – A lawyer whose own personal journey of receiving financial assistance in school has led her to championing support for at-risk youth and their families, who will particularly benefit from having steady care.
  • Dipa Swaminathan – A lawyer and TEDx speaker, her passion to improve the welfare of migrant workers here has led her to set up social initiative ItsRainingRaincoats in 2015, which has especially increased society’s kindness and compassion for this community at the height of the pandemic.
  • Hian Goh – An entrepreneur and venture capitalist who wants to contribute to the future of society by identifying the next big game-changers and creating opportunities for innovators to reach their full potential.
  • Kris Tan – A philanthropist dedicated to empowering the arts in Singapore. She set up a charitable fund with CFS, Kris Foundation, in 2009 to support young classical musicians in Singapore and will expand it to the wider arts community.

About Legacy Giving

The legacy giving campaign is part of a three-year Legacy Giving Initiative (LGI). This campaign will highlight that everyone can contribute to the community through a legacy gift, either through CFS or directly to a charity. The LGI will build awareness by helping individuals understand the ways to give and the value of planned gifts to charity. It will also support professional advisors working with clients and charities engaging their donors in philanthropy conversations. CFS is well placed to drive this initiative.

As Singapore’s only community foundation, it is a neutral philanthropy resource with experience in grantmaking advisory. Visit legacygiving.sg

1The Social Pulse Survey was started in 2016 as an on-going survey carried out by The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to gather Singaporeans’ opinions and involvement with regard to matters such as sports, arts, culture and community living. Each month, about 500 interviews are conducted face-to-face with randomly selected households, and residents aged 15 and over across Singapore. The survey sample is representative of Singapore’s resident population.

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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

Colabs: doing more for persons with disabilities

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a group of people sitting around tables

As persons with disabilities reach age 18 and exit the school system, they face new life challenges, including living their desired life and gaining access to care and support. With a keen eye on identifying opportunities to improve the lives of these individuals, we kicked off the Colabs Disability series which focused on engagement pathways and employment through catalysing cross-sector collaboration.

As part of the series, participants were recently invited to the MINDS’ Idea Employment Development Centre to understand what a sheltered employment workshop in Singapore would look like. Made up of a diverse group, including social enterprises, corporates, philanthropic institutions, government agencies and non-profits, the group bonded over a common desire to learn and do more for persons with disabilities.

The group took part in various work stations at MINDS, where they interacted and worked alongside their clients. On a daily basis, clients were engaged in a wide range of activities, from seeding, retail, craft and kitchen work, to the packing of edible gifts, bottled water, and disposable earphones.

Next, participants gathered to share their aspirations for persons with disabilities, and their ideas on how the current model of sheltered employment could be improved. For many in the room, it was an eye-opening experience and a great chance to explore opportunities to contribute and collaborate.

Within the context of the sheltered workshop, companies and philanthropists can:

Create greater variety in jobs in workshops, or increase the number of jobs available, by connecting sheltered workshops with potential employers to explore and implement job re-design matched to the abilities of persons with disabilities, or encouraging companies to outsource certain tasks to persons with disabilities (e.g. event decoration, gift preparation, logistics). Much of this can be enabled by education and outreach to potential partners.

Provide a variety of social activities outside of work tasks in sheltered employment workshops, through partnerships with existing non-profits.

Improve the financial sustainability of running sheltered workshops by funding wages or subsidies, providing pro-bono services or skill-based volunteering to sheltered workshops in the marketing of existing products such as bottled water, food and gifts.

Companies and philanthropists interested in understanding how to work together with MINDS can contact the Idea Employment Development Centre to explore possibilities.

If you’re interested in what can be done to support persons with disabilities and their caregivers, the DesignSingapore Council has published an ethnographic study documenting how persons with disabilities live, work and interact with society, along with an illustrated overview of services supporting persons with disabilities. 

Some suggestions for collaborative solutions – based on the collective feedback of over 80 participants in the series – are outlined in the Colabs publication ‘A Call for Collaborative Giving: Bridging the Divide for Persons with Disabilities’ which can be downloaded here.

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Opinion

How philanthropy can help tackle gender-based online harms

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a group of people sitting on the floor

Technology and the Internet have made our lives better in many ways. But they are also facilitating an alarming increase in online abuse, particularly of young women. There is upskirting, where the perpetrator takes intrusive photos or videos up someone’s skirt without their permission. There is revenge porn, where explicit photos or videos of a person are posted on the Internet, typically by a former sexual partner.

With the ubiquity of social media, there is flaming (insulting someone with offensive language), doxxing (revealing private information), and cyberstalking. And on encrypted direct messaging platforms, victims are being threatened with violence. As actress Ashley Judd noted in a powerful TEDTalk in 2016, the online abuse of women has spiralled out of control (Judd, 2016).

In Singapore, a poll conducted in January 2022 by the Sunlight Alliance of Action (AfA), a public-private-people partnership to tackle online harms, found that close to half of the 1,000 respondents polled have personally experienced one or more types of online harms (MCI, 2022). Most of those who faced gender-based cyber abuse were between 15 to 35 years. With young girls, there is the added danger of sexual grooming.

Yet, women do not always come forward to seek freedom from online harm. One reason is a lack of knowledge about recourse. Another revolves around the gendered myths that direct blame towards the victim, writes academic Laura Vitis in Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women in Singapore: Key Considerations (Vitis, 2021).

What can be done? This is a problem that requires a whole-of-society effort. It needs awareness, advocacy, education, as well as enhancements in regulatory response, law enforcement and social services support. We can start by talking about what constitutes technology-facilitated sexual violence. Reinforce the message that image-based sexual abuse, camera sexual voyeurism and coerced sex-based communication are offences. Urge tech companies to make their services safer by removing offending images or gendered invective. 

On July 13, the Ministry of Communications and Information launched a public consultation on a Code of Practice for Online Safety (Reach, 2022). This will require social media services with significant reach or impact to have system-wide processes to mitigate exposure to harmful online content for Singapore-based users, including those below the age of 18.

Aside from this, we need to empower women to protect themselves against online abuse. Let them know how to record evidence and who to contact for support. These include the government’s 24-hour National Anti-Violence Helpline, AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre, and TOUCH Cyber Wellness. There is also Solid Ground, a volunteer-run project that provides step-by-step guides for those facing online abuse.

More recently, in April 2022, a new non profit was formed to empower, assist and support women and girls facing gender-based harm. SG Her Empowerment Limited (SHE) was born out of the work of Sunlight AfA and is chaired by Stefanie Yuen Thio, a member of Sunlight AfA. Stefanie is also a managing partner at TSMP Law Corporation and a board member at the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS).

The new charity plans to work with technology platforms to streamline reporting procedures and expedite takedowns. It will also liaise with the Law Society Pro Bono Services Office to provide legal clinics and pro bono legal services to those coming to the newly set up Victims’ Support Centre. SHE also hopes to work with the police to provide more holistic and empathetic support to the victims.

“This is an urgent and underserved need in our community,” says Stefanie. “Philanthropy can be a powerful driver and partner in our collaborative, public-private effort to combat online harm. This is a scourge that needs more than government regulation; it requires a whole-of-community response, from setting right mindsets, to calling out offending behaviours, to taking up the cause of victims,” she adds.

In addition to tackling online harms, and in light of the recommendations from the Singapore Government’s White Paper on Women’s Development released earlier this year, SHE will also be rolling out more programmes to support women and girls generally, hoping to work with both men and women to advance and equip the gender.

As a cause-neutral advisor, CFS works with a number of charities and initiatives that raise awareness about gender injustices and provide access to justice for victims of gender abuse, including online harm. If you would like to find out more about supporting these causes or for more information on the work we do, please go to www.cf.org.sg/grants/what-we-support/.

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.

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

Association of Women for Action and Research. (20 April 2022). Image-based sexual abuse featured in 7 in 10 cases of technology-facilitated sexual violence seen by AWARE in 2021.
https://www.aware.org.sg/2022/04/image-based-sexual-abuse-featured-in-7-in-10-cases-of-technology-facilitated-sexual-violence-seen-by-aware-in-2021/

Judd, Ashley. (2016). How online abuse of women has spiraled out of control. TED Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/ashley_judd_how_online_abuse_of_women_has_spiraled_out_of_control/transcript

Ministry of Communications and Information. (25 March 2022). Sunlight AfA Releases Topline Findings from Poll on Online Harms at Webinar.
https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2022/3/sunlight-afa-releases-topline-findings-from-poll-on-online-harms-at-webinar

Reach. (2022). Public Consultation on enhancing online safety for users in Singapore.
https://www.reach.gov.sg/Participate/Public-Consultation/Ministry-of-Communications-and-Information/public-consultation-on-enhancing-online-safety-for-users-in-singapore

Today. (13 July 2022). Singapore lays out proposals to shield young social media users from harmful content; seeks public feedbackhttps://www.todayonline.com/singapore/singapore-lays-out-proposals-shield-young-social-media-users-harmful-content-seeks-public-feedback-1942991?cid=braze-tdy_Today-Morning-Brief_newsletter_14072022_tdy%0A%0A

TSMP Law Corporation. (25 April 2022). SG Her Empowerment Limited (SHE).
https://www.tsmplaw.com/news/sg-her-empowerment-limited-she/

Vitis, Laura. (2021). Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women in Singapore: Key Considerations. Emerald Publishing Limited. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/978-1-83982-848-520211031/full/pdf

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News

CFS wins two awards at the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2019

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CFS posing with their awards at the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2019

CFS wins two awards at the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2019: The Charity Governance Award – Special Commendation for Governance and Management – and the Charity Transparency Award

CFS is honoured to have won the Charity Governance Award – Special Commendation for Governance and Management – as well as the Charity Transparency Award. Conferred by the Charity Council, we were privileged to be amongst a select line-up of outstanding charities that were recognised for exemplary disclosure and transparency practices at the Charity Governance Awards dinner on 3 December 2019.

About the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2019

 A total of 67 charities, including CFS, were conferred the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards for their overall excellent transparency and governance practices.

In addition, CFS was among the seven charities that won the Charity Governance Award

The Charity Transparency Award was first launched in 2016, to recognise charities with good disclosure practices that the Charity Transparency Framework recommends.

Inaugurated in 2012, the Charity Governance Award recognises charities  that have adopted the highest standards of governance, in line with the Code of Governance for Charities and IPCs. 

Exemplary governance and management practices

CFS is governed by a board of eminent professionals, selected via a rigorous process, who serve pro bono. They work closely with CFS’s management to steer the organisation in realising our strategic vision.  Our Board has set up several committees, with recognised experts as members, to ensure the organisation is run optimally with transparency, aligned with our mission and purpose. Since our inception, CFS has continuously invested significant resources to exceed expectations in governance, compliance and management. Part of the training process for board and staff is to highlight the importance of acting according to the highest standards. 

Sharing our lessons

Over the past years, our Board and staff have worked hard to ensure that we maintain these high standards across the organisation and in daily work. CFS’s steady growth in the last decade is testament to the trust donors and partners have placed on us, as well as the dedication of our staff.

CFS is honoured to attain this accolade and will be happy to share our experience other charities going forward. We found it especially useful to work closely with our auditors, who have provided valuable guidance and support. Charities can also draw on the helpful resources provided by the Commissioner of Charities and the Charity Council in Singapore, which we highly recommend. 

Looking ahead 

We are thankful to our partners and donors who trust our professional expertise to meet their giving goals. We are so grateful to our Board of Directors and committee members for their dedicated oversight and support.

“Ours is a business built on trust.  Good governance is integral to our success and that of our stakeholders. We will not rest on our laurels but continue to improve and innovate to ensure continued confidence in CFS,” said Catherine Loh, CEO, CFS.

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”。

admin bluecube
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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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