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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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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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Stories Of Impact

Shining a light on early childhood literacy

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a group of children sitting around a table with books

Our donors have long been a pillar of support for the charity SHINE Children and Youth Services, especially their Reading Odyssey. This programme builds reading skills and confidence in disadvantaged children. CFS is commemorating 15 years of giving and this story is one of a three-part series that highlights the strong relationships CFS has fostered with charities over the years.

While most children in Singapore are able to read when they start primary school, some have very limited literacy skills. This could be due to challenging personal circumstances or undiagnosed learning difficulties in their earlier years. The problem is that this limitation immediately sets them back from their peers academically.  

Reading Odyssey to the rescue

SHINE Children and Youth Services bridges this gap through a volunteer-supported reading programme called Reading Odyssey. The programme struck a chord with us at the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) and with several of our donors keen to support educational causes. It goes beyond nurturing skills like word recognition. It also builds confidence and hope for these children, who tend to suffer from low self-esteem. 

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

“Through CFS’s strategic efforts in garnering support from funders, the programme was able to partner with more community groups and agencies to expand its reach from four to seven communities in 2018,” notes Geraldine Low, Director of SHINE’s Educational Psychology Service. 

By 2022, this empowering initiative had grown to cover 13 communities, benefitting over 800 primary school students. It amassed a formidable pool of over 800 volunteers, who patiently guide the children with their reading, widen their exposure to genres and topics, and spur them to become lifelong learners. Reading Odyssey also draws on learning support experts to provide specialised guidance to children who may have conditions like dyslexia.

A partnership that works

It can be a challenge to seek support for children in the community with learning or reading difficulties that are ‘hidden’ and whose needs are easily misunderstood. We appreciate CFS who has been open and committed to journey alongside the team to seek clarity on needs and programme intervention, provide feedback, and actively position the programme to relevant funders.

CFS’s partnership with SHINE dates back to 2010, during our formative years as the nation’s first community foundation. The charity, founded in 1976, provides an array of services including educational psychology, school-based social work, therapy and mental health. To date, a total of 105 contributions amounting to over $5.5 million have been made by generous CFS donors. 

“The donations from CFS have provided a stable and reliable source of funding. This has allowed SHINE to continue operating and delivering vital services to children and youth without interruption,” says Geraldine, adding that the money has also helped SHINE develop new initiatives and explore innovative approaches to their programmes.

A common vision

The powerful work done by SHINE falls under one of our five focal areas for grant making: Accessing Quality Education. We believe holistic, quality education can help break the poverty cycle for low-income families and improve social mobility. We partner with a wide range of charities and educational institutions to help every child receive a good, well-rounded education. 

For donors who want to make a difference in early childhood education, we introduce them to programmes like Reading Odyssey, which advances child literacy as well as social inclusivity in Singapore.

“By pooling knowledge and experiences, initiatives that are evidence-based, culturally sensitive and tailored to the unique needs of the beneficiaries can be designed and implemented,” says Geraldine.

That is why SHINE hopes to continue working closely with CFS and to explore long-term funding strategies with CFS, so it can make even more of a lasting impact.

We are proud of our long-term relationship with SHINE and are committed to working with like-minded charities to create a greater impact on the lives of children in underserved communities under the CFS cause Accessing Quality Education. 

CFS is celebrating our anniversary throughout 2023—15 years of empowering donors to make a meaningful impact. Since our inception in 2008, we have received over S$292 million in donations in Singapore and disbursed over S$157 million in grants to over 400 charity partners.  

To discover how you can make a difference, please visit www.cf.org.sg/contact-us/get-in-touch/ 

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CFS’s first brand campaign ‘Portraits of generosity’ to inspire giving

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"My Cho Cho Ma She started our family's journey of giving" Keith Chua

In tandem with its 10th anniversary, CFS launched its first ever brand campaign ‘Portraits of Generosity’– a series of heart-warming donor stories uncovering each donor’s motivation for giving.

Looking back at their lives, donors share their motivations for why they chose to give back to those in need. Be it an act of kindness, a family member’s compassion or a long tradition of philanthropy, the campaign unearthed the diverse experiences which left a mark on each donor’s life and spurred them to give back. Donors also open up about their philanthropic journey, why they chose to support specific causes and how seamless the giving experience can be through starting a fund with CFS.

The campaign kicked off with six of CFS’s donors: Keith ChuaTrina Liang-Lin and Edmund LinGovind Bommi, Yeo Suan Wei and Liontrust. “We believe that every act of giving is inspired by a story of life, values and experiences. Working with our donors and agency DDB, we brought these stories to life through a relatable and engaging campaign. Through these first-hand accounts of giving, we hope that others will realise that they too, have it in them to open their hearts and give back,” commented Yuen Yee Foong, Head of Marketing at CFS.

Launched across multiple media platforms including video, digital and print, the campaign runs from August to December 2018.

Reflecting upon a growing social consciousness amongst Singaporeans, Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS remarked, “I believe there are many others like our donors in Singapore who want to contribute back to society, but have not considered becoming philanthropists themselves. By sharing their stories on a larger platform, these donors show us what is possible.”

She added, “Their passion reminds us of the joy of giving, especially when giving resonates with causes we care about.”

Read and view ‘Portraits of generosity’ here.

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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

The Funding Network (TFN)

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Bright moon illuminating serene city park.

The Funding Network (TFN) is an innovative, inspiring and rewarding way for donors to make a real, positive difference to the community. The programme offers charitable organisations the opportunity to pitch their cause to a group or corporation to secure crowdfunding and mentoring as well as expand their donor base and network. TFN makes it possible for individuals, foundations and corporations to give collectively in increments starting from S$50, with an aim to raise at least S$10,000 for the non-profit. Here are some projects TFN successfully supported:

  • GoLi – The Moving Theatre

GoLi is a travelling theatre that goes around Singapore transforming community spaces into vibrant places for arts and culture. In 2014, the group secured funding from The Funding Network and other sponsors to kickstart the design and construction of an inflatable pop-up theatre. After a technical trial conducted in November 2014 to test its robustness, GoLi embarked on designing a second structure with a larger and more flexible capacity. The inflatable theatre finally made its official debut outside Toa Payoh Community Library at the Singapore International Festival of Arts in July 2015. 

  • Groceries With Love on Wheels (GLOW)

The National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) initiated Groceries With Love on Wheels in 2010 to deliver basic necessities to low-income and house-bound residents. On 7 June 2014, more than 550 volunteers distributed grocery bags to 3,000 needy recipients identified by People’s Association.

  • Lunch treats for the elderly

Dignity Kitchen takes the elderly and needy out for meaningful city tours and meals. The tours bring them to places of interest and nostalgia complete with a special lunch prepared by Dignity Kitchen. In April 2014, the social enterprise secured funding through TFN which enabled them to work with 18 eldercare centres and nursing homes to bring some 708 seniors out for a treat. 

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”。

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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.

News

A Call for Collaborative Giving: Scaling Greater Heights with Seniors

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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

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”。

Picture of admin bluecube
admin bluecube

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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