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Helping Earthquake Victims in Türkiye and Syria: Ways to Donate
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Opinion

Helping Earthquake Victims in Türkiye and Syria: Ways to Donate

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a group of people moving a pile of rubble

The earthquake that struck Türkiye and Syria on 6 February 2023 has become one of the top 10 deadliest earthquakes ever. Over 41,0001 people have been killed (as of 15 February), a death toll the United Nations expects will eventually exceed 50,0002. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred near the border of the two countries. Since then, more than 2,000 aftershocks have pummelled the devastated region.

The widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure has left millions of people without homes, access to clean water, and basic necessities.3 The disaster has also led to countless casualties and injuries. First responders from all over the world are working tirelessly to save lives. However, with each passing day, the focus is turning from search and rescue to helping the survivors in desperate need of aid.

Local authorities and international aid groups have rushed to mobilise humanitarian aid, including food, shelter, medical supplies, and clean water. UNICEF estimates that millions of children in the affected regions are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.4 The massive scale of the disaster, however, has stretched their resources thin. There are other serious challenges: freezing temperatures and snow have hampered logistical operations.5

Donations have generously poured in for non-profit organisations providing disaster relief in Türkiye and Syria. In Singapore, there was an outpouring of support through in-kind donations of warm clothing, blankets, diapers, baby food, and other supplies to the Turkish embassy. The Turkish embassy has since stopped accepting such items and encourages Singaporeans to make monetary donations instead, given the manpower and logistical challenges in processing and sending items to Türkiye.6

The sombre reality is that this crisis will have a “long tail”. Humanitarian aid groups warn that the earthquake will have an aftermath of needs that will require donations for months, or even years, after the initial aid missions end.7 For donors in Singapore, the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is your trusted advisor on how best to deploy your generosity to make a difference to earthquake victims now and beyond. 

For donors who prefer to donate directly to non-profit organisations that are providing aid on the ground, we recommend the following bona fide organisations:

Singapore Red Cross

Established in 1949, the Singapore Red Cross is the global humanitarian organisation’s local arm. It is a credible, transparent, and time-tested charity with a long track record of providing humanitarian aid and responding to emergencies. It is looking to raise $5 million for the Türkiye-Syria earthquake, which will support the needs of those affected by the disaster, including emergency shelter, first aid and food.

Mercy Relief

Headquartered in Singapore, Mercy Relief was established in 2003 to respond to human tragedies and disasters in the Asia Pacific region. Today, it is Singapore’s leading independent disaster relief agency with dedicated leadership, capacity-building expertise, and an affiliate network operating across the entire disaster management cycle. Mercy Relief has launched a fundraiser for the earthquake with a target of $100,000. The money will provide hot meals, ready and instant food, drinking water, hygiene kits, blankets, and shelter tents to the worst affected and vulnerable families.

Philanthropy can play a pivotal role in alleviating the worst of natural disasters. At CFS, we are encouraged by how so many have stepped up to help victims of the Türkiye-Syria earthquake. However, much more needs to be done, given the scale of this tragedy. With our donor-advised funds (DAFs), we enable donors to respond better to unexpected needs. By pooling our resources, knowledge and experience, we convene donors, charities and other organisations in the community to quickly support those in need.   

To learn more about our DAFs, please click here.

References: 

    1. BBC. (15 February 2023). Women pulled alive from Turkey quake debris nine days on. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-64653216
    2. Deutsche Welle. (12 February 2023). Turkey-Syria earthquakes: UN expects death toll above 50,000.
      https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-syria-earthquakes-un-expects-death-toll-above-50000/a-64677847
    3. Channel News Asia. (15 February 2023). Nine survivors pulled from Türkiye’s rubble as earthquake death toll passes 40,000. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/nine-survivors-pulled-turkiye-turkey-rubble-syria-earthquake-death-toll-passes-40000-3277481
    4. The New York Times. (14 February 2023). Quake Updates: Toll in Turkey and Syria Surpasses 40,000 Dead. https://www.nytimes.com/explain/2023/02/14/world/turkey-syria-earthquake
    5. Deutsche Welle. (11 February 2023). Turkey-Syria earthquakes: Grief ‘slowly giving way to anger’.
      https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-syria-earthquakes-grief-slowly-giving-way-to-anger/a-64672674
    6. Channel News Asia. (9 February 2023). Singaporeans flood donation centre with supplies in outpouring of support for Türkiye-Syria quake victimshttps://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/singaporeans-flood-donation-centre-supplies-outpouring-support-turkiye-syria-quake-victims-3266161
    7. The Guardian. (12 February 2023). Turkey-Syria earthquake: death toll rises to 33,000; baby girl rescued alive after 150 hours, Turkish health minister says – as it happened. 
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/feb/12/turkey-syria-earthquake-latest-news-updates-death-toll
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Opinion

Collaborative giving: How it creates social change

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John Doe
exciting launch of Singapore Youth Impact Collective with youth leaders and supporters.

Ubuntu– it’s an ancient and beautiful concept from South Africa often used today to convey how a community is the building block of society. In South Africa, it simply means: “I am, because of you.”

Today, with technology and the lean towards strategic, outcome-focused giving, the spirit of ubuntu endures in the form of collaborative giving. Giving together is rapidly gaining traction as people recognise the complexity of social issues and the need for many helping hands.

Collaborative giving can take different forms, but it simply describes individuals coming together to pool their time, treasure or talent towards creating social change. Each model of collaborative giving differs with regards to the level of collaboration and involvement partners exert to achieve a certain outcome.

A spectrum of giving models
Online giving platforms and group funding opportunities empower a wide spectrum of donors to easily contribute to a cause, without requiring further engagement. Giving circles offer members a platform to get more involved, where members not only pool resources but meet to learn about social issues for more informed decision-making.

On the other end of the spectrum is collective impact – a specific model of collaboration that offers the greatest potential for social impact when harnessed well. Here, major actors from different sectors commit to a specific agenda for solving a particular social issue. Collective impact initiatives are distinct from other forms of partnerships because they share a centralised infrastructure, a common agenda and shared system of measurement, and continuous communication amongst partners.

Empowering collective giving
At the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), we count it as our mission to enable donors to learn and tap on these different models of collective giving.

In 2018, the Singapore Youth Impact Collective became the first local initiative to adopt the collective impact model for tackling a social issue. Several multi-sector partners – with CFS as the backbone organisation – are working together to help disadvantaged youth transit more successfully to work-life. The collective was formed when its members participated in Colabs, a philanthropic initiative by CFS and the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre intended to deepen understanding and drive collaboration towards addressing community needs.

Over the years, we have also grown our Community Impact Funds which support under-served causes and are open to givers from all walks of life. While collaboration may be the way forward for larger scale change, we believe fundamentally in the strength of giving as a community, for the community.

By putting the opportunity for social change back into our own hands, we hope to nurture the spirit of ubuntu, of interconnectedness and shared humanity – and we sincerely hope you pass the flame on too.

Joyce Teo
Deputy CEO
Community Foundation of Singapore

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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

Let us continue to sayang our community

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John Doe
Young learners sitting on the classroom floor, participating in educational exercises.

We have been overwhelmed by the generous show of support for our community-driven Sayang Sayang Fund; from private individual and corporate donors who donated to the fund directly or set up their own fund-raising pages, we have far surpassed our initial target.

We have given out transportation vouchers to hospitals and polyclinics and are now looking to support vulnerable communities especially impacted by COVID-19’s precautionary measures.

Like the seven thousand children from low-income families who are now at risk from losing access to meals provided in school with the implementation of home-based learning. That is our focus now.

And that is why the Sayang Sayang Fund remains open: to help make sure no one falls by the wayside during this challenging period.

We aim to achieve this by:

  • Supporting community-based emergency response funds for marginalised communities adversely affected by the COVID-19 situation.
  • Providing innovation solutions and research to better combat COVID-19.
  • Building capabilities that support charities’ operational and/or business continuity processes.

Your heart-warming outpouring of love truly brings to life the community spirit of the Sayang Sayang Fund. Thank you for your continuing support.

*The Sayang Sayang Fund is a community impact fund to care for the vulnerable in our community during times of national crises. To support the Fund, please visit giving.sg or email contactus@cf.org.sg.You can also donate via PayNow. All donations above $50 are tax deductible.

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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”。

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.

News

A Call for Collaborative Giving: Closing the Gap for Disadvantaged Young Persons

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John Doe
"A Call for Collaborative Giving" Graphic

The first Colabs publication discusses the challenges that disadvantaged young persons face at home, such as an unconducive family environment. It examines how these challenges impacted the young persons’ educational attainment and social mobility, and offers suggestions as to how givers could collaborate to close the gap for these individuals. The publication, based on the collective insights of over 100 participants who contributed during the series, can be downloaded here.

Speaking after the association’s annual general meeting at Kallang Netball Centre on Friday, Liang-Lin, a fund manager for a US$7 billion (S$9.5 billion) firm focused on green real estate investments in Asia, hopes to bring her expertise to the table and increase the amount of financial support for Singapore netball during her four-year term.

The 53-year-old took over from Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jessica Tan, who has been the association’s president since 2012. Tan had reached the end of her tenure, which saw the national team make several breakthroughs, including a gold medal at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

Liang-Lin holds various appointments such as being Singapore’s representative to the G20 for Women appointed by the Ministry of Finance. She is also a board member of the Community Foundation of Singapore, which promotes philanthropy through facilitating the establishment of charitable funds.

She said: “One of the things that is overlooked when we look at philanthropy and fundraising is that sport is not really part of the things that people will automatically think about.

“Less than one per cent of the funds that we raise in the Community Foundation goes to sport. The values that sport brings need to be amplified more, so that corporates… see the need to support sport. I think that link needs to be stronger so that we get not just more corporate sponsors, but also they can come in for longer periods of time.”

While national agency Sport Singapore provides funding to netball, corporates can also do their part, she added.

She said: “If we play our cards correctly, we can get corporates to come in and hopefully support them, to see the wider purpose of sport and bring the nation together.”

She also hopes the association can be proactive in looking for financial support, adding: “We must work more strategically with governing bodies on educating corporates on the importance of really supporting sport.”

The former netball player also made references to the recent Women’s World Cup for football, noting the “ability for a game that focuses on women in the sport to bring global attention”.

She said: “I want that kind of trajectory of the limelight going to women’s sport. I think that is a trend that will continue, and I hope that netball will be part of that trend.”

Meanwhile, Tan was satisfied that she has achieved the three objectives she had set out to do when she came on board – to improve quality of play, build a fan base and create an ecosystem which involves coaches and players.

The 57-year-old added: “As much as I do feel sad about having to step down, but at the same time, leadership renewal is very important.

“I think Trina will help to galvanise the team together, and bring a lot of new perspectives and quality to the association.”

Join us in making an impact on Singapore sports scene! Reach out to us for more information.

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

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.

Opinion

Sustainable Philanthropy Matters: The History of Caring and Charity

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John Doe
poster about sustainable philanthropy: the history of caring and charity

In this three-part series ‘Sustainable Philanthropy Matters’, we explore the surprisingly intimate relationship between philanthropy and sustainability and how the practice of one can in fact, lead to the advancement of the other. Both of these issues are close to our hearts here at CFS and we want to share how our philanthropy can help preserve our planet, our communities and our future.

Believe it or not, philanthropy and sustainability are concepts that have been around for millennia. Our forefathers understood the need for charity and living with the future in mind long before we had frameworks and modern models for them.

Examining the Roots of Giving

Although the word philanthropy, or philanthropia as the ancient Greeks called it, first emerged about 7000 years ago, it meant a love for one’s fellow people, not so much the donation of drachmas.

In fact, it was not until about 5000 years later, as described in the Bible, that a form of community where those who shared what they had with those who had not really began. Although some may argue that this was communism, not charity; however, this was an early record of giving resources to help those in need. While the term sustainability seems like a pretty modern buzzword, elements of this actually existed 3,000 years ago. It was discovered that humans in the late Neolithic period had developed a method of sustainably obtaining their firewood, avoiding deforestation and ensuring they would always have a way to keep warm (Dufraisse, 2008, pp199-210).

This could be said to be the distant ancestor of the 1713 Principle of Saxony formulated by Hans Carl von Carlowitz. His forestry treatise discussed the “continuously enduring and sustainable use” of the forest for wood (World Ocean Review, 2015).

Philanthropy in the Present

Giving to others has continued to exist till today, expanding from religious origins to permeate many facets of society. Tithes still exist but now one can donate through the Government or via non-profit and voluntary welfare organisations. The range of beneficiaries has also expanded, with those in need ranging from children and people with disabilities to isolated seniors, ex-offenders and so much more. The underlying commonality is that they are almost always in financial need of some sort. And it is the act of giving a monetary donation to support these beneficiaries that is the philanthropy we have come to know today.

However, evidence of financial contributions towards the environment only came along in the middle of the 20th century. It began in 1941, to be exact, with Rockefeller funding conservation activities across the United States, amongst his numerous other philanthropic efforts (Rockefeller Brothers Fund, 2022). And it was only seven years after that that the International Union for Conservation of Nature—the oldest environmental organisation in the world, mind you—was only established on 5 October 1948.

The Purpose of Philanthropy and Planning Ahead

For those who give, whether to social or environmental causes, there is a variety of reasons as to why we do so: a sense of obligation, concern over a particular issue, a desire to see a better future and, yes, even tax relief. It is alright to be pragmatic!

However, giving towards social causes has a deep-seated, almost unconscious need to grow the community. From ancient times, we humans have understood the strength in numbers, which is why we formed communities, or tribes as they were called back then.  

However, in banding together, there was an inevitable strain on resources. This created the need to be responsible for how we consumed our natural resources and, in a larger sense, be mindful of how our actions impacted the environment.

Charity + Conservation = Sustainability

Without the ever-present danger of a larger tribe taking over our own, or at least not in Singapore, there is little direct and personal benefit to us as a donor, apart from tax deduction and a sense of well-being.

We give simply because we care. That is the link between the two.

Whether it is towards social or environmental causes, community or green philanthropy, our contributions show that we care for others. It could be for the present, through financial assistance for daily living for instance, or for future generations, through conservation efforts. Because, after all, the children of our children will need a liveable world in which to grow up.

It can be a little daunting, given the sheer range of needs that society faces today, to consider also the needs of those who have not yet been born.

Leave a Legacy

Thankfully, the world (and its needs) does not rest on one’s shoulders alone. With years of experience in studying philanthropic trends and working to understand the needs of the community and environment, The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) can help you add your footprint to humankind’s long and ongoing journey of giving.

We value the creation of positive impact while keeping in mind the bigger picture of how the contribution will create sustained change.

At CFS, we steward our donors, through their funds, to make their mark on our community and our planet. Whether they contribute today or over the years, it will be their legacy. To find out how you can leave your legacy for tomorrow, please visit here.

To learn more about CFS’s Corporate Sustainability efforts, please read more here.

To read the other 2 stories in the ‘Sustainable Philanthropy Matters’ series, please click below:

This article was written by Adam, a Principal Consultant with CFS and an experienced sustainability practitioner. He is an advocate for sustainable practices. His colleagues are still wondering how his monthly household utilities bill is only around $70.

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

  1. Alexa Dufraisse. (2008). Firewood management and woodland exploitation during the late Neolithic at Lac de Chalain (Jura, France). Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17(2).
  2. World Ocean Review 4. (2015). Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work. https://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-4/concepts-for-a-better-world/what-is-sustainability/
  3. Rockefeller Brothers Fund. (Accessed 2022). Conservation and the Environmenthttps://www.rbf.org/about/about-us/conservation-and-environment
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