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Here’s how you can help the people of Ukraine – Ways to donate
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Here’s how you can help the people of Ukraine – Ways to donate

John Doe
John Doe
a group of military men transporting boxes of water using a helicopter

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is triggering what the United Nations fears could be Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century. More than 2 million people, out of a nation of 44 million, have fled to neighbouring countries since the conflict began.  

The human cost of the war is alarming and rising by the day. Hundreds of lives have been lost, and thousands of families have been displaced.  

Global charities urgently call for funds to ramp up humanitarian aid in Ukraine. There is a pressing need for medical assistance, food, water, clothing, emergency cash and shelter. There are also plenty of private fundraisers online, but how do you ensure that your money will reach those who need it? How do you know that a particular fundraising appeal is legitimate? Should you send supplies like blankets and warm clothing?  

One of the fastest ways to help is to donate cash to a trusted charity doing on-the-ground relief work. Donations of items are a challenge for charities to handle and distribute as in a warzone, supply chains are disrupted. Logistical options are also very limited, making it challenging to deliver bulky physical items. Cash can be used to purchase necessities more quickly at nearby unaffected regions, allowing charities to respond faster and better at this critical time. 

But which charity should you be donating to? CFS is well-placed to help you navigate giving during this geopolitical crisis as a cause-neutral philanthropic advisor. For those who are looking to support Ukraine and its people, we recommend the following bona fide organisations: 

Singapore Red Cross  

Singapore Red Cross is the global humanitarian organisation’s local arm established in 1949. It is a credible, transparent and time-tested charity providing disaster relief assistance, both locally and internationally.   

It has raised almost $3 million after launching an urgent appeal on 25 February, which is running till 31 May. The first tranche of US$100,000 reached Ukraine on 4 March and a second tranche of $2.4 million is on the way. The funds are to assist Ukrainians in the besieged nation and across six neighbouring countries – Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania.   

The focus will be on providing aid to vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors, single women with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Besides giving emergency relief aid, the charity will also offer shelter, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, and psychosocial support. 

Donate to the Singapore Red Cross here

Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore (CHARIS)

CHARIS is the umbrella body for overseas humanitarian aid by the Archdiocese of Singapore. Launched in 2010, CHARIS Singapore is a legitimate charity that provides both immediate and long-term relief to persons who have been forcibly displaced, as well as those in need.   

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, CHARIS Singapore has pledged an initial $100,000 from their Humanitarian Aid Fund to extend essential aid to vulnerable individuals afflicted by the war. The support will be channelled to Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes, which are based in Ukraine and working on the ground, to provide daily necessities, shelter, transportation and evacuation services, and psychological support to families.  

Charities worldwide are responding to the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and trying to bring aid to its people. If you wish to provide support directly to a foreign charitable organisation, you may consider these two verified charities: the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and The UN Refugee Agency. 

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) 

The US-based CDP is dedicated to helping donors maximise their impact by making more intentional disaster-related giving decisions. Since 2010, the nonprofit has directed financial and technical support to disasters and humanitarian crises.   

The CDP’s Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund will focus on addressing humanitarian needs that arise, particularly among the most vulnerable, marginalised and at-risk internally-displaced peoples and refugees.   

Donate to CDP here

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) 

UNHCR is a global organisation that aids and protects refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. UNHCR has been working in Ukraine since 1994, providing legal, social, and humanitarian assistance, such as winter clothing and blankets and psychosocial support and emergency shelter to people afflicted by the country’s ongoing tensions.   

The UN has issued a US$1.7 billion flash appeal to support humanitarian needs across Ukraine and its bordering countries. It estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine and more than 4 million refugees may need protection and assistance in the coming months.  

Donate to UNHCR here.  

References:  

  1. Begum, S. (2022, March 10). Singapore Red Cross to send $2.4m to Ukraine, neighbouring countries in second tranche of aid. The Straits Times. Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-red-cross-to-send-24m-to-ukraine-neighbouring-countries-in-second-tranche-of-aid  
  2. Centre of Disaster Philanthropy (2022). CDP Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://disasterphilanthropy.org/cdp-fund/cdp-ukraine-humanitarian-crisis-recovery-fund/ 
  3. Singapore Red Cross’ Humanitarian Aid Arrives In Ukraine. (2022, March 4). Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://www.redcross.sg/media-centre/press-releases/1124-singapore-red-cross-humanitarian-aid-arrives-in-ukraine.html 
  4. UNHCR. (2022, March 1) UN seeks US$1.7 billion as humanitarian needs soar in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Retrieved from March 10, 2022, from https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/3/621e0aa74/un-seeks-us17-billion-humanitarian-needs-soar-ukraine-neighbouring-countries.html  
  5. UNHCR. (2022, March 8). Ukraine situation: Flash update. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://reporting.unhcr.org/document/1884 
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Law firm Rajah & Tann donates $225k to ST School Pocket Money Fund and Dementia Singapore

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a group of people holding a large check

(From left) Dementia Singapore’s chief executive Jason Foo, ST Singapore editor Zakir Hussain, Community Foundation of Singapore chief executive Catherine Loh, R&T managing partner Patrick Ang and R&T Foundation chairperson Rebecca Chew.

Law firm Rajah & Tann (R&T) has contributed $225,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF).

The donation was part of the firm’s 45th anniversary celebration on Thursday (May 5) at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, where it also gave $225,000 to charity Dementia Singapore.

Mr Zakir Hussain, a board trustee of STSPMF and ST’s Singapore editor, and Dementia Singapore chief executive Jason Foo jointly received a cheque from R&T managing partner Patrick Ang and Rajah & Tann Foundation chairman Rebecca Chew.

Mr Ang said: “The spirit of caring and giving back to society is part of R&T’s DNA, which we inherited from our founders T. T. Rajah and Tann Wee Tiong.”

A commemorative book about Rajah & Tann titled Duty of Care+ was also unveiled during the celebration on Thursday.

Written by former ST senior writer Cheong Suk-Wai, the book traces the law firm’s growth from its beginnings as a two-man partnership to the regional firm it is today.

“The Rajah & Tann story is essentially about how a group of talented lawyers came together to build a top-rated indigenous Singapore law firm, while holding fast to the principle of excellence with heart in the way they practised law and cared for others,” said Mr Ang.

Among Rajah & Tann’s notable alumni are T.T. Rajah’s son V. K. Rajah, who was Attorney-General from 2014 to 2017 and a former Judge of Appeal; Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon; former Attorney-General and current Judge of Appeal Justice Steven Chong; and current Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Quentin Loh.

STSPMF general manager Tan Bee Heong said the fund gave out almost $9 million to help more than 12,000 beneficiaries last year.

“This donation will help us continue our work in providing thousands of students from low-income families with school pocket money for meals and other schooling needs,” she added.

The STSPMF was started in 2000 as a community project by ST to help children from low-income families.

It has given out nearly $90 million to date and has helped more than 200,000 beneficiaries.

This article was originally published in The Straits Times hereSource: The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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CFS Receives National Award – COVID-19 Resilience Certificate

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National Awards COVID-19 Investee: Celebrating outstanding achievements during the pandemic.

CFS has been awarded the COVID-19 Resilience Certificate, which recognises the contributions of organisations that played a vital role in addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19. Our CEO, Catherine Loh, received the award at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Family National Day COVID-19 Investiture on October 10, 2023.

How We Pooled Resources for Singapore

As COVID-19 cases began to rise in February 2020, a member of the CFS board was deeply disturbed by reports of mistreatment towards healthcare workers. Anticipating the imminent health and economic challenges that lay ahead, CFS quickly recognised that action was needed.

“On February 11, 2020, we launched a Community Impact Fund which we named the “Sayang Sayang Fund”,” said Catherine Loh, CEO. “We felt this was the best and fastest way to respond to emerging needs as the crisis unfolded. It provided an easy way for donors to support those in need while CFS worked with sector partners to determine the type of support each community needed.”

The amount of support that poured in was heartening. We attained our initial target of $500,000 in just 10 days, and ultimately received $9.7 million from over 5,000 donors.

Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to collaborate with charities, ministries and social service agencies to deliver urgent assistance to those in need.

Making a Positive Impact on Affected Communities

In response to rapidly shifting circumstances, CFS acted through a wide array of initiatives and programmes, disbursing $9.7 million to aid 401,000 beneficiaries and 276 community organisations between 2020 to 2023. Here’s a glimpse into our efforts:

Healthcare Workers: Our initial action was to lift the spirits of nurses, doctors and ancillary healthcare workers by providing taxi vouchers and care packages sponsored by donations from the public and transport companies, ComfortDelGro, Gojek and Grab.

Elderly: When social distancing measures were mandated, the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF) provided funds to several charity programmes to ensure the well-being of the elderly. These included educating them on infection control, reducing loneliness among elderly living alone, and ensuring low-income seniors had access to food despite disruptions in the supply chain.

Students: During school closure and home-based learning, students on financial assistance lost access to subsidised school meals. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the SSF supplemented their allowances to ensure they continued to receive proper nutrition.

Migrant Workers: During the circuit breaker period, the SSF distributed mobile phone top-ups to migrant workers in lockdown who had insufficient balances in their accounts, so they could stay in contact with their families.

Rough Sleepers: Funds were disbursed to AMKFSC Community Services, Good News Community Services, Methodist Welfare Services, and New Hope Community Services to establish more shelters and assist in relocating rough sleepers to safe accommodations.

Learn more about the Sayang Sayang Fund.

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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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The Straits Times: She helps pupils with special needs cope in school

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portrait of Madam Tutek Alauyah Amir

by Nur Syahiidah Zainal, 3 October 2016

Just as school starts to wind down in the last quarter, Madam Tutek Alauyah Amir’s work picks up speed.

Her mind skips ahead to new pupils entering Tampines Primary School next year – specifically the ones with special needs like dyslexia, autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – that she is gearing up to help.

For her dedication, the 56-year- old, an allied educator for learning and behavioural support at the school, won the Leading Foundation Teacher Award (LFTA) last year. The LFTA, started in 2014, specifically recognises early childhood and special needs education teachers who have made a difference to their pupils. Read more.

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Opinion

Speech by CEO Catherine Loh at CFS’s 10th anniversary celebrations

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CEO Catherine Loh giving a speech

Minister Grace Fu, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The power of informed giving
It’s wonderful to see so many of you here this evening. Thank you for taking the time to join us as CFS celebrates its 10th anniversary.

This is an exciting moment in CFS’s history. When I joined CFS six years ago, we had just survived our first few years as a startup. There was an air of promise as we reached out to more donors, but we had much to prove. In those early years, we didn’t have any marketing. Our donors grew mainly through introductions by the Board and Committee Members and recommendations by existing donors.

Fortunately, CFS has grown over the years to have a much wider reach in the public sphere. Today, CFS has achieved 113 donor funds, raised over $100 million and disbursed over $60 million to over 400 charitable organisations in Singapore.

If we consider the reasons for our success, I believe CFS has been able to earn the trust of donors who not only want to give more, but also want to give well.

By our very nature, a community foundation is a neutral body that can offer donors strategic advice, and a more insightful overview of community needs. As a bridge-builder, we can pool together local resources and channel resources into long-term impact. It also helps that we can work across all sectors, from social work to education to health, to arts and sports, heritage, the environment to even animals.

The entrance of a community foundation like CFS has transformed how philanthropy is approached. We have introduced new models of giving, to respond to an increasingly complex social landscape. We have championed philanthropy based on community needs, because we understand the power of informed giving.

Of course, our success in championing informed giving would not be possible without our charity partners. They work tirelessly on countless programmes that expand the possibilities of how donors can give well – whether it’s piloting new programmes or scaling programmes that have delivered clear impact.

Yet for philanthropy in Singapore to thrive, public-private support needs to work hand-in-hand to address the evolving needs of the community. Hence CFS has been successful in building trust and meaningful relationships between donors, charities and the public sector. A strong and developed philanthropy ecosystem is crucial to ensuring sustainable and impactful funding support.

A new generation of philanthropists
We are also glad to see a new generation of philanthropists who are taking on a more active role as agents of change. Singaporeans have become increasingly conscious and involved in social issues. Giving back now no longer begins at retirement, as many of our donors are still active in their professions, with many below 50. Donors are also becoming increasingly sophisticated. Many exhibit gumption to take on meaningful projects, a willingness to explore collaboration with a keen focus on impact.

But many of our donors are silent heroes, giving generously in the background. That’s why I’m particularly glad to see some of our donors sharing their stories on a larger platform.

Take for example CFS donor and board member Mr Keith Chua. His great-grandmother Mrs Lee Choon Guan supported education in the early 1900s for women and girls, at a time when education wasn’t always an option for them.

Today, Mr Chua continues her legacy of giving through a charitable fund with CFS. Following in her footsteps, he is making education and healthcare some of the key areas he supports. Mr Chua’s family reminds us that acts of giving may not just bear fruit in our lifetime, but can also leave a lasting legacy for future generations

I would like to encourage more of you to take the next steps in your giving journeys or step up to share your stories of giving – if only to inspire and encourage a bigger and broader community of givers, including the next generation.

The next phase
We are truly encouraged by the growth of effective philanthropy over the last decade. But I believe we are still only at the beginning of our journey to promote and facilitate meaningful giving.

While Singapore has progressed rapidly, the social challenges we face, from an ageing population to social inequality, have become more complex and interconnected. While the government tackles social issues on a large scale, there are always gaps that are in need of more support. It’s crucial for philanthropy to evolve to tackle these diverse issues within our community innovatively. Here’s how CFS plans to approach it:

Social problems are usually too large and complex for anyone to tackle them individually. Through initiatives such as Colabs and the Singapore Youth Impact Collective, CFS brings together various stakeholders to collaborate and co-create solutions to make greater impact.

We encourage donors to think about creating a legacy as living a life of generosity and making meaningful impact. Our legacy giving offering will be further formalised into an approach that can help donors address the needs of the community over the longer term.

The future of philanthropy includes an increasing focus on tracking to help us better assess the impact made on the community. So we hope to influence more charity partners to incorporate output and outcome tracking in their programmes.

In the years ahead, as CFS continues to spearhead philanthropy, I am hopeful that more people will come to embrace the culture of giving, as it is integral to building a more caring and cohesive nation.

I wish to thank MCCY for its support of CFS, for helping us grow a giving culture to benefit all Singaporeans and to raise the professionalism of our sector.

To our donors, thank you for your trust and generosity that has opened doors of opportunity for so many in our community.

To our charity partners – thank you for your inspiring work. We’re grateful for your dedication in creating programmes that truly make a difference.

My gratitude goes out to the CFS Board and committee members – past and present – for your vision and guidance that has shaped CFS to the organisation we are today. Special mention and thanks to four of our founding Board Members– Ms Madeleine Lee, our first Investment Committee Chairperson. She was instrumental in developing our investment mandate and establishing our investment portfolio, which has outperformed its benchmark since inception. Thanks also to Mr David Lim, our first legal advisor who drafted our M&AA. My thanks and appreciation to Mr Yeoh Oon Jin, our first Audit Chair for setting up our very rigorous audit framework. I would also like to thank Dr Mary Ann Tsao, who together with Laurence, has contributed enormously to CFS’s grantmaking expertise as well as our understanding of community needs. Having proper governance, accountability and professionalism is crucial to gaining the trust of our donors and ensuring that their donations go to those in need of funding.

I would also like to pay tribute to Mr Stanley Tan and Mr Laurence Lien, two individuals who have guided CFS to where we are today. Both Stanley and Laurence are deeply motivated by their belief that philanthropy can play an instrumental role in creating change. I am honoured to have been able to work with both gentlemen, building on their knowledge and experience, and growing the organisation they started.

Last but not least, a big thanks to my team, the people behind CFS, for your hard work, professionalism and dedication, thank you for bringing your best to CFS every day.

To everyone who believed in us when CFS first started 10 years ago, thank you for being the bold frontrunners in our journey.

We look forward to your continued belief in us to build a more cohesive and caring Singapore.

Catherine Loh
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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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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