When budding artists 15-year-old Guo Pingyan and 16-year-old Yang Jinfu enrolled in CapitaLand Hope Foundation’s (CHF) CapitaKids programme in China, they did not expect that they would one day perform in Singapore to the President of the Republic of Singapore and a 2,500-strong crowd.
At the My Singapore 2014: “Moments of Love”Fund Raising Charity Concert , which celebrated Singapore’s 49 th birthday, Guo did a highly expressive performance of Beijing opera, while Yang brought the dexterity of traditional Inner Mongolian dance to a dazzled crowd. CapitaKids is a programme that provides long-term financial support in the area of talent development for promising underprivileged children.
Guo was elated to perform overseas for the first time to “an important crowd,” she said. “It has given me more confidence for future shows.” Her performance was a collaboration with Dunman High School student Zhou Fu Yi. Guo said she got to learn about Singapore’s school system, food and lifestyle from the cultural exchange.
Coming to Singapore was also Yang’s first overseas experience. “I thank CapitaLand for the opportunity,” he said. “It’s exciting to see the world outside China! The experience has been memorable and enriching. Moving forward, I hope to perfect my craft even more.”
Held at The Star Theatre, My Singapore 2014 was a charged night of song and dance, and giving. CHF pledged to match dollar-for-dollar the proceeds raised from the concert for children charities of President’s Challenge 2014. With a total of S$100,000 raised and CHF’s pledge, a S$200,000 cheque donation was presented by Mr James Koh Cher Siang, Director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, to President Tony Tan Keng Yam, at the concert.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, President and Group CEO, CapitaLand Limited, said: “CapitaLand is pleased to be the Presenting Charity Sponsor of My Singapore 2014 . This concert affirms our commitment to helping young Singaporeans in need, which is in line with our credo, ‘Building People. Building Communities’.”
He added: “Our two CapitaKid-beneficiaries from China attest to our belief that each child has within him the potential for greatness, which, if nurtured and built upon, can bring significant value to future societies.”
For People, For Nation, For Love
The My Singapore 2014 concert whole-heartedly celebrated Singapore’s 49 th birthday in a two-hour festivity of hit songs, jazz, hip hop dance, and classic National Day tunes.
Local artiste Lorraine Tan, who led the concert performance, not only showcased her hosting chops that evening, she also captivated the crowd with songs of affection such as L.O.V.E and Quando Quando – all in dedication to the nation’s big-hearted and loving spirit.
Guest stars who joined Tan on stage included jazz singer Nathan Hartono and Xin Yao celebrity Pan Ying. Crestar’s children dancers, NAFA Strings and YouTube sensation Dr Jia Jia were also part of the starry cast.
CapitaLand staff volunteers Ali Omar, Crystal Deng, Chris Lin and Marinel Lua joined in the meaningful concert by performing two songs: a piece written by Deng titled Song of Hope , and a cover of the classic, Stand By Me .
Deng’s self-penned song focuses on positivity, hope and joy as key traits of volunteering. “I’m grateful to be part of this unique and meaningful event,” said Deng. “Lending a helping hand to the less fortunate has always been my passion.”
Some children beneficiaries from Beyond Social Services and New Life Community Services also performed a song item “Somewhere over the rainbow” accompanied by Lorraine Tan on piano and Dr Jia Jia on the Ukulele.
Green Technology Wows Kids
Before My Singapore 2014 concert, CHF hosted the Providing Educational Exposure for Kids event (P.E.E.K) for more than 30 children beneficiaries from Beyond Social Services. P.E.E.K is an educational tour for underprivileged children. For this session, 30 staff volunteers led the tour and explained CapitaLand properties’ eco-friendly features. Some of them even brought their children – nine in total –to join in the fun.
P.E.E.K offered nine-year-old Zainal his first visit to The Star Vista. What surprised him most about the mall was its greenery. “I didn’t know that a shopping mall can have so much nature!” he said.
As Zainal peered curiously over a plot of blooms, staff volunteer Bala Selvanayagam, Senior Executive, Operations, The Star Vista, CapitaMalls Asia, explained how plants in The Star Vista are watered by an automated irrigation system. NEWater is used when there is not enough rainwater.
Besides witnessing rainwater irrigation, the kids were also presented demonstrations on using the escalator safely and reducing light and water usage for efficiency. They also learnt about NEWater air coolers that help provide natural ventilation for the mall.
What got most of the children excited was the Light and Water Use Efficiency pit stop. For one, it was interestingly located at a washroom; second, it featured sensor technology.
Yaqin, 10, said, “Technology is so advanced. It can switch off water and light automatically to save energy when nobody is around.” His friend, seven-year-old Nabilah, was equally fascinated to learn about the energy saving feature. “That was the most fun part for me,” she said. “Testing out the sensors!”
The tour was – as for many of the kids –Nabilah and Yaqin’s first visit to The Star Vista. “Our children are from lower-income families,” said Beyond Social Services staff and community worker Izzaty Ishak. “The tour offered an interesting and interactive way to educate the children on green and sustainable technology.”
Children’s Eager Attitude Moves Staff
As the kids lapped up information on eco-initiatives, CapitaLand volunteers were most touched and encouraged by the children’s eagerness.
“They really came with a great attitude,” said Lum Mei Lin, Manager, Human Resource Information System, CapitaLand Limited, who was a group leader. “They were listening attentively and were so well-behaved!”
David Loh, 37, described his first P.E.E.K volunteering stint as “extra meaningful”. The Business Process & Information Technology Senior Executive at CapitaMalls Asia said, “More than just about giving things, P.E.E.K actually involves knowledge-sharing with the children.”
Mr Arthur Lang, Group Chief Financial Officer, CapitaLand Limited, was glad he brought his daughter Laura for the tour.
“Besides learning about green technologies, she was also reminded about an important fact: there are underprivileged people even in an affluent country like Singapore. So I believe it’s important to spend time to give back to society,” said Lang who also engages in volunteer work during his free time, particularly for children.
From a heartwarming National Day fund-raising concert to an enriching eco-tour, this summed up a fun and fulfilling day for CapitaLand staff and the children beneficiaries.