CapitaLand launches S$800,000 Community Development Fund with People’s Association for underprivileged children in Singapore
Launched in conjunction with 4th CapitaLand Volunteer Day in Singapore, Fund aims to reach out to 1,000 children beneficiaries in first year
Singapore, 3 November 2016 – CapitaLand today established the CapitaLand – People’s Association Community Development Fund with CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand, making a donation of S$800,000 to the Fund. Launched today by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin at Raffles City Singapore in conjunction with CapitaLand’s fourth annual CapitaLand Volunteer Day, the Fund will support underprivileged children in Singapore with their education, healthcare and shelter needs to help them reach their fullest potential. The Fund aims to support 1,000 children beneficiaries identified by the People’s Association in its first year, through three key programmes:
1. My Schoolbag: To provide beneficiaries with a new schoolbag and basic school and daily necessities ahead of the new school year.
2. Kids’ Food Fund: To provide beneficiaries with one meal per school day over the period of one year.
3. CapitaLand Little Architect: Educational activities around the theme of buildings and architecture that aim to inspire beneficiaries to build their dreams.
CHF has previously collaborated with the five Community Development Councils (CDCs) to administer CapitaLand’s My Schoolbag and Kids’ Food Fund programmes at the district level, with CHF donating over S$2.8 million to these programmes from 2011 to 2015.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited and Director of CHF, said: “CapitaLand believes that by helping underprivileged children, we create a positive multiplier effect for their families and improve social mobility. This has been the principle behind our philanthropy and volunteerism efforts, including our long-standing collaborations with the People’s Association and the five Community Development Councils. The CapitaLand – People’s Association Community Development Fund elevates these collaborations to a national partnership. By tapping on the People’s Association’s extensive ground network, we are able to target our support to children who stand to benefit the most from our programmes and enable them to make a better future for themselves and their families."
Among the first beneficiaries of the Fund are 1,000 children from low-income households aged 6 to 13, who received new schoolbags containing school and daily necessities to prepare them for the coming school year.
Over 450 of them also gathered at Raffles City Singapore today to participate in a series of interactive edutainment stations organised by CapitaLand as part of the Group’s fourth CapitaLand Volunteer Day.
Mr Lim said: “We started CapitaLand Volunteer Day in Singapore in 2013 as a platform for staff to come together and contribute towards enhancing the lives of underprivileged children. Our staff found this initiative meaningful and many have gone on to volunteer in their own time, or participate in the many other volunteer activities that CapitaLand organises throughout the year. We have also gone beyond our own philanthropic and volunteerism contributions and created platforms for our stakeholders to come together and give back. In so doing, we hope that they can bring this spirit of charity and volunteerism back to their own organisations and start giving back to the community in their own way.”
The edutainment stations were planned and organised in collaboration with CapitaLand’s business associates and community partners. The stations included a craft session by students from SMU Verts, a sustainability-focused interest group from the Singapore Management University, where the children made their own stationery holders out of recycled bottles; a CapitaLand Little Architect station conducted by People’s Association where the children shaped coin banks in the images of their dream homes; and a high-energy exercise station by ActiveSG Basketball Academy and volunteers from SportCares, the philanthropic arm of Sport Singapore.
The highlight for the children was a simulated shopping experience through a mock shopping mall that CapitaLand set up together with its retail partners. About 200 CapitaLand staff volunteers accompanied the children as they ‘bought’ their school and daily necessities using CapitaVouchers. At the same time, CapitaLand staff volunteers imparted basic financial literacy skills and life values such as thrift and frugality to the young beneficiaries.
This year’s CapitaLand Volunteer Day was held together with My Schoolbag in Singapore. My Schoolbag is CapitaLand’s key annual corporate social responsibility programme that reaches out to underprivileged children in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan, India and Vietnam. From 2009 to 2015, CHF donated about S$3 million to My Schoolbag, benefitting nearly 106,000 children beneficiaries. For 2016, CHF has committed about S$570,000 to My Schoolbag, which will benefit over 19,000 children across Asia
In 2015, CHF donated over S$2.4 million to benefit underprivileged children in Singapore and other countries where it operates, and contributed close to 17,300 hours of service to the community. In recognition of its strong commitment to helping underprivileged children and advocacy for volunteerism, CapitaLand was conferred the inaugural President’s Award for Volunteerism and Philanthropy (Corporate) last year by President of the Republic of Singapore Tony Tan Keng Yam. Earlier this year, CapitaLand was also made a Founding Member of the Company of Good, a programme developed by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre and the Singapore Business Federation Foundation that aims to drive corporate giving in Singapore. Founding Members are deemed to be trailblazers in championing and driving corporate giving in Singapore.