News @ AsiaOne

Nature Cares to encourage community service

NParks launches new programme to serve the needs of the community through nature-based activities. -AsiaOne

Tue, Oct 30, 2012

SINGAPORE - Companies and children can now volunteer with the elderly and children with specials needs under a new programme organised by the National Parks Board (NParks).

Nature Cares is a structured corporate responsibility programme which will encourage companies and children to serve the needs of the community through nature-based activities.

The programme was officially launched today by guest-of-honour President Tony Tan Keng Yam at St Theresa's Home in Upper Thomson.

Nature Cares will bring corporations and schools together through six organised activities to reach out to a diverse group of beneficiaries for one year.

Activities will involve regular contact with greenery and the outdoors, with beneficiaries interacting with each other outside their homes.

According to a media statement released by NParks, green environments have positive effects on the mental health and well-being of individuals.

Volunteering at a young age also gives the school children room to exhibit care, kindness and empathy through the year-long programme.

"The positive behaviour exhibited by corporate volunteers can inspire the young and help sow the seed for them to give back to society when they grow up.

"Through Nature Cares, these working adults are able to serve as role models for the next generation of Singaporeans and give back to society," the statement said.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, National Parks Board, Dr Leong Chee Chiew, said NParks has been conceptualising the Nature Cares programme for some time as it saw the opportunity to connect corporations, children and the community in a sustained and structured platform.

"Underpinned by the three pillars of hope, heart and home, this unique programme will connect all parties involved in a meaningful and mutually beneficial way.

"At the core of it is how nature can be used in more ways than one to benefit this generation of Singaporeans, and nurture the next," he said.

Nature Cares begins its year-long pilot run with Keppel Care Foundation, Queenstown Primary School and St Theresa's Home in January 2013.

Other nature-based activities that participants of various ages can engage in include art-and-craft with plants, terrarium-making, community gardening, roller-blading in the park and guided nature walks.

Beneficiaries which will be participating in Nature Cares include Lee Kong Chian Gardens School, St John's Home for the Elderly Persons, Canossian School (a school for the hearing impaired children) and Jamiyah Children's Home.

They will be partnered with schools such as Queenstown Secondary School, Cedar Primary School and Canossa Convent Primary School. Additional corporate partners who are supporting the programme include Credit Suisse and Ricoh Asia Pacific.

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