More money now to fund SG50 projects

More money now to fund SG50 projects
Missionary Melinda Lim, 35, based in Cambodia, is one of those who will be flying home before National Day as part of Jetstar Asia's SG50 campaign.

About $9 million has been set aside to fund projects that celebrate the nation's 50th birthday, up from an initial kitty of $5 million.

The SG50 Celebration Fund will provide up to $50,000 each to 330 approved projects that commemorate Singapore's golden jubilee in different ways.

And the total fund could increase further, with the SG50 Programme Office reviewing or refining another 400 projects.

The fund has increased because it is now supporting over 300 projects, up from more than 100 in January.

More than 1,300 ideas have been submitted - more than double the number sent in by January - and applications remain open until August.

In a press release yesterday, the SG50 Programme Office said many of the projects are community-based events that celebrate the Republic's identity and culture.

Others are aimed at helping the less privileged, recognising the pioneers' contributions to nation-building, and looking towards the future of Singapore.

The approved projects include a website which features 100 playgrounds across Singapore using photographs taken by a drone, another website with videos on how to prepare 50 Singapore dishes, as well as a campaign to provide opportunities for seniors to volunteer.

Said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who chairs the SG50 Programme Office: "These passionate Singaporeans are taking ownership and making the extra effort to find meaningful ways to mark this significant occasion with their community.

"With their involvement, we can make SG50 a truly inclusive and special celebration for all."

Another project that will get funding is a campaign by Singapore-based Jetstar Asia.

As part of the low-cost carrier's SG50 campaign, it will fly 25 Singaporeans home for free before National Day on Aug 9.

The airline announced the winners on its Facebook page last Friday.

The campaign called for family members and friends to nominate their loved ones to win a return economy flight ticket.

Jetstar Asia received about 200 online submissions between April 8 and 26.

Its spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday: "It was a real challenge to pick the winners, as we received so many heartwarming stories from Singaporeans.

"What we were looking for was stories of individuals around the world who were flying the Singapore flag high in their own way."

Another part of the campaign is to feature the faces of the 25 winners, as well as 25 other nominees, on the livery of a Jetstar plane.

Ms Melinda Lim, a missionary in Cambodia, is one of those coming home for free.

Her sister Melissa, 40, nominated her.

The 35-year-old, who has been based in Phnom Penh since January this year, said: "Living in Cambodia made me realise how blessed we are to be Singaporeans. Clean drinking water is scarce in the province and poverty is still a huge problem.

"National Day means so much to me because Singapore came a long way before we can now proudly call ourselves a prosperous nation. Let's never forget what Mr Lee Kuan Yew did for us all."

This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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