Temasek Cares triples charity budget

Temasek Cares triples charity budget
Temasek Cares chairman Richard Magnus (left) and general manager Woon Saet Nyoon. The non-profit charitable organisation has launched an initiative to help less-well-off children under the age of three.

SINGAPORE - Temasek Cares, the non-profit philanthropic arm of local investment company Temasek Holdings, has set aside S$60 million to support social programmes over the next five years.

This is almost triple the S$22 million that it ploughed into 67 programmes which have benefited 17,600 Singaporeans since it was started five years ago.

While Temasek Cares will continue to support programmes which help people in all life stages, its general manager, Ms Woon Saet Nyoon, said yesterday that it will "focus on helping to close the developmental gap of children from at-risk families", such as those who are less well-off.

The charity also announced a new initiative which supports the development of such children up to the age of three. Mothers will receive help during and after their pregnancy, including job support, while their children's health and learning needs will be addressed.

Temasek Cares chairman Richard Magnus said: "In order to assist in social mobility, we need to intervene earlier in the lives of the children."

The three-year pilot programme, called Temasek Cares Kids Integrated Developmental Service (Kids) 0-3, is led by Temasek Cares and KK Women's and Children's Hospital, and will bring together several community partners.

It is expected to start later this year and help 300 children in one neighbourhood before being expanded to others.

Currently, there are also other Temasek Cares programmes which help youth, the elderly, and the mentally ill. The latter, for example, receive "practical" help towards their health, family and employment needs.

Temasek Cares was set up in 2009 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Temasek Holdings and has racked up S$289 million in endowments from the company since.

One beneficiary is the Asian Women's Welfare Association, which is partnering the Rainbow Centre and the National Council of Social Service in a two-year pilot programme to help children with mild autism integrate in pre-schools and primary schools.

Temasek Cares has set aside about S$350,000 for the programme. The association's director of integration services, Mr J.R. Karthikeyan, said: "I see it as an opportunity to explore a new area and address a service gap in helping children with mild autism.

"It's good that we have the funding to be able to carry out the programme."


Reaching out to help

"Stay Prepared" Starter Kit programme

An emergency starter kit - containing three N95 masks and information on emergency contact numbers - was delivered free to all 1.2 million households here in May.

Temasek Cares partnered Singapore Power and Singapore Post for the $4 million programme.


Kids in Tough Situations (Kits)

A pilot project to train 60 therapists in helping children cope with traumatic situations was launched in April.

The $1.5 million, three-year scheme is a collaboration between Temasek Cares and KK Women's and Children's Hospital.


Integration Support Programme for Pre-schoolers with Autism

The two-year pilot programme, which started late last year, aims to help 180 children with mild autism integrate in pre-schools and make the transition to primary schools.

The $350,000 programme is implemented by Rainbow Centre and the Asian Women's Welfare Association, and administered by the National Council of Social Service.

This article was first published on JULY 2, 2014.
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