The President's Challenge 2014 will fund new schemes to tackle existing service gaps and experiment with new approaches for selected groups, said President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Tuesday noon.
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Here is President Tony Tan's speech:
I am delighted to be here this afternoon to launch President's Challenge 2014. The President's Challenge is very close to my heart. I believe Singaporeans want to play a part to make the lives of our fellow citizens a little better. President's Challenge provides one such opportunity.
In 2013, the President's Challenge raised close to $11.5 million for the Community Chest and 54 Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWO) serving needy and vulnerable Singaporeans.
Besides raising funds for worthy causes, I encourage Singaporeans to give their time and expertise. Last year, nearly a thousand regular volunteers received training under the President's Challenge Volunteer Drive. This helps them become more skilled and effective in their area of volunteer work. The effort was well-received by both volunteers and VWOs.
The President's Challenge also promotes social enterprises. Last year, we matched the winners of the President's Challenge Social Enterprise Awards to six established corporations which provided pro-bono advisory services and mentoring to the social enterprises. I hope this will help them grow further and make a larger social impact.
I am very heartened by the strong support received in 2013. With your continued support, the President's Challenge 2014 will continue to promote the giving of money, time and enterprise to create an engaged and inclusive society.
New Elements in PC2014
Fund raising will remain a key component of President's Challenge 2014. Our social service sector must continue to evolve as our population's profile and needs change. For this reason, I have decided that this year, we will fund new pilot programmes that address service gaps or experiment with new approaches useful for selected groups. The funding will be on top of our support for ongoing programmes that continue to be important and relevant.
One example is Community in Action, a new programme which the National Council of Social Service is working on with various partners. To be piloted in Ang Mo Kio, this programme will involve different groups - children with disabilities, children from lower income families as well as seniors. I believe such a programme is timely and addresses several urgent needs.