Resilience & Engagement
Encouraging more Singaporeans to give back
Remarks by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth at the launch of J.Walkers Programme at the Health on Track Carnival, at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
30 March 2019
Prof Lim Pin, Chairman, JurongHealth Fund Board
Mr Foo Hee Jug, CEO, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
My Parliamentarian colleagues Mdm Rahayu Mahzam and Mr Murali Pillai
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Good morning to everybody! Firstly, speaking on behalf of Mdm Rahayu and Mr Pillar for our residents, we want to thank JurongHealth, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and the NUHS group. Whenever we meet residents who have had a health episode requiring hospitalisation, they have so many good things to say to us about the care and kindness of the staff, the excellent facilities and the high quality of medical care here. So I think in Jurong, we are most fortunate to have you in our community. On behalf of all our residents, we would like to thank all of you – the management, the medical staff, all the volunteers who have made their stay so comfortable.
- From the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital video screened just now, you can see that there is so much that the community can do in partnership with the hospital and the healthcare cluster. You can see volunteers in their late 70s and 80s, really doing an important part of integrating and bringing healthcare to the community. You can see from their faces that they feel very engaged; They feel that there is meaning in their lives and that is what volunteering does to people. It gives them that sense of mission in life, in doing something to help others. The Hospital and the JurongFund provides the platform and ignition to get things going. We hope that with your support more will come on board and we will be able to scale this.
- Today’s walk is very meaningful. In fact, I think it got us thinking about how farsighted we are in the long term planning we do in this Government. To get this J.Walk connected to all the malls, the hospital, the community facilities, the transportation nodes and MRT station, requires many years of long term planning. With URA as one of the partners, I remember going through the planning perimeters, to ensure that they are all connect as part of the plans. With the partnership and cooperation of the malls and the hospital, we are able to have almost 24-hours access in our neighbourhood and to use this as a health facility for simple exercises. So that rain or shine, we are able to do this little bit for our own health conditions as the malls have continued to allow access to residents. We hope that with more developments coming up with Jurong Gateway and Jurong Lake Gardens, we are able to have even better connectivity. The community groups can now organise early morning walks before the malls open and then in the end, enjoy breakfast somewhere after the walk. This can help their physical, social and emotional health as residents can meet up and connect with one another. This can be a place for us to live well and play well.
- The J.Walkers is supported by the JurongHealth Fund and a collaboration among many private, public and corporate partners. The JurongHealth Campus is a great partner for Yuhua. Since 2013, the team has organised more than 20 chronic disease health screenings at the constituency, benefitting about 2000 residents. Together with the NUHS cluster, they also support our Active Aging Centre to equip grassroots leaders and community volunteers with knowledge and skills on falls prevention, mental health and caregiving to enable them to reach out to residents and encourage them to lead healthier lives.
- The spirit of working together for a more caring and inclusive Singapore is also why we started the Singapore Cares movement (SG Cares). We wanted to encourage more Singaporeans to do good. To do this, we create a variety of opportunities for people to give back, and build capabilities to support partners who want to contribute to our society.
- As we mark the Singapore Bicentennial, it is an opportune time for us to reflect on the culture of care and contribution demonstrated by our pioneers, and embrace the spirit of SG Cares by giving back to our community. This is why we have set up a new $200M Bicentennial Community Fund for donations made to Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs).
- Today, I am happy to share more details about this Bicentennial Community Fund. From next Monday, 1 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2020, the Government will match your donations to IPCs dollar-for-dollar. Each IPC can get up to $400,000 of the Fund and we hope to benefit as many IPCs as we can. We have more than 600 registered IPCs, serving a wide range of worthy charitable causes, from caring for aged, nurturing the young, supporting those with special needs, to promoting the arts and sports, protecting the environment. There are many areas in which we can contribute to Singapore and I am sure you can find a cause that appeals to you. This will be a great opportunity for IPCs to engage their existing donors and to attract new donors. With your support, IPCs can increase the impact of the good work that they are doing.
- We will walk alongside the IPCs in this journey, and provide additional help to engage new donors and volunteers. The digital space is a good place to start as online giving becomes increasingly popular. We will assist IPCs to adopt digital giving platforms such as the SG Cares App1 and Giving.sg2 to reach out to new givers. We will also encourage IPCs to collaborate with corporate partners through programmes such as the Business and IPC Partnership Scheme. The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) is the Fund administrator. It will be organising a series of briefings for the IPCs from next month onwards to share more details about the Fund.
- Nurturing a culture of care requires a collective effort from all of us. We are here today because of our forefathers. They have made sacrifices and helped one another regardless of race, language or religion, to make a better life for themselves and their children. Through the Bicentennial Community Fund, we hope to further encourage all Singaporeans to continue the philanthropic and community self-help spirit for our forefathers, 200 years on and 200 years forward. Through SG Cares, let us reaffirm our commitment to make caring a part of our everyday lives.
- If you look at Singapore over the last 200 years, when there were shortages of services in everything including shortages in water, clean environment, healthcare support, education, things were very basic. There was very little to live on, and yet our forefathers were able to make do with little resources because those with more resources were generous. They have big hearts, and although they had little, they still gave. To them “When I have something more to give to someone, I’d do that so as to help another Singaporean, another friend, another person from my community.” If you look at the early institutions in Singapore, those schools, hospitals and clan associations with very long history, they were really going out there to provide help for the community. So with very little, we managed to come to where we are today.
- I think today that Singapore isn’t doing badly. But we should never forget that even among us, there are those who need our care, our resources and our help. So I call on all Singaporeans who are doing better, who have a little more to give, please give to help those who have less and need more help and care. We are not necessarily just talking about money. We’re talking about your time, your care, your concern and your skills. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities out there and we can really do a lot more if all of us just chip in and work together, partner with one another to make Singapore that much stronger and caring. So that everyone of our family members and Singaporeans are supported in this society as we progress.
- So today, just look at the partners involved and you will realise that all of us have the same objective of doing good for Singapore. And I urge everyone here to do your part. You can really make a difference. Your little sign of concern and greeting to one another, just by asking “How are you doing? Can I help you? Is there something I can do for you?”, can mean a lot to people.
- On that note, I would like to thank everyone who is here today, in doing your part and helping to make Singapore a great place to live in for the future. Thank you.
1SG Cares App is the “go-to” App for individuals to volunteer and donate. It enables the user to personalise the contents and track his giving journey.
2Giving.sg provides a platform for IPCs to fundraise and list volunteering opportunities. These opportunities will be displayed through the SG Cares App.
Resilience & Engagement