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SG Cares partners FairPrice Group and Professional Engineers Board

Speech by Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law, at the SG Cares MOU Signing Ceremony with FairPrice Group and Professional Engineers Board

  1. Good afternoon. I am happy to join you today to witness the signing of two MOUs.


    a. This MOU signing between SG Cares Office and FairPrice Group will allow our SG Cares Volunteers Centres and their community partners to really enjoy these bulk pricing and cost savings, particularly in these times when every last dollar makes up a big difference. This will be a real game changer for us.

    b. Second, the MOU signing between SG Cares Office and Professional Engineers Board (PEB) will encourage and grow skills-based volunteerism.

  2. Let me say a little bit about our two new partnerships that I’m particularly proud of and I’m very happy to welcome on board two more partners for SG Cares. It really links to the picture (logo of SG Cares) showing all four hands are holding a onto a heart, each one playing a part in uplifting and sharing with society, to make sure that no one is left behind.

    The Value-add of Skills-based Volunteerism

  3. Partnering professional bodies like PEB will help inculcate the values of care, consideration, and contribution in working professionals through skills-based volunteerism.
  4. I believe that the community stands to benefit immeasurably when different professions equipped with unique skills come together and put back into society what they do best.


    a. For this reason, the SG Cares Office has established strategic partnerships with different professional bodies to connect specialised skillsets and expertise with the needs of the non-profit sector. This itself helps non-profit organisations to further serve their beneficiaries. The input that they give, has a direct and measurable impact on our beneficiaries.

    b. PEB and their network of professional engineers will offer their professional services and advice on a pro bono basis to our 24 SG Cares Volunteer Centres (VCs) and their community networks. This is not only to the VCs but also to the constituent organisations that come under the VCs.

    c. This comprises qualified services to review and certify safety-related statutory requirements at their premises, for example I believe most organisations will need that as they need to ensure that their buildings and structures are safe as well as looking at fire safety measures.

  5. Skills-based volunteerism has very tangible benefits not just to the beneficiaries, but also to the volunteers themselves.


    a. Our professional engineers exemplify how professionals in our society in Singapore can contribute and give back to the community by simply doing what they do best. 
    And in doing so, they really build a larger purpose and meaning to the work they do.

    Efficiency of Resources to Uplift our Communities

  6. While our MOU with PEB marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to partner professional bodies, today’s partnership with FairPrice Group exemplifies our commitment to discover, grow and forge new partnerships that meet emerging needs on the ground.  


    a. In this current climate, access to necessities like food and household items have become a key concern for vulnerable households and the community organisations that serve them. I think now we cannot for a moment, take for granted the food we have on our table, the amenities and the household supplies.

  7. Many agencies, organisations and individuals have recently rallied together to help Singaporeans in need, to manage their daily needs. I think each of us will have our personal story, particularly through COVID to see these examples come into our lived experiences.


    a. Our SG Cares VCs and their community partners aid vulnerable groups in their respective towns, by distributing care packs comprising essential items such as staples like rice and noodles, cooking oil and canned foods.

    b. And in communities across Singapore, like-minded organisations and individuals have come together to organise group buys and bulk purchases. The reason we do this is because of economies of scale, which generate savings for the entire group.

  8. This MOU with FairPrice Group builds on this collaborative spirit. Under our partnership, FairPrice Group will establish a bulk purchase mechanism for SG Cares Volunteer Centres and non-profit organisations in each town to enjoy these collective savings on food and household items of up to 10%.


    a. This in turn, will allow our partners in the various towns to continue providing essential aid, distribution of items and services to their beneficiaries, and as I said, benefit from economies of scale.

    b. For example, Bizlink Day Activity Centre, a community partner of our SG Cares VC @ Geylang, shared that the partnership with FairPrice Group will allow them to better support their beneficiaries’ daily needs. These items could be day-to-day household items which we might sometimes take for granted.

    Conclusion

  9. As we build up capabilities in our social sector, it is important to expand the pool of resources and services that charities, social service agencies, partners and beneficiaries can tap on to help them in their operations.
  10. Today’s new partnerships with the Professional Engineers Board and FairPrice Group will definitely add greater momentum to our SG Cares movement – by growing skills-based volunteerism and encouraging more corporates to step forward and offer non-profit sector organisations such services. 
  11. I warmly welcome PEB and FairPrice Group. Thank you for being part of the SG Cares family. I said that this is a growing momentum that really exemplifies the spirit in Singapore that many helping hands come together to make a difference and make sure that our vulnerable will be cared for and no one is left behind. 
  12. On that note, I want to say that together, we are greater than the sum of our parts. Together we can do a lot more for Singapore and Singaporeans.
Thank you very much.
Last updated on 30 May 2022