22 Sep 2010
Monetary sponsorship of at least $750,000 over five years, staff volunteerism to help youths re-discover learning and achieve their aspirations
Singapore, 22 September 2010 – NTUC Income, Singapore’s leading insurer, announced today the launch of a key sponsorship for a unique confidence and character building programme that will broaden the learning options for academically less-inclined students.
Sponsoring the Montfort Challenge Programme, which is run by the Assumption Pathway School (APS), NTUC Income will invest at least $750,000 to support the programme over five years. Up to 35 NTUC Income staff will also volunteer their free time to lead the challenges under the Programme this year and help in the students’ preparation for the challenges.
About 250 students from APS will benefit from the Montfort Challenge Programme this year, and the number is expected to grow over the coming years.
Helping youth and children, especially the disadvantaged among them, has been a central theme to Income’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme and the insurer remains committed to this cause in the coming years.
NTUC Income’s announcement comes shortly after the Singapore government revealed plans to introduce two more special schools by 2013. The aim is to help academically less-inclined students get back into the system and enable them to achieve their long-term potential.
The Montfort Challenge Programme comprises sports and adventure, overseas service learning trips, performing arts, and other skill-based activities, which students may choose from. The project is designed to help the students, who have faced many setbacks, hardships and failures in their lives, achieve personal successes and contribute positively to the community. (See Appendix A for details of the Programme)
NTUC Income Chief Executive Tan Suee Chieh said that the Montfort Challenge was part of the company’s commitment to helping youths, especially the disadvantaged younger Singaporeans.
“Very often, students who repeatedly fail in their studies tend to lose confidence and view themselves as failures. Eventually, they fall through the cracks in the system. We find the Montfort Challenge very meaningful in helping to re-build the confidence and character of the students, which is why our staff have volunteered their time and energy to participate in the activities, in addition to our financial contributions,” he said.
“Everybody deserves a chance to discover their potential and talent. I am confident our support will provide this opportunity,” Mr Tan added.
Underscoring its commitment to the Montfort Challenge, NTUC Income’s volunteers are given time-off from work to participate in the training sessions with the students as well as the actual challenges. It also undertakes all expenses involved for the volunteers’ participation.
Said APS Principal Wee Tat Chuen: “The Montfort Challenge creates the platform for the students to be stretched in pursuing a self-directed goal, and use the skills learnt to benefit the community. This will let them live out the school values of care, adaptability, resilience, excellence, responsibility as well as the School’s vision of ‘Achieving Personal Success’.”
NTUC Income volunteer, Yeo Rulin, Senior Executive (Human Resource) said: “The initial experience of signing up to help the kids and the actual feeling is significantly different. When I got to know them through this volunteer programme, there was a refreshing sense of energy and warmth that came from them and it made me realise the potential in them.”
Ms Lin added: “I have come to believe that this sponsorship gives them a new opening to help them develop talents that are not necessarily academic.”
In 2010, NTUC Income will contribute about $3 million towards charity, community projects and NTUC-related activities. In April this year, NTUC Income announced the launch of a free insurance scheme for low-income households that will pay out $5,000 in the event the main caregiver passes away or becomes totally and permanently disabled. It will benefit 13,000 low-income households with young children and is expected to cost NTUC Income up to $500,000 for the next three years.
In 2008, at the height of the economic downturn, NTUC Income unveiled a $6 million IncomeShield Assistance Scheme to help low income and elderly Singaporeans with their premiums.