New $1 million grant launched to help overlooked communities
At least 50 social service and community organisations have been invited to apply for a new $1 million grant set up to help communities that are often overlooked.
Bless Our City, a joint two-year initiative by Far East Organisation (FEO) and the Central Singapore Community Development Council, aims to strengthen groups that help former offenders, people with mental health issues, those with special needs, migrant workers and vulnerable families and individuals.
Each applicant can expect to receive up to $20,000 to fund existing and new projects.
"We, who have been blessed with much, want to bless others too," Mrs Dorothy Chan, executive director of FEO, said yesterday.
She was speaking at the launch of the grant programme intended to honour the spirit of care and the contributions made by Singapore's pioneers this bicentennial.
Present at the launch at Far East Plaza was deputy chairman of the People's Association and Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing.
It was also attended by 26 representatives from organisations invited to apply for the grant, such as the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled, Pertapis Halfway House and St Andrew's Autism Centre.
PLUG THE GAP
Ms Denise Phua, mayor of Central Singapore District, said: "We have tried to listen closely to what has been brought up in the public space, and have identified gaps and needs that have not been sufficiently addressed.
"We want to be able to give strength to their existing and upcoming programmes, and we also want to bring awareness and attention to their causes. We need to shape our society together."
The Straits Times reported that Mr Dennis Goh, 43, from halfway house The New Charis Mission, said the grant will be used to fund its education programme for ex-offenders.
He said: "It will be for the ex-offenders to not only quit drugs but also to be contributors to society."
Mr Goh went through the programme five years ago, after struggling to get clean from drugs for over 20 years.
"With this grant, it will open up many doors for us (staff) to be further equipped for individual social work as well," he added.
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