New programme kickstarts with S$1 million donation to benefit 2,000 KidSTART children
Singapore, 23 June 2021 – SP Group (SP) has launched SP Kids at Heart to support young children from low-income families in their learning journey. Kickstarting the initiative, SP is donating S$1 million to benefit KidSTART children aged 0-6 years old from low-income families.
The SP Kids at Heart funds will provide educational tools, books and toys in the form of learning and development packs for about 2,000 KidSTART children for a year. The funds will also enable these children to receive electronic devices such as tablets and internet routers to support their online engagement and learning during the pandemic. In addition, SP will provide grocery vouchers and other financial assistance packages including tools and equipment that enable a more conducive home learning environment.
SP’s S$1 million donation will go to Community Chest which will administer the funds and disburse them to KidSTART to support its learning and assistance packages.
Speaking at the virtual launch of SP Kids at Heart, Minister for Social and Family Development and Chairman of the Growing Together (GT) with KidSTART Council, Mr Masagos Zulkifli said, “We launched the Growing Together with KidSTART initiative in 2019 to help us achieve greater impact for our families through deeper government and community partnerships. SP Group has shown us how corporates can play their part in building a society of opportunities together even amid a pandemic, sustaining a culture where those who have done well give back for the betterment of society. I look forward to many more meaningful initiatives in our partnership.”
SP Group Chairman Tan Sri Hassan Marican said, “We are expanding our community outreach to help children, who are the future of Singapore. Through SP Kids at Heart, we can give them the best possible start in their formative years, with access to the right developmental and educational materials. This includes digital tools to ensure their learning is not disrupted during the pandemic. For parents, we aim to equip them with soft skills to help them connect better with their children and support them in their holistic education.”
SP Kids at Heart complements SP’s existing programmes for seniors through the SP Heartware Fund and sustained volunteer activities throughout the year.
SP’s staff volunteers, known as SP Heart Workers, will assemble and deliver the welcome and learning packs to the families. The Heart Workers will also help install the routers for families who need assistance, and produce instructional videos to work around safe management guidelines. When physical interaction permits, SP Heart Workers will be involved on-site to engage the children while their parents attend sessions with the facilitators.
Madam Shariffah Dayana Binte Syed Hassan Al-Yahya, mother of three-year-old Rumi, who is part of the KidSTART programme, shared, “Since Rumi joined the programme, he has become more confident and grown more interested in learning new things. The materials we have received helped Rumi to expand his vocabulary and become more expressive. As a parent, the most important thing is for our children to grow up well. With SP Kids at Heart, I am grateful that he can get the support he needs for a better future.”
Mr Brennan Lee, father of three-year-old Shaya, said, “Through the KidSTART programme, the time we spent with the facilitator was well planned and well structured. There was an outcome in mind and we had quality bonding with our child, that has helped her development. Because of her heart condition, her motor skills were limited, and she couldn’t say many words initially. After attending the programme, we can see the difference. She is more lively, her motor skills and vocabulary have improved, she is more sociable and smiles more too.”
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, SP continues to give back to the community in a sustained manner. Since 2005, more than S$17 million has been raised for the SP Heartware Fund in aid of programmes for seniors under Community Chest. SP has also provided over 7,200 meals for seniors in Toa Payoh West – Balestier since 2018. This year, SP Heart Workers continued with its annual Power Packs charity drive to bring bags of daily essential food items to seniors in need. The SP Charity Golf event in April raised S$500,000 for the SP Heartware Fund.