A social enterprise with a mission to build a city that cares.
Contributed By Elizabeth Tan
The aim was to create an organization that would combat apathy and empower people to help others from the heart.
In 2007, this dream was realized when four individuals—Tan Ye Peng, Victor Lim Fei, Koh Chye Soon and Benjamin Cheng—decided to set up a non-profit, non-religious organization to encourage young people to help the less fortunate in Singapore and overseas.
CityCare’s programs specialize in advocating volunteerism through educational programs in schools and creating platforms for professionals to give back to society through strategic philanthropy. CityCare runs projects that help alleviate the plight of those living in poverty, working closely with local and international partners, spanning education, crisis relief, healthcare and sanitation.
CHAMPIONING YOUTH VOLUNTEERISM
By providing facilitation support to local schools in their community service programs through innovative and meaningful training, CityCare has been able to enhance students’ learning experiences in their Community Involvement Projects, encouraging them to become social change-agents and life-long volunteers.
STRATEGIC CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY
CityCare partners with businesses to engage their staff in active volunteerism towards the underprivileged in the community, thereby adding a new dimension to their corporate social responsibility programs.
Some of the companies and organizations that CityCare has worked with include Maybank (Singapore), Citispa, ComfortDelGro Corporation Ltd, Readers’ Digest, Quintiles East Asia Pte Ltd, Itochu Singapore and Huttons Residential Private Limited.
There are also overseas expeditions and humanitarian works that serve as an exceptional tool for teambuilding and fostering greater camaraderie, whereas long term partnerships guarantee a greater sustainability and lasting results for the community.
EMPOWERING THE INDIVIDUAL
In CityCare, the individuals who volunteer and serve the community are known as Caretalysts. Volunteers from the four public universities in Singapore, namely the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore Institute of Management can also join a volunteer club known as the Caretalyst Club. Volunteers can choose a community group of their choice and decide when and where to serve through the events page on Facebook or at their website.
Humanitarian Works At A Glance
• 6 elementary schools, with a combined student enrolment of 2,103
• 5 editions of Spelling Bee competition, with a total of 6,290 participants
• 2 student dormitories for over 700 primary school children
• 1 Girls’ Dormitory
• 1 Sheltered Home for street children
• 1 Computer Center for the locals to acquire computer skills
• 1 Children’s Home for orphans in Badulla housing 40 children
• 1 Orphanage in Jaffna housing 40 children
• 1 Widow Center in Vavuniya housing 60 widows
• SunLife Foundation to help treat children with Hydrocephalus
• Benefited 128 children
International Disaster Relief Work
• 7 relief teams
• Total of 39 workers, including 27 volunteers
• Medical aid and rations provided to about 10,000 people in IDP camps
• Donated 500 relief tents
• Completed a new Widow Center in Apr 2010
• First and only relief team from Singapore
• 6 medical teams
• Total of 45 volunteers
• Provided close to S$80,000 worth of aid
• Relief tents, solar lamps, water pumps and water purification filters
• Treated 7,900 patients
• 6 relief teams
• Total of 14 workers
• Raised a total of S$340,000
• Helped to construct a primary school
• Study awards for 50 university students
• Donated 500 relief tents
• Financial assistance for 140 single parent families
“The BIG I.D.E.A. program conducted by CityCare has been engaging and educational. It has encouraged our students to look at [any given] situation from various angles and given them opportunities to give back to the community.”
~ Alice Chia, teacher in Crescent Girls’ School in charge of the Innovation & Enterprise Club
“Through the Affection in Assurance program, we were able to serve over 50 needy families by offering them free insurance coverage. The experience has given my staff a whole new perspective of life, with a desire to do more for the underprivileged.”
~ Stanley Quek, financial services district manager of SP-Stanley Quek
“I joined as a CityCare as a Caretalyst through the NEW SINGAPOREAN course in my secondary school. The community projects have allowed me to experience things I’ve never experienced before. My friends have also joined me in volunteering as well.”
~ Lee Shiyun, a student from Temasek Polytechnic and a Caretalyst leader
Since its inception, CityCare has engaged 84 schools, 67 companies and recruited 1,478 volunteers, benefiting a total of 8,078 beneficiaries from 78 different organizations through their programs. By the year 2007, CityCare had designed a series of six experiential learning programs:
• The NEW SINGAPOREAN
• The BIG I.D.E.A.
• The Leader in You
• The 3G Man
• The New Singaporean II- Agents of Change