Beyond giving money, Catalyst Capital Group aims to equip children of low income families with life skills for their future.
Contributed By Dawn Seow
In today’s world it is no longer sufficient for a company to look after its own bottom line. It has become imperative for businesses to extend their usefulness to meet social needs beyond the walls of their offices.
In an effort to exercise corporate social responsibility, HSBC Insurance’s newest agency representative office in Singapore, Catalyst Capital Group, has “adopted” 20 needy children.
CCG’s focus on giving back to the society is in line with HSBC’s emphasis on community investment. HSBC runs an active global community investment program with the belief that business and society are interdependent, thus what is good for society is good for HSBC. This program focuses on education and the environment as these are society’s fundamental building blocks.
One of CCG’s core beliefs is to be a blessing to the society by contributing regularly. Following its grand opening on Oct. 15, the young agency office adopted 20 children from low income families who are under the charge of Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre.
HSBC’s approach to community investment has always been more than simply handing over a check and walking away. The company believes that the money has to be effectively used to change lives for the better, and there must be hands-on involvement of its staff. Hence CCG’s initiative is focused on investing in the children and equipping them for their future. For one year, CCG will bear the cost of value-based programs that teach the children various life skills, which will be carried out by CityCare Limited, a social enterprise which promotes volunteerism.
One is the Savings Program, where the children learn the virtue of saving and have their savings monitored for a month. CCG will also match their savings dollar-to-dollar (capped at a certain amount) at the end of the month. The children will also be taught the virtue of giving: they will be encourage to donate half the matched amount to a home for the elderly. CCG also plans to arrange for job opportunities with flexible working hours for the mothers of these children, so as to substantiate the income for these families.
Gracing the opening of CCG office were Seah Kian Peng, VP of Singapore Compact for CSR, Terence Tan, the general manager of HSBC Insurance and Tan Ye Peng, founder of CityCare Limited.
In his speech, Terence Tan complimented CCG’s district director Stanley Quek on his excellent performance in his work and his charitable acts of giving back to the society. “In two months, Stanley has submitted more than 270,000 total rated AFYP (annualized first year premium) and he has nine recruits in the pipeline, many of them organically recruited. This is impressive by industry standards. What impresses us is also the fact that he understands the virtue of charity. His contribution towards the charity driven by CityCare is commendable. With such a giving heart, I am confident that he is one who will place clients’ interests above self.”
Seah shared the same sentiment as Tan on CCG’s charity efforts. He said, “I am very encouraged and happy to see CCG, all its staff and policy holders, participating in this. What I like about this project is that beyond giving money, you actually go one step further to empower the less fortunate with knowledge and expertise, and there is the employment opportunity you are creating as a result. This empowerment is one that can uplift the needy and is sustainable. I think that the significant projects are those which are sustainable and equip people with life skills. Therefore I want to encourage all others, corporate and individual, to follow what CCG and HSBC are doing.”