26 August 2012

Singapore, 26 August 2012—Local infocommunications provider StarHub returned as a Presenting Partner at this year’s Community Chest Heartstrings Walk 2012, and this time they brought along 15 very important guests: beneficiaries from the Asian Women’s Welfare Association’s Teach Me programme. Close to 200 StarHubbers—as StarHub employees are affectionately known—came with their friends and families to walk hand-in-hand around the Marina Bay with the programme’s disabled students and their caregivers.

Teach Me—a Community Integration Support (CIS) programme for persons with physical disabilities—provides clients with age-appropriate skills to adjust to the demands of mainstream education and meet their individual developmental milestones.

$100,000 of the $300,000 donation from the StarHub Sparks Fund will help the Teach Me programme to assist children with special needs to gain admission to mainstream education, meet their physical mobility and other therapy needs through Mobile Clinics and Centre Based Activities, as well as support, educate and encourage principals, teachers and parents of Teach Me clients.

Two other beneficiaries of StarHub’s donation are Lutheran Community Care Services’ Enhanced STEP-UP programme and Yishun Students Care Service’s SYNC (School Social Work for Youth and Children) Programme, which will each get $100,000 from the StarHub Sparks Fund.

The Enhanced STEP-UP is a support programme for students at risk of dropping out of schools as well as out-of-school youth. It complements the school system by providing school social work services that build and strengthen social and emotional resilience among students at risk of dropping out of school. Meanwhile, SYNC helps students-at-risk and needy students through school social work, enhancing their educational experience and providing holistic care for students who face difficulties in their socio-emotional development process.

Walking the talk and mingling with the beneficiaries was Ms Jeannie Ong, Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, StarHub, who professed to having a personal soft spot for the physically disabled community.

"Beyond the corporate donation, StarHub always believes in helping the beneficiaries on the ground," she shared, referring to the large turnout of StarHub participants. "It is not just about the monetary donation but also the meaningful encounters that we, as more privileged donors, have with the less fortunate. It is a chance for us to reach out to them and learn more about the plight of others in Singapore. Helping others also helps us to remember how lucky we are and inspires us to make the most of our talents, in our work and personal lives."

This employee engagement of the beneficiaries is a personal manifestation of the StarHub Sparks Fund's support of the less fortunate through education, skills enhancement and fulfilment of basic needs.

"The focus of the StarHub Sparks Fund is disadvantaged youth," added Ms Ong, "and the three beneficiary programmes were selected for their youth support and empowerment efforts."

“Beyond the breathtaking view, it was truly a walk with a difference where we got to share a lovely moment with the disabled children from AWWA’s Teach Me programme,” said Mr Gilfred Chew, whose wife joined in the stroll. “The children are especially deserving of our support: to help them overcome their handicap in their formative years and to inspire them to overcome their challenges in life. It was also a great opportunity for us to be socially responsible and to appreciate and be thankful for what we have.”

“It was a fantastic experience coming for the Heartstrings Walk at Marina Bay,” enthused Amanda Mok, 22 years old, one of the beneficiaries from AWWA's Teach Me Services. “The StarHub volunteer was very friendly. My family and I had a great time chatting while we walked and I am grateful to StarHub for their generous donation as well as inviting us for the walk.”


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