Around 17,600 households benefited from CDAC's assistance schemes last year

A volunteer helping pupils at a Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) tuition centre in Sengkang. Around 17,600 households benefited from schemes under CDAC last year. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
A volunteer helping pupils at a Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) tuition centre in Sengkang. Around 17,600 households benefited from schemes under CDAC last year. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Around 17,600 households benefited from assistance programmes under the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) last year, a 15 per cent increase from 2013.

This was due to the upward revision of income eligibility criteria for the self-help group's schemes, and the introduction of new initiatives, such as a student care centre in Bendemeer Primary School.

Announcing the figures on Saturday, Health Minister and CDAC chairman Gan Kim Yong said that close to 7,000 needy students received bursaries and other financial help in 2014, 33 per cent more than 2013.

This was due to eligibility criteria being relaxed. For example, the income ceiling for bursaries was revised from a monthly household income of $1,500 to $1,900.

Asked about CDAC's plans in the year ahead, Mr Gan said in Mandarin: "We will look to open more school-based student care centres, as education is one of our priorities."

In January, the CDAC opened its second student care centre in Chongfu Primary School and it has plans to set up more this year.

Mr Gan also said the council will do more for the elderly and is continuing its sharing sessions on the Pioneer Generation Package, which are conducted in Mandarin and dialect.

A new programme will also be launched together with Chinese newspapers Lianhe Wanbao and Lianhe Zaobao, in which volunteers will read and discuss articles with the elderly.

Speaking at an awards presentation recognising CDAC's partners and volunteers, Mr Gan said that the group's programmes and schemes would not have been possible without their help.