French couple do their bit for ST pocket money fund

Book project raises $22,303 for needy children

HAVING spent about 10 happy years living in Singapore, French couple Georges and Genevieve Grosliere are always looking for ways to give something back.

They have started a number of charity projects with the French community here as a way of engaging Singaporeans and reaching out to needy families.

One of the projects is a coffee- table book, which raised $22,303 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

'This is our way of giving back to the local community and building bonds with Singaporeans,' said Mr Grosliere, 61, a venture director with ExxonMobil.

He and Mrs Grosliere, 60, produced the 175-page book last year along with four other expatriate women - French illustrator Corinne Feuillet Luca, American writer Jennifer Mathy, Finnish photographer Ulla Gratton and French photographer Florence Notte. It is titled An Expat Journey In Singapore.

On Thursday, the Groslieres presented a cheque to the fund, which helps low-income students with school-related expenses such as meals.

They roped in their daughter Celine, 33, a fashion and graphic designer who lives in Paris but visits Singapore regularly, to help with the book. It features photographs of Singapore seen through the eyes of Western expatriates.

French Ambassador to Singapore Olivier Caron said the photographs capture 'the very essence of life in Singapore'.

The book is not the first by Mrs Grosliere and her team. In 2007, they produced a daily planner, Singapore Day After Day, which raised about $28,000 for Food From The Heart, a charity that delivers food to needy households. They said that through these charity projects, they have come to know many Singaporeans from all walks of life and found meaningful ways to engage and reach out to them.

'The money we raised may not be large sums of money but it is our way of helping different pockets of needy Singaporeans and making a difference, even in small ways, to help lift their burden,' said Mrs Grosliere.

Her husband added: 'Of all the foreign places we have lived in, Singapore has been the best and most pleasant place for my family. We just love it here and we feel we have to give back to the community here, which has made this place such a wonderful home for us.'

More than 2,300 copies of the book have been sold from its first print run of 3,000. It retails for $25 at Books Kinokuniya and two other stores, Tango Mango and China Collections.

To donate to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, e-mail stfund@sph.com.sg