President's Challenge to support new programmes tackling existing gaps

The President's Challenge 2014 will fund new schemes to tackle existing service gaps and experiment with new approaches for selected groups, said President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Tuesday noon.

One example, said Dr Tan, is the Community in Action programme, to be piloted in Ang Mo Kio. It will be led by senior citizens, and involve reading, interaction and drama programmes for needy children.

"It also offers respite care and support services for caregivers of children with disabilities as they can interact with and get support from other caregivers," he said.

Speaking at the Challenge's launch at a carnival event, Dr Tan also urged corporations to "institute some form of community service into your corporate DNA".

"Giving goes beyond monetary, although that is still much needed," he said.

He also encouraged companies and community organisations to support social enterprises, another aim of this year's Challenge, which will support 63 VWOs. Last year's Challenge raised close to $11.5 million for the Community Chest and 54 VWOs.

Minister of Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, also present at the event, is holding a closed-door discussion on how businesses can bolster the social services sector here, along with Mayor of South East District Maliki Osman.

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