Central CDC launches $250,000 fund to encourage community projects

SINGAPORE - A $250,000 fund to encourage community initiatives was launched on Tuesday by the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC).

The Do-Good fund will provide a grant of up to $10,000, or 80 per cent of the project's cost, whichever is lower, for projects that benefit residents in the central Singapore district.

Groups of at least two people above the age of 15 can apply for funding within the next two years.

The initiative was launched to support ground-up projects that the CDC and its staff had not discovered yet, said the Mayor of Central Singapore District, Ms Denise Phua, at the launch in Raffles Institution.

"Projects should create a significant impact for a current or emerging need, be sustainable, scalable in the long term, and sincere," she added.

Project leaders must be Singaporeans or permanent residents. Funds will be reimbursed to the group after the project's completion.

Ms Phua said that the CDC is flexible in assessing projects so long as applicants live in central Singapore and the project has a positive impact on the Singapore community.

Sixteen-year-old Raffles Institution student Alexander Yean, who is interested in organising camps for autistic children, said the fund would be a push factor for students like him to step up without worrying about financial constraints.

"Students have a lot of good ideas and a lot more time than working adults but money is a real concern, so having financial support would open up doors for us to think of creative initiatives," he added.

Fellow student Nah Sze Peing, who is working on a project to befriend elderly in Toa Payoh, noted however, that money alone cannot solve the problems that some community projects face.

"While the funds would help us with outreach and publicity, my project faces a greater problem recruiting manpower," the 16-year-old added.

Central Singapore CDC serves more than 900,000 residents in the Bishan, Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio, Moulmein, Whampoa, Sengkang and Tanjong Pagar areas.

miranday@sph.com.sg