North West District initiative aims to raise $500,000 to help needy students

The North West Student Support Fund aids programmes to help with school expenses, among other things. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An existing initiative to help needy students in the North West District will now tap not just corporate donors but also the public.

Aiming to raise $500,000, the effort by the North West Community Development Council (CDC) comes after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Set up in 2011, the North West Student Support Fund aids programmes to help with school expenses and sponsor enrichment activities, among other things.

For instance, under the North West Heart for Students programme, the CDC works with the Ministry of Education and primary and secondary schools within the North West District to identify beneficiaries.

Schools will rally their communities to contribute to the fund, to help families with financial difficulties to cope with their children's school expenses.

The fund helps about 13,000 students every year.

North West District Mayor Alex Yam noted that "not all children start on the same footing" and that those the "CDC assisted through the Student Support Fund are empowered with equal learning opportunities to realise their dreams and aspirations".

Apart from the public call for donations, the council will bring back its North West Youth Concert on July 22. It said this also provides a platform to showcase the young people's artistic talents for a good cause.

One corporate donor backing the cause this year is Aleta Planet Foundation, which was set up by local fintech firm Aleta Planet in 2020 to help seniors and children in Singapore.

"Having a good education helps open doors to many opportunities in life," said its group chairman Ryan Gwee, adding that such initiatives provide a lift to less privileged young people to succeed in school and beyond.

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