Fresh coat of paint and new furniture for homes of children from low-income families

SINGAPORE - Dewi Blessing, 10, wept with joy and hugged her sister when she walked into her refurbished home on Friday (May 20) - there was a new study table in her home.

The table and other new furniture were donated by HSBC Singapore to Dewi, who is a beneficiary of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF). The fund helps low-income children with school-related expenses.

Dewi, a Primary 4 pupil, said she was overwhelmed when she saw the new furniture because "she has never seen the house look this way".

HSBC staff also helped to declutter and paint the homes of children from low-income families, including beneficiaries of the STSPMF, as part of the bank's move to create better study spaces for them. Some children also got new furniture.

More than $140,000 was also raised by HSBC through donations from the bank and various fund-raising efforts by its staff for the STSPMF and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

Said Ms Fiona Chan, deputy managing editor of The Straits Times and secretary of the board of STSPMF, of the bank's partnership with the STSPMF: "The (fund) is grateful to be able to work together with HSBC Singapore, to go beyond giving financial help to the beneficiaries, whenever possible."

Mr Guy Harvey-Samuel, chief executive of HSBC Singapore, said that it was "very uplifting to see my colleagues partner with the kids and their families to create an area in their homes that enables the children to study better".

"I am very grateful to my colleagues for putting in so much effort to make this happen," he added.